Josh Hall and Victoria Savaliski are hoping the new year brings a packed house at Michael's Eighth Avenue on Thursday night, when the Hall-Savaliski Round One Promotions presents its first pro boxing and dinner show of 1993.
A seven-bout card featuring lightweights Paul Walker of Washington and Tony Ruthledge of Ohio in the eight-round main event is set for Hall's new boxing ring. After spending nearly $21,000 the past five years to rent a ring for his shows, Hall has invested in his own ring.
"It makes sense to have my own ring and if we ever come up with a building in the county to have a gym, I'll be all set," said
To test his new ring, Hall feels he has quite a matchup in Walker (8-3-2) and Ruthledge (15-24), despite Ruthledge's record.
"It should be a hell of a fight," Hall said. "You know a lot of people thought Ruthledge beat Chuckie Sturm the last time."
Sturm, a popular Glen Burnie resident, took a controversial decision over Ruthledge last year in Sturm's return to the ring, and hasn't been back since.
Hall and Frank Gilbert of Loch Raven, who was then Sturm's manager, started feuding after that fight over purse payoffs and related items. The squabbling has ensued with Sturm fighting out of town or in Baltimore but not in his hometown of Glen Burnie.
The good news is that may soon change with Sturm returning to Michael's in the near future.
"Don Elbaum is Sturm's manager now, and he has told me he is interested in getting Chuckie back here. Hopefully, we can work something out for the next show," Hall said.
A heavyweight bout on Thursday's card might bring big-time trainer Lou Duva to Glen Burnie. Hall has D.C.'s Thomas Williams tentatively set to fight Ohio's Phil Brown, who once battled Razor Ruddock to a draw.
It's tentative because Brown is hedging, but if he decides not to post, Hall has promised to come up with another opponent for Williams.
"Thomas called me from Texas [Thursday] and said he is anxious to fight here," said Hall. "J. D. Brown, who works with Sugar Ray Leonard, flew Thomas to Texas so Lou Duva and his people could see him.
"And Thomas told me that Duva told him he's coming to Glen Burnie to see him fight Thursday night."
Hall's card also has a lot of local flavor with four familiar names fighting in four of the other five bouts.
Among the locals is Meade High grad Jake "The Snake" Smith, who is scheduled to begin a comeback bid at the show. Smith (5-2) has been out of the ring for almost two years and is jumping back in against Virginia's Johnny Ford (2-6) in the lightweight division.
VTC An interesting local boxer to watch at this show will be Boyar "Sugar Boy" Chew of Annapolis, who opposes Willie Hugley (1-3) of Ohio in a super middleweight bout.
Chew (3-2) fought his career best at Hall's show in November, chasing and busting Cliff "The Hammer" McPherson all over the ring and winning by a unanimous decision.
Glen Burnie's McPherson (3-6-2) returns as well but won't have to contend with Chew this time. Gesse "The Mad Ethiopian" Mesquana (2-0-1) of D.C. will be McPherson's light-heavyweight foe.
Alfonzo Daniels, who is trained by Jeff Novotny at his Crofton gym, is also back after an impressive victorious pro debut at Michael's in November. Daniels, a middleweight, meets Michael Duncan (2-4) of D.C.
The other bout pits a pair of out-of-towners in "Mighty Mo" Adams (2-0) of D.C. and Calvin Moody (9-20) of Virginia in a junior middleweight matchup.
For ticket information on the dinner/boxing show, call Round One Promotions at (410) 760-2699 or Michael's at (410) 768-7901.
Five days after the pro show, Michael's will be the site of an amateur boxing show on Jan. 19, promoted by Novotny and Scott Wagner.
* The Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame, Inc., which had its second induction ceremony in October, has announced this year's banquet date and is accepting nominations.
Oct. 21 is the date for the third annual affair to honor the county's best athletes. The Hall of Fame Committee will announce the inductees this spring.
Submit nominations to: AA County Sports Hall of Fame, Box 280, Linthicum, 21090. The closing date for nominations will be announced soon.
"We want the Hall of Fame to keep growing with the banquet to be a celebration for those we select to honor," said Wayne Fowler, an ex-NFL lineman and Glen Burnie High All-County athlete in football and basketball who is a committee member.
"We want people to know that the purpose of this organization is to honor deserving people from the sports community and raise money for Anne Arundel County youth sports teams."
For more information on the county Hall of Fame, call Susan Davies at (410) 841-3593.
* Another item of interest for sports fans is a Feb. 16 banquet for the Take Back Our Streets project. The worthwhile fund-raiser at Michael's will be headlined by ex-Colts Johnny Unitas and Artie Donovan, Glen Burnie's Charley Eckman and Spirit coach Kenny Cooper.
The Take Back Our Streets program was initiated by county police and has been successful in the community of Freetown.
With the support of local businessmen and generous individuals, money was raised to enable the county police to start a youth activity program and improve life in general. By giving the county police the means to improve a troubled climate in Freetown, drug-related crime is down and community spirit is up.
Meade Village is the next target of the group, and the success of the Feb. 16 banquet will determine how much can be done there.
For information on the banquet, call Susan Davies at (410) 841-3593.