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McPherson gets a kick out of 2nd world title


Cliff "The Hammer" McPherson won his second world kick-boxing title under the Super Kicks Karate Association, and Glen Burnie's first female kick-boxing bout lasted only a round at Michael's Eighth Avenue Friday night.

Hammer Promotions, Inc. and promoter Bob Ryan through the State Athletic Commission put on the short, but exciting, four-bout card for just over 400 fans.

Glen Burnie's McPherson (19-4) was impressive in taking the SKKA world cruiserweight title (191 pounds) with a first-round knockout of John "The Beast From the East" Beck (13-4, 10 knockouts) of Butler, Pa.

It was the 37-year-old McPherson's 10th career kick-boxing knockout, making short order of a scheduled 12-rounder. McPherson, who also is a professional boxer (4-6 record), used ++ his hand and fist skills to put Beck on his back twice in the first round.

Beck fired out of his blue corner to start the bout and went right after the Hammer, landing a couple good kicks and a left.

Midway through the round, McPherson put Beck on his back with a left kick and one-two fist combo. Beck seemed to be resting as he took the mandatory eight-count from referee Chris Wolleson.

Beck got up easily when Wolleson's count got to six. Seconds later, McPherson put his kicks and right punch in sync and Beck was down for the long count (1:55 of first round).

The rapid barrage of kicks to the side and head by McPherson were too much for Beck. Beck stayed on the canvas flat on his back seconds after the verdict was sealed. He had to be helped to his corner while McPherson paraded around the ring, jumping onto the ropes and giving a few victory salutes to his partisan crowd.

"I trained hard for this, wanted that second world title bad," said McPherson, who also owns a world light heavyweight title.

The victory earns McPherson a chance for a third world championship belt in Detroit this summer. McPherson will take on Kersey Roop (43-10, 15 knockouts) on June 28 for the International Karate Federation world cruiserweight title.

"I'm 37, but not finished yet," said McPherson. "My goal is to win three world belts and now I'm just one away, but I don't expect the third to be as easy as the second."

Beverly "Stone Cold" Szymanski of Marine City, Mich., scored a first-round TKO of Kelly "Cracklin" Bayer of Butler, Pa., in what was the pro debut for both 129-pound kick boxers.

Szymanski dominated the bout and referee Wolleson stopped the fight at 1:25 of the first round.

Bernard "Swiftkick" Robinson (16-1) of Pittsburgh was declared the winner of the SKKA Mid Atlantic Welterweight title (147 pounds) by disqualification over Greg "Black Belt" Gallup (16-11) of Chester, Va. Gallup failed to get off the required minimum five kicks in the fifth round of the scheduled seven-rounder.

Baltimore's Steave "Awesome" Williams (15-2), a McPherson protege, took out "Dangerous" Dennis Franklin (10-3) at 1:58 of the sixth round of a scheduled nine-rounder to win the SKKA United States 160-pound middleweight title.

Booker Pope (5-0) of Butler, Pa., was awarded the SKKA Mid-Atlantic junior welterweight (135 pounds) title when his opponent, Nick Gillam (3-1) of Detroit failed to show for the seven-rounder.

"There was a lot of action and the crowd really got into Hammer's fight," said Ryan.

"It was a good crowd and our philosophy is to continue holding kick boxing and boxing shows in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore on weekends."

Ryan and McPherson plan to hold a pro boxing card on March 25 at Teamsters' Hall on Erdman Avenue in Baltimore.

Highly touted heavyweight Thomas "Top Dog" Williams (8-0) will headline the card that will include Glen Burnie's Jeff Passero and Boyar "Sugar Boy" Chew of Annapolis.

For ticket information, you can call Hammer Promotions at (410)766-0363. Tickets are also available at Bay Fitness and Aerobics in Annapolis, Jim's Food Market in Ferndale and Maryland Bedrooms on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie.

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