It's been nine months since a professional kick boxing show has been presented in the county, but you can put the Hammer down for Friday night at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Cliff "The Hammer" McPherson and Full Contact Sports Inc. promoter Eugene Brennan have an eight-bout card (six pro and two amateur) on tap for local karate fans with the Hammer in the main event.
Glen Burnie's McPherson (23-4-2, 13 knockouts), a three-time World Kickboxing Federation champion, takes on Dewayne Thompson (12-5, six KO's) in the eight-round cruiserweight main event.
"I was supposed to fight Chuck Gerlich, who is ranked seventh in the WKF, but he broke an ankle training," said McPherson, who last fought Sept. 23, knocking out John "the Beast from the East" Beck of Butler, Pa., 22 seconds into Round 2.
"I hoped to fight someone ranked high to get my levels back up, but a bum could knock you out on a given night. I want to fight high-caliber fighters to get ready for the fall and I need to keep in shape."
The 39-year-old McPherson is scheduled to duke it out at the Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro sometime in October or November on a card to be televised by ESPN.
"I'm not ready to retire despite my age," said the Hammer. "I don't feel 39, and I still can get more out of the sport and then get into training and promoting young fighters."
Steave "Awesome" Williams of Baltimore puts his No. 1 WKF ranking on the line against Bernice Barber of Virginia Beach in the six round co-main event. Williams (18-2, eight KO's) is the top middleweight and faces a man who is both a pro boxer and pro kick boxer in Barber.
Bernard "Swift Kick" Robinson of Pittsburgh goes after Greg Gallup of Virginia Beach in what is being billed a five-round grudge match in the welterweight division.
"They fought about a year ago and the match was stopped when most of us didn't think it should have been," said McPherson.
The other three bouts feature two in the heavyweight division and one in middleweight. Tony Owens (7-0) of Upper Marlboro takes on Beck (15-5), the guy McPherson knocked out in September, in one heavyweight match while New Jersey's Terry Fisher and John Bates of Virginia make their pro debuts in the other.
Melvin Robinson (2-2) of D.C. and Greg Winer (2-1) of Pittsburgh complete the pro card.
For ticket information, call Michael's at (410) 768-7901 or Hammer's Hot Line, (410) 766-0363.
Idea for the ring
Local promoters Michael and Scott Wagner of Glen Burnie are proposing to the Maryland State Athletic Commission the formation of a "promoter's group" to ensure creditability in Maryland.
"We hope to have the group approve any pro bouts to be held in Maryland," said Mike Wagner. "It would be a union among us to eliminate the losers and give the boxing fans their money's worth.
"The group would sanction the fighters and if they can't fight on one card, they don't fight for anybody in Maryland. We're trying our best to make boxing happen in Anne Arundel County and something like this would really help."
Three All-County volleyball players and two local coaches have been selected for Sunday's Maryland Mizuno All-Star Classic at 3:15 p.m. at Loyola College.
All-Anne Arundel Player of the Year and All-Metro first-teamer Heather Hutson of Glen Burnie joins All-County choices Katie Forthofer of Broadneck and Chesapeake's Becky Adamarczyk.
Severna Park coach Tim Dunbar and his Glen Burnie counterpart, Juanita Milani, will be on the staff for the classic.
Four Anne Arundel countians were selected in the major-league baseball draft last week and only one may not sign.
Switch-hitting outfielder Kevin Gibbs of Davidsonville, who attended St. John's High in D.C. and became an All-American at Old Dominion University, was picked on the sixth round by the Dodgers.
Chesapeake High grad Derek Hasselhoff, who pitched at Towson State, was taken on the 17th round by the White Sox.
Severna Park's Mark Budzinski, a speedy outfielder from University of Richmond and former member of the All-Anne Arundel Academic Athletic Team in 1991, was grabbed by the Indians on round 21.
Anne Arundel Player of the Year Mike Wooden, a right-handed pitcher from North County, was chosen by the Orioles on the 44th round. Wooden, who has a scholarship to the University of Maryland, is not expected to sign.
Orioles' territorial supervisor Jim Gilbert will visit Wooden and his family next week as a formality.
Former Old Mill All-County left-hander Jimmy Simms, who pitched at Anne Arundel Community College and George Mason, signed as a free agent with a co-op independent minor-league team.