USA Boxing's South Atlantic Association and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks are sponsoring an international amateur competition between some of Baltimore's best and those from Holy Family Boxing Club of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Mayor Martin O'Malley's office also is backing the event, according to chief organizers Gus Kaplanges of Baltimore and Navy boxing coach Jim McNally.
Proceeds from the event, to be held tomorrow night at Du Burns Arena (Boston Street and Ellwood Avenue) will go toward establishing boxing centers geared toward at-risk youth in Baltimore.
The vision, Kaplanges said, is of an area-wide Baltimore Junior Youth Boxing League that would develop team spirit and social skills while promoting drug awareness and prevention, sportsmanship and community pride.
Organizers hope to bring under an umbrella boxing conference local boxing organizations such as the Police Athletic League, the Mack Lewis Baltimore Athletic Association, Danny Kisner's Brooklyn Boxing Club, Jake Smith's Baltimore Boxing Club, and Marvin McDowell's UMAR Boxing Club.
"The programs would be free for the kids, using boxing as a lure. My part is to make it educational," McNally said.
"The plan for each of the sites is to set aside a room for kids to do their school work before practice," McNally said. "We want to set it up so that we can bring in tutors, start mentoring programs, set up field trips to museums, go camping. Providing a structured, educational environment, that's our goal."
Kaplanges said the gym at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, on Washington Boulevard in Pigtown, is one of the prospective sites. USA Boxing has been negotiating with the Rev. Walter Burgess, according to church spokesman Allen Spangler.
"In our complex of buildings, we have a decent-sized gymnasium the size of a basketball court," said Spangler. Burgess was out of town. "They're talking about using part or all of it for boxing."
One of tomorrow night's best bouts will feature Northern Irish amateur welterweight champ Gerald McCauley against Ismail Arvin. Arvin, of the Mack Lewis gym, is a South Atlantic Association and Golden Gloves champ.
A special attraction has the country's No. 2-ranked 119-pounder, Carney Bowman, a bantamweight from York, Pa., against Belfast's tough Martin Lindsay. The card also features Northern Irish middleweight champ Paul McDermott against an opponent to be determined.
Tickets are $20. For more information, call 410-633-6600 or 410-293-5553.
CARD: Local favorite Del "The Hatchett" Matchett (14-1) will fight Jamar Carter (12-2) of Newark, N.J., on Thursday night at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Tickets are $40 ringside, $20 general admission. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the first fight at 8. For information, call 410-766-7474.
WOMEN: International Boxing Federation flyweight champ Isra Girgrah, managed by Baltimore's Casey Dansicker, has been named the mandatory challenger to the Women's Junior Boxing Federation crown and will fight for that crown "sometime in January," according to Dansicker.
Girgrah won a unanimous decision over Sue Muillett on Friday night in Atlantic City, N.J.