By Gary “Digital” Williams
The 2010 Beltway Boxing season in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia begins quickly with two cards already scheduled to take place with in a three-day period. Ballroom Boxing will have its first card of 2010 on Friday, January 29 at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD. And yes, the date does fall on a Friday – the first time that has happened in 14 years. Most Ballroom Boxing cards have been held on Thursdays. After a number of recent cards that has brought in strong, young talent from across the country, Ballroom Boxing promoter Scott Wagner has decided to go “back to basics,” by loading this card with popular, local boxers – and no Beltway Boxer has been more popular in the Ballroom than the former USBA cruiserweight champion, Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson who will headline this card and make his 15th appearance on a Ballroom Boxing card.
After fighting the likes of George Khalid Jones, Rodney Moore and Daniel Judah in the Ballroom, the Takoma Park, MD resident looks to make a heavyweight appearance on this card and Wagner says they are looking for any opponent over 200 pounds to face Wilson.
“We want any heavyweight to come in and face Darnell,” Wagner said. Anyone who is interested can contact me here at Michael’s and we can talk.”
Wilson (23-9-3, 20 KOs) is looking to get back on the winning track, having lost three straight and four of his last five.
Also slated to be on the card is Baltimore super middleweight Mike “The Persecutor” Paschall and Capitol Heights, MD featherweight Thomas “KO” Snow.
One bout is already signed for the card: Baltimore light heavyweight Willie “For Real” Williams (12-4-2, 3 KOs) will take on tough Toms River, NJ veteran William Gill (9-24, 7 KOs). The bout is scheduled for six rounds.
Then, on Sunday, January 31, Baltimore Pro Boxing will put together a card at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD. This card was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 16; however, promoters did not want to go up against the Baltimore Ravens-Indianapolis Colts NFL playoff game that will begin around the same time as the scheduled start of the card.
January 31 is a significant date because it is the Sunday that falls between the NFL Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl, so there will be no football conflict, except for the Pro Bowl. The card is scheduled to begin at 5 PM. Tickets that were bought for the 16th will be honored on the 31st. Details on the card are forthcoming.
These cards mean that the state of Maryland is off to another great start as they try to build on their most successful year in more than a decade. The Maryland State Athletic Commission regulated 22 cards in 2009, the most since 1996. Maryland had at least one boxing card every month last year.
Unfortunately, as 2010 begins, a beloved inspector with the commission will not be a part of future boxing cards. Frank Pridgeon, Sr. passed away on January 12 of an undisclosed illness. Pridgeon served as an inspector with the Maryland commission for two decades. A commission spokesperson said that Pridgeon served the commission with dignity and honor.