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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri • Page 17

St. Louis, Missouri
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3 JUN141995 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 1995 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 7D 'Pitiful' Powell Avoids Tyson, Other Big Paydays Moorer. I had told Boris, 'With the jab you've got, you could beat this He said, 'Oh, I don't think so, Powell is 6 feet 4, 225 pounds and quick. His record is 23-1. At 30, he is clean-cut and always fit.

After four years of toil, his promoter, former champ Ernie Terrell of Chicago, had matchmakers lining up. "This guy is pitiful," Terrell said. "If I put him in with somebody who'll hit him back, he won't fight him. He wants to fight all losers. I'm just dumbfounded.

It's Whenever Boris Powell was described in this corner as the reluctant heavyweight which was often Roger Grimming would grumble. No more. After 2'2 years as Powell's boxing manager, he reluctantly sees that the jab was no cheap shot. "He just won't fight anymore," Grimming said. "I've had more money fights offered to him in the last 2V4 months than most people make in a lifetime." Such as $750,000 to box Mike Tyson this fall.

everything you Next week he was back to his old antics. He's still reluctant to spar. In March the World Boxing Organization was going to pick an opponent for him. They had him ranked No. 5." He now is unranked.

Grimming can't explain the loss to Ruiz or its wake: "You'd have to ask Boris." Good luck. Powell seldom answers or returns calls. Anderson hasn't spoken to him in two weeks or trained him in two months. Grimming and Anderson last met him a month ago with the Moorer offer. Powell pled personal problems.

"What problem do you have that $100,000 wouldn't help?" Anderson asked, lobbying on behalf of Powell's three children. "He just shrugged his shoulders. He's noncommittal about everything." Terrell went further: "He's scared, that's what it is." Most citizens prefer not to get punched in the nose, especially by Tyson. "But if you work in a sewer, you should expect to get some sewage on you," Terrell said. Grimming said, "I truly believe Boris Who's Who, as ranked by Boxing Illustrated: No.

5 Moorer, No. 6 Frank Bruno. No. 8 Alex Zolkin, No. 12 Andrew Golota, No.

16 Jeremy Williams and Tyson. "He's turned down so many, I can't keep them all straight," Anderson said. Three were bouts that would have been shown on cable television. "What he does is mess up all your connections," Terrell said. "People count on your guy being there.

He goes against the grain of all the fighters I've known from St. Louis, tough competitors who just didn't get the breaks. And he turns down fights." Powell's reticence began with an amateur allergy to sparring. He won a Golden Gloves national title in 1989 but lost amid boos in Miami the next year in a finals hug-a-thon. Trainer Kenny Loehr quit in disgust.

Powell signed with the local Blackchip Promotions, which hired Anderson. After two years, Powell backpedaled. Grimming bought out Blackchip but kept Anderson. After two years, Powell backpedaled again. Anderson, saintly patient, had a stern chat with Powell after the loss: "He said, 'Coach, I promise you, I'm going to work hard and do TOM WHEATLEY -v stupid." Powell last fought Feb.

5 in Las Vegas, losing a 10-round grope with unbeaten but beatable John Ruiz. Terrell said, "Boris bent over so low to keep from getting hit, he would grab the guy's ankles. He didn't even try to win. I guess he figured he'd get somebody tough if he beat him." Powell has since dodged this heavyweight "I can't give you his exact words," said Bill Anderson, who trains Powell. "Boris doesn't give you exact words.

But he didn't want anything to do with it." Last month Powell vetoed a $150,000 date with former champ Michael Moorer. Melvin Foster came off vacation to snatch that purse. "I guess he's got a nice vacation now," Anderson said. "He lost in 10 rounds, but you don't lose any stature if you lose to Michael Post-Dispatch Promoter Ernie Terrell says Boris Powell (above) is "scared" of taking on top heavyweight boxers. Powell is the top heavyweight in the world, bar none.

I'd bet every nickel I have on that." If he could just get the reluctant heavyweight into a ring to prove it. oiling Sales Jump As In-Line Hockey Becomes Craze Here CVV Vipers RxForOx: Stay Out Of Box If the Vipers can stay out of the penalty box, they will have a good chance of beating the Minnesota Blue Ox. That's the theory Vipers coach Perry Turnbull has about tonight's game in Minnesota. In their opener, against the Chicago Cheetahs on Fri-' day, St. Louis received 12 nor penalties in an 8-6 loss.

Chicago scored four power-play goals. "We played less than physical and spent more time in the penalty box," Turnbull said. "I told the referee after the game I didn't know this was a no-hit league. I talked with the deputy commissioner this week about the game, and we got it straightened out." The Vipers played half the 48-minute game short-handed. "That's an awful lot of penalty killing," Turnbull said.

"I'm not concerned about the loss. It was a wake-up call. Chicago is not as talented as we are. They just worked the system better than we did." St. Louis was two for five on the power play, and they should improve with forward-center Randy Smith back in the lineup.

Smith, the leading scorer and Roller Hockey International All-Star from last season, missed the Chicago game. The Vipers play the Montreal Roadrunners in their home opener at 7:35 p.m. Friday at Kiel Center. Keith Schildroth skates," said Ford, a forward for the St. Louis Vipers of Roller Hockey International.

"I think the skates are very important. If you can't skate well you can't play the sport." Two of the more popular brands are the Bauer H9, around $350, and the Bauer Composite, about $400. Shin guards: Most are waffle or honeycomb moldings, with prices ranging from $20 to $100. Old style plastic guards are disappearing. "Most of the shin guards and shoulder pads are lighter and moisture-free," Ford said.

Pants: Traditional ice hockey pants work for roller hockey, but Ford said the girdle, is gaining popularity because it is lightweight. Most players wear sweat pants over them. Gloves, pads: Traditional, lightweight ice hockey gloves and shoulder pads can be used. Nylon, web gloves cost and shoulder pads $30. New, web-style shoulder pads cost Ice hockey elbow pads can be used for roller hockey.

Waffle-style pads also are available. Prices are Helmets: Ford recommends a HECC-approved helmet, which costs Most local youth leagues require helmets with a face cage. Sticks: Youth wood sticks cost $13, adult wood sticks $16. Graphite sticks are in, but they're costly. A trendy stick is the Bauer C5000 that Pavel Bure of the Vancouver Canucks uses.

The graphite shaft is $60, the blade $20. Most of the major ice hockey equipment companies Bauer, CCM, Easton, Sherwood, Louisville and Victoriaville have roller hockey equipment. "There is equipment on the market for the kids who are just beginning and playing at home on the driveway and it's not expensive," Ford said. "When you start playing in leagues, you need to get different equipment." By Keith Schildroth Post-Dispatch Special Correspondent When Ken Ford opened his Hockey and In-Line stores in 1991, he was pushing ice hockey equipment, with a few roller-hockey items on the shelves. First-year sales were $300,000.

Last year Ford hit $900,000 in sales. The reason for the jump, Ford said, is the roller hockey craze. Roller-hockey leagues are springing up around the St. Louis area, and pickup games are common on neighborhood streets, tennis courts and parking lots. Young people will spend money to go faster, shoot harder and take fewer lumps than the skater next door.

"Ninety percent of our business was ice hockey when we started," said Ford, who owns stores in Brentwood, St. Charles and Cahokia. Now, "two-thirds of our business is ice hockey and one-third is roller hockey. Kids cross over so much. The dedicated players are playing both.

"The sport is so available today. Even though it's not cheap, it's still less expensive than ice hockey with the rental for practice and game time." Here's a look at equipment and costs: Skates: Ford said players should start at the feet when buying their equipment that skates are the most important piece of roller hockey equipment. Skates cost $50 to $300 for molded, factory-made, $500 for custom-made. "The serious roller hockey player is often the serious ice hockey player, so he is going to spend a lot for Good Skates Are No. 1 Skates are the most important article of equipment.

Before you decide to play roller hockey and spend money on equipment, consider the following: Determine what type of surface you will be playing on. If you play on an asphalt or concrete driveway at your house or on your street, you will need a harder wheel. If you play on a sport court, made for roller hockey, you will need a sofier wheel that won't slide on the sport court. Make sure your helmet is HECC approved. Most ice hockey equipment can be used to play roller hockey.

Keith Schildroth Larry WilliamsPost-Dispatch Mike Mesko, a student at Brentwood Middle School, puts on his game face and a lot of other gear kids need for roller hockey at Hockey Pro Shop in Brentwood. (j FREE PAGERS tfffUTCZCIA MTIYIVCICETJJl 534-0000 4 Days Until Father's Day! Reebok Golf Shark Collection Hats Apparel 299-599S Grill away excess fat all year round. Pay on Your Monthly Gas Bill Sale Prices Good Thru July 31, 1995. Qu Laclede Gas 720 Olive Street Gas Appliance Sales GOLFNUT Tteoirijife, FINE GOLF APPAREL FOR MEN WOMEN UNIQUE Gins. ART.

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