Pro boxing, envisioned as regular fare at Capital Centre until matchmaker Elt Hanover died, then Don King failed to deliver as advertised, is back and Centre chieftain Abe Pollin aims to make it stick.
Yesterday, he announced a card of April 14 starring Mike Baker vs. Ralph Palladin for the Maryland-D.C. middleweight championship and Eli Hanover Memorial Trophy. It's a 10-rounder and so is the cofeature pitting Leo Saems and Jimmy Savage, a Philadelphian who is the exception on an otherwise locally manned program; Pollin promised the cofeature winner a chance to fight the Baker-Palladin victor for the title later on. (Saenz beat Baker last time they met.)
Pollin hopes to promote boxing cards every four to eight weeks; focusing on Washington-Baltimore area fighters. "From an economic standpoint," he admitted, "at least in the early stages we do not expect boxing to fill up the treasury of the Capital Centre. But we think it will be profitable in the lone run."
Eight-rounders on the initial Centre show since the controversial Muhammad Ali-Jimmy Young bout of last April 30 will feature Washingtonians Smokey Middleton, heavyweight, and Tim (Blue) Walker, welterweight, against opponents to be named.
King is still in the picture, Pollin said, despite the George Foreman Young fiasco in which the bout originally announced for Landover wound up in Puerto Rico. Foreman supposedly balked at facing Young in Maryland for fear the ringside judges would lean too far in Young's direction to make up for scoring against him in the Ali bout.
"We have an agreement which allows him (King) to bring fights in and allows us to have our own," Pollin said.
Media who chose the boxing press conference over premiere showing of the Redskin football highlight film at Redskin Park missed seeing one of their own in a cameo role. One of the highlights was Billy Kilmer dressing down Len Shapiro of The Post in the dressing room after the victory in Dallas: "I told you guys" not to write the Skins off, etc. . . . If the PGA gets up a highlight film, 1977, it would do worse than show winner Andy Bean picking his last putt out of the cup at Doral and throwing it far into the lake adjacent to No. 18. He threw it so hard, he told officials of the current Sea Pines Heritage Classic, that he pulled something in his right shoulder and that's why he isn't playing at Harbour Town . . .
Joe Stydahar, 65, who played his way into the college and pro football halls of fame and later coached the Rams and (Chicago) Cardinals, has died in Beckley, W. Va., where he was on a business trip from his home in Highland Park, III.
The story goes that Stydahar began his college career at Pitt after an alumnus steered him there for a week of freshman workouts. He made a brief trip to home to Shinnston, W. Va., and was waiting on a street corner for a car from Pitt when a car from West Virginia U. showed up. He wound up on the WVU campus and coach Earle (Greasy) Neale his him at a fraternity house until the Pather people gave up looking for him. Stydahar went on to star at tackle for the Mountaineers 1933-35, the Chicago Bears 1936-42, the Navy as a gunnery officer on the U.S.S. Monterey 1943-44 and the Bears again in 1945-46. He then went to Los Angeles as an assistant coach, took over as head coach in 1950 and led the Rams to the title game where Lou Grozas last ditch field goal for Cleveland beat them, 30-28. In '51, the Rams came back to beat the Browns for the championship, 24-17.
A falling out with Ram owner Dan Reeves brought on Stydahar's resignation after one game in 1952. He then coached the Chi Cards to two bad seasons. The coal miner's son once was asked his biggest thrill in football.
"Easy. Bears 73, Redskins 0. Nobody who ever played that game (1940 championship) will ever forget it" . . .
Joe Sullivan, St. Louis Cards' director of football operations, was recuperating nicely last night after successful open-heart surgery . . . Unbeaten Seattle Slew drew No. 4 post and 12 opponents, including Florida Derby division winners Coined Silver and Ruthie's Native, as entries closed yesterday for Saturday's $139,400 Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah. Morning line has Slew 3 to 5 to win his longest test yet, 1 1/8 miles, and continue as heavy choice for the May 7 Kentucky Derby and Flamingo, but loser in Triple Crown events, made his first start at 4 in a $10,000 allowance race Wednesday at Hialeah, finishing a poor fifth . . . Maybe another reason Reggie Jackson is glad to be shed of Baltimore: Irvin Weinglass, 39, has sued him in Baltimore Superior Court for $3 million, Charging that the then-Oriole, now-Yankee slugged him about the head, neck and body, permanenly injuring him, in a fight at the Pimlico Hotel July 17 . . .
Joe Namath and the Rams? Manana, manana; morel ikely next week during the NFL meeting in Phoenix. Anytime's fine by the Jets.