By Gary “Digital” Williams
It has been a very sad weekend in the Beltway Boxing Community because we learned that one of the premier promoters in the area — Scott Wagner — passed away late Friday, February 16th at the age of 49. No official word has been given on the cause of death.
Mr. Wagner was the driving force behind one of the most successful promotions not only in the Beltway, but around the country — Ballroom Boxing. The promotion was located in the catering hall the family owned — Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD — and it became the home for some of the best club show bouts in one of the best atmospheres in the area from 1995-2010.
Mr. Wagner, along with matchmakers Chris Middendorf and Josh Hall and event coordinator Dave Wilkerson, brought in a myriad of outstanding talent as they developed local boxers like Alfonso Daniels, Jimmy Lange and Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson. They would also bring in former world champions like Hasim Rahman, Kermit Cintron, Orlin Norris and Al Cole and be an early proving ground for future world champions like Terence Crawford, who fought his second pro bout in the Ballroom and the Dirrell Brothers who made their pro debuts in Glen Burnie. At the height of its fame, Ballroom Boxing had a television package shown around the world anchored by broadcasters Larry Michael, Jon Saraceno, and John Scheinman and a weekly radio show hosted by Wagner and Scotty Crouse. The atmosphere at Ballroom Boxing shows was also second to none as the boxing was augmented by large portions food and drink as well as the beautiful women that was a part of each card.
Boxing luminaries such as Lou DiBella, Bert Sugar and Lou Duva, would make frequent appearances in Glen Burnie. DiBella would call Ballroom Boxing “the best club show promotion in the country” and would use elements of the promotion when forming his own Broadway Boxing cards.
Mr. Wagner was preceded in death by his father, Sen. Michael J. Wagner, the original owner of Michael’s Eighth Avenue, who passed away in February of 2014 at the age of 74. Arrangements are pending.