Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Poll: Who is the Beltway Boxer of the Half-Year?

I can now release the latest poll question. With the year halfway through, who do you think is the Beltway Boxer of the Year so far? You can pick one of the boxers listed or you can give me another selection. Please make comments also. I want to read your thoughts!

Buchanan Advances in Super Middleweight Tournament!

Capitol Heights, MD super middleweight Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan easily advanced to the semi-finals of the ShoBox Super Middleweight Tournament with a 10-round unanimous decision over Lucas Green-Arias of Costa Rica.

Despite fighting with an injured hand, Buchanan was never in trouble throughout the contest as he used an inspired jab to earn the victory. Buchanan is now 14-0, 11 KO's and he is scheduled to face Jean Paul Mendy in the next round on October 6 in Santa Ynez, CA. Mendy stopped Dallas Vargas in the first round.

I say "scheduled" because ShoBox is reporting that Buchanan had to go to the hospital to get his hand x-rayed. If he can't go in October, then Green-Arias -- despite losing -- will go into the semi-finals.

Quick analysis: I thought ShoBox commentators Nick Charles and Steve Farhood were unduly critical of both fighters. One of the things that they overlooked about Buchanan is that he has a good chin. Green-Arias didn't hit Buchanan much during the bout but the times he did, Buchanan shook them off.

Buchanan's showboating towards the end did not go over well with the Las Vegas faithful and that may have led to the judge's scores being closer than they probably should have been. Overall, I thought Buchanan fought very well and let's hope the hand injury isn't too serious.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Boxing Along The Beltway Celebrates One-Year Anniversary!!

Happy Birthday to Boxing Along the Beltway! The blog celebrates its first birthday on Saturday, July 29! Here's my way of saying thanks!

For those who can't hear the audio posts, let me say that I will be on vacation for about two weeks, so the posts will not be as frequent. But, I will be back in time for the events from August 9-12.

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Aiken Title Defense Set! is reporting that IBF Featherweight champion Eric "Mighty Mouse" Aiken's title defense against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero is now officially set.

The Forestville, MD native's first title defense will be on Saturday, Sept. 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be shown on Showtime Championship Boxing. The bout will be the televised co-feature to the WBC heavyweight elimination bout between James Toney and Samuel Peter.

Aiken will come into the bout with a record of 16-4, 12 KO's while Guerrero is 18-1-1, 11 KO's.

From the 'Whatever Happened To' Department!

Came across some interesting video online today. is showing exclusive footage of a sparring session in Fort Lauderdale, FL featuring Sultan Ibragimov, who is preparing for Friday night's ESPN2 bout against Ray Austin.

Ibragimov's sparring partner in this session is none other than DC's own Corey "T-Rex" Sanders. Sanders has been a well-sought out sparring partner over the last couple of years after completing his pro career in February of 2004. He was in the camp of Mike Tyson before Tyson's loss to Kevin McBride last year at Verizon Center.

Sanders had a pro record of 23-10 with 15 KO's. His career was cut short after suffering an eye injury in one of his two most notable bouts; a July 1998 nationally televised loss to Andrew Golota. Sanders gave everything he had before losing a 10-round unanimous decision.

Sanders won seven straight bouts after the Golota bout, including a solid eight-round technical knockout over current Hasim Rahman opponent Oleg Maskaev. However, the eye got progressively worse and he lost his last four bouts. Sanders was stopped by DaVarryl Williamson in the fifth round in July of 2002, lost an eight-round unanimous decision to Nicolay Popov and lost regional title bouts to Elicer Castillo and Timo Hoffman by unanimous decision.

Once again, the video can be found on It's a little over 18 minutes long.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jimmy Lange Returns to Patriot Center in October; Nick Kisner Wins in Amateur Tourney!

Great Falls, VA middleweight Jimmy Lange returns to action on Saturday, October 7 at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Lange (26-3-1, 18 KO's) will face Thomas Wilt of Altoona, PA in a 10-round contest.

Lange will try to bounce back from a third-round TKO loss to Joey Gilbert for the NABO Middleweight championship on February 18 at the Patriot Center.

Wilt (20-5, four KO's) has won his last two bouts, both against Baltimore veteran Mike McFail. Both bouts were six-round unanimous decision wins for Wilt in West Virginia in March and May of this year. Wilt has defeated McFail three times in his career.

Wilt has fought many of the competition that, over the years, has come into the Beltway region from out-of-town including Daniel Craycraft, Martinus Clay, Leo Edwards and Vance Garvey. He holds victories over everyone of them except Edwards, who he lost by first round TKO.

Wilt has also fought Beltway Boxers Larry "The Gladiator" Brothers and Charles Clark, defeating them both by six-round unanimous decision. This bout will be Wilt's first scheduled 10-rounder.

Here's an amateur note to pass along: Nick Kisner, the son of local amateur boxing promoter Danny Kisner, recently won the National Cadet Junior Golden Gloves for the 15-16 age bracket in the 201+ pound division. Kisner won both bouts 1 on july 19 and his second on July 20th in Chattanooga, TN.

Kisner now goes to the prestigious Ohio State Fair Tournament next week. I'll check to see if any other Beltway amateurs were successful in that tournament and pass that information along to you.

Breaking News: IBO Sanctions Super Middleweight Tournament!

I have just received word that there will be more at stake for Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan and the other seven participants in the ShoBox Super Middleweight Tournament.

The International Boxing Organization (IBO) will be the sanctioning body for the tournament and all of the bouts will be elimination contests that will lead to the finals on January 5.

The winner of the tournament will be recognized as the IBO Super Middleweight champion of the world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Please Participate in Poll!

Recently, I have been talking to people who are interested in doing webcasts (streaming video play-by-play) of Beltway Boxing cards. They've asked me to gauge the interest of Beltway Boxing fans in this idea. I have put up a poll for you to participate in. The poll is on the left side of the blog between the profile and the links.

I know Ballroom Boxing did this a few years ago, but this is an interesting possibility. Please vote on this idea. Thanks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

'Sugar Poo' Predicts Victory in Tournament!

In the final part of my interview with Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan, he predicts victory in the ShoBox tournament.

this is an audio post - click to play

Buchanan Discusses Super Middleweight Tournament!

Undefeated Capitol Heights, MD super middleweight Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan discusses his involvement in this weekend's ShoBox Super Middleweight tournament.

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, July 21, 2006

This is the Middendorf Interview!

Here is the exclusive interview with matchmaker Chris Middendorf! Thanks to all of you who sent in questions. Unfortunately, I didn't get as many as I hope, so I added some of my own. However, I think this is one of the most interesting and informative interviews I've ever been a part of. My thanks also to Chris for taking time to answer the questions.

Q. A couple of folks wanted to know about your background. I know you are in the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame as a champion sailor. But a couple of folks wanted to know about your background and how you got into this business of matchmaking.

A. In May of 1987 I made a deal with a friend of mine and ended up with a piece of the then current USBA Light Heavyweight champion, Prince Charles Williams. Six months later he beat Bobby Czyz and he reigned as World Champ for three years. It was fun, I was a silent partner and I made some money. A few years later together with that same friend, I became a more active manager and signed a number of fighters in the area and a few across the country. We signed Teddy Reid when he was 2-1, a group of heavyweights including Gerard Jones, Derek Amos, Nelson Adams and a kid from Texas named Calvin Lampkin who was 1-2. Teddy had tremendous success, and was one fight away from a world title and Lampkin ran off 19 straight wins and was about to fight his biggest fight against Oleg Maskaev, when he failed a blood test and his career was over. Throughout the four or five years that I was a manager, I did everything I could to absorb as much about the sport as I could. I was in the gyms everyday, and went to every fight I could. I worked corners, carried the spit bucket, made decisions about opponents, hustled to make fights for our fighters, traveled everywhere. During that time I invested a lot in the fighters and lost every cent of it!

I really owe becoming a matchmaker to (Maryland State Athletic Commission Executive Director) Pat Pannella. I was very careful always and probably a real pain with matchmakers about whom my guys were fighting. Pat finally said to me that I was too involved in the choosing of opponents and if I wanted to stay being a manager that I could not do that. He told me that if I was going to be that involved that I had to become a matchmaker. After a little thought I decided to go that way and a few months later I was doing the shows at Ballroom and some small shows in different places. I knew within a very short period of time that it was a good fit for me. I liked the people and I loved the challenge of trying to put on a good match. So at that point I gave up the management end of representing fighters and turned to working for various promoters across the country to make their matches.

Q. This question comes from another great matchmaker in our area, DC Boxing Hall of Famer J.D. Brown:

"As a former matchmaker for some of the biggest fights in boxing history (Leonard vs. Duran, Leonard vs Hearns, Bowe
vs. Holyfield, and Buster Douglas vs. Holyfield), I know the pressure you get in putting good fights on. Tell the audience what it takes to make a fight happen because I don’t think they have a clue of what goes on behind the scenes, and a fight is not a fight until the bell rings."

A.“I was running and I took a different route because the rain had caused there to be puddles on this one street, and I got chased by a dog, jumped over a fence to get away and sprained my ankle so I can’t fight on tomorrow nights card”!

I received that message one night from a fighter after a weigh-in. Why was the fighter running at night after a weigh-in I will never know, or maybe he was not running at all! But working as a matchmaker you have to love what you do and you have to take these calls in stride. Fighters get hurt; have problems with their managers, fall outs with their trainers, problems with their families, their jobs, their parole officers. They have all sorts of medical problems, all sorts of reasons why they might not climb through the ropes. What I am doing is working with the managers or the fighters to make a match for them against someone that they feel that they can beat at an amount of money that is appropriate to the level of the fight, the type of promotion, whether or not it is televised and whether it fits with their schedule and the development of their career. It is a constant negotiation until the contract that I sent out gets signed and returned.

Then there is the harrowing time leading up to the weigh-in, where I am hoping that the fights stay together at the same time as I am looking forward to what I imagine to be good fights. I have been blessed by doing so many shows at the Ballroom where Scott and Mike Wagner have not had promotional deals with fighters. This has allowed them to try to simply put on good fights and be willing to pay for them. For many years the shows were broadcast everywhere and it was more than easy for managers or promoters to be willing to take a riskier fight with their prospect because of the television exposure. That made it much easier to convince them and the fighters. Knowing that you were getting national television exposure, managers knew that they stood to gain a lot by having their fighter look good at the Ballroom. For a period we have been without that, which has made it much harder, but there will be television at the Ballroom again soon enough, and then things will change back. But whether there is TV or not what makes it great being a matchmaker is when the stars align and you get a great fight, whether it is a four rounder between two pro debuts or a main event.

Just like any fan, if I can sit back and enjoy a great fight and an enthusiastic crowd, what could be better? Maybe the last at bat in the bottom of the ninth, or overtime in Stanley Cup hockey, or the finals of March Madness are comparable, but for me, I will take two great, well matched fighters and the ebb and flow of an even fight. When fights can be a combination of brilliant tactics and fantastic athletic ability, combined with the tension of the moment and a wild crowd, that is, for me, a peak moment in sport. At those moments, there is no greater sport in the world, and to play a small part in it by being the matchmaker is very, very special.

Q. One person wanted to know about your thoughts on the Beltway Boxing scene, the champions and contenders.

I have lived in the DC area since 1974. This area has always been one of the most important areas in the world for producing great fighters and tremendous champions. Just look at the fighters of the last ten years- Joppy, Holmes, Reggie Green, Coley, Lamont Pearson, Mitchell, Too Sharp, Teddy Reid, Corley, Andrew Council, Rahman...the list goes on. And then look at what is going on now with Aiken as a world champ, Rahman defending his belt, the world finally waking up to Tony Thompson, Corley getting ready to win a world title again, Joppy ready to make another go of it. Then you have a youth movement with the Peterson brothers, Buchanan, Arvin, Tim Coleman, Tyrell Samuel and a terrific group of rising stud young amateurs. One of the reasons it has been so great to be involved in the boxing scene here is the fact that we have such a knowledgeable fan base. Maybe it is because of the amateur programs or just because of the quality of fighters that grew up here, but doing shows across the country, the fans here are far and away some of the most sophisticated fight fans. They can appreciate a great tactical fight where the same fight might be booed someplace else. They know what they are looking at and that is terrific. In addition it means if I put someone on who I consider prospect and folks have never heard of him, but see him work, get behind him and get excited by him and want to see him again, it becomes very rewarding.

Q. Another person asked why you don't use talent like Mike Paschall, Mike Ricasa, Dean White, Jessie Nicklow and Russ Shifflett. Are they under exclusive contract to Jake Smith?

A. I try and see most of the shows in the area, and especially almost all of Jake Smiths shows, because they are some of the more professional shows in the area. And I go there to enjoy a fight and to check out and see if there is someone that I should be using either at the Ballroom or on shows across the country. As a matter of fact, I saw Dean White beat Ricasa and he impressed the hell out of me. So when I wanted to put Nick Casal in a fight that was a step up for him, I called Dean and made the fight against Casal in Las Vegas. Now it was a very hard fight to make because Dean fell into the age category where he needed to get a huge amount of tests. So I worked with his team and we got it done. And he fought a tremendous fight which ended in a draw. It was a close fight and Dean’s team thought he won. I told him that I would work to do a rematch here in Maryland and it would be a huge attraction at the Ballroom since Casal has fought here before.

Of the other fighters on the list, I have spoken with Russ Shifflett, who is currently not fighting, to try and get him to come out and restart his career. In terms of the others, I do roughly forty shows a year across the country, which seems like a lot and that I should have plenty of slots to put whomever I want on. But in actuality every show has its required fighters, either driven by television or by the site or by the needs of the promoter, so when I go to see Mike or Jessie Nicklow fight, I am watching where they are at and judging how they are developing and just making a mental note so in the future if I see an opportunity to put them in a fair fight then I will. And fair fight is the guiding principle here.

Q. A sidebar question was why wasn't Paschall considered for the Shobox tournament? The writer felt that Paschall had a similar record Lucas Arias who will face Henry Buchanan.

In the case of Buchanan, I have made most of his fights, know him extremely well and know what I think he is capable of. So I am putting him in the Showtime Super Middleweight tournament because I think that he is ready for a step up. He could rise to the occasion and over the next six months win three fights on television and turn into a tremendous young star. So he is going in on a level playing field. Dean White is a tough kid and I knew that he would not only be a test for Casal, but an opportunity for Dean to step up and show us how good he is. He is late in his career, and I am very pleased that he is now going to get the chance to fight Monte Clay next month. And unlike the shows where I am the matchmaker and therefore try to be neutral, I will definitely be rooting for Dean. He deserves success.

I do not know whether Jake Smith has exclusive promotional contracts with fighters. I do not think that he does. In order to ask a fighter to sign an exclusive promotional contract, the promoter must be able to guarantee the fighter certain minimum purse amounts and guarantee a certain number of fights each year. In addition the promoter must have the strength to put the fighter on television and to be able to move the fighter up in the world rankings and to attract quality opponents to come fight his or her fighters.

Q. A few people wanted to know how you as a matchmaker get paid. Is it straight fee, percentage, do you get extra if the matchups are great.

A. Matchmakers get paid by the promoters a set fee per fight card. If it is a high profile TV show it might pay a little more than a club show, but basically the promoters consider that you are making the fights on their card and pay you accordingly. I wish there were extra fees for good matchups, but unfortunately there are none.

Q. A fan wanted to know who is this jr. welterweight out of Texas Americo Santos, and when can we see him again?

A. Americo Santos is a 25-1 jr. welterweight prospect out of Garland, Texas that I work with for Gary Shaw. Every fight he is in is exciting. In his last fight he fought a very tough Mexican fighter named William Morelo for a minor WBC belt. Now Americo is an all offense, no defense type of fighter and for 8 rounds his defense was to stop every one of Morelo’s punches with his face and keep charging forward. There must have been some point where Morelo had to say to himself “who is this crazy mother f*****?”. And by the 9th and 10th round, Americo started to just wear poor Morelo out and finally knocked him out with forty seconds left in the twelfth round. I had ok’d the opponent, knew it was going to be a tough fight, but at the same time since it was for a title the rewards were worth it (Americo’s next fight will either be a main event on an upcoming ShoBox show I am working on, and also coincidentally trying to bring another undefeated area fighter on as the co-feature, or on the Evander Holyfield show in Dallas in August).

Q. What generated the idea for the tournament and why did you pick the Super Middleweight division as the weight class to do a tournament?

A. Several factors- first, I see the day ahead where I will read about a prospect in Zaire on a boxing website over breakfast and be able to click and suddenly be watching his last fight. When that comes and it is almost here, we will become more and more of a global sport. Doing so many shows on Showtime that operates on a smaller budget than HBO, I wanted to seek a new way to attract a broader group of fighters from around the world. This tournament is getting attention around the world and with it will be more and more contacts and calls from fighters who no one has ever heard of who can really fight and want an opportunity and they will be part of future shows. I am already in the planning stages for next year’s version which will be in a different weight class. What I hope is that the first two weeks of the tournament next year can be in another country to help to expand the world view.

And another important factor is so much of what you read in the media is that the audience here is Hispanic and that you must have Hispanic fighters to attract the really large audiences. I think that is a very provincial attitude. The fact is that Hispanic fight fans are great fight fans and right now they come out the most for their fellow fighters, but they know the sport and have great respect for good fights and fighters. If we are able to put on a tournament each year that brings people from all over the world, we create more of a world audience with less pure nationalism driving their choices, and more pure love of great fights.

I was attracted to the super middleweight division because there were seventeen undefeated young guys most of whom were unknowns. I have ended up with six committed to the tournament although one has had visa problems so 5 of the 8 in the tournament are undefeated.

And being from Maryland how could I not include Sugar Poo! Clearly I had to give the world a chance to appreciate him in all his glory. But as I mentioned above I like him as a fighter, he has tremendous heart and I have seen him in fights where he did not train, had problems with the weight, got into deep water and just dug down and knocked the other guy out. I think he has great potential- and what is exciting for me is that I am in the position to give him an opportunity whereby if he wins three fights he will be making some money and on his way to being a star. The question is, will he rise to the occasion and do it. So make sure to tell all your readers to tune in to Showtime at 11pm on July 28th and watch him work!

Q. Is there a "seeding" process that determined the matchups for the first round? If so, where was Buchanan ranked?

A. Seedings were simple as I did not want to put Americans against each other in the first round, and four of the fighters had to fight on August 4th (the second Friday show) so the seedings fell easily into place.

Q. When you make a bout for a promoter, do you do it based on what you think would make the best matchups or do you do it based on what the promoter has brought out in the past? In other words; is your matchmaking gameplan different for Ballroom Boxing than it is for Gary Shaw?

A. The way I do my match ups for each promoter is different. With Shaw there is the tremendous pressure of Showtime or HBO and making quality matchups that work for them. The key is to make a quality match up whereby the style of our fighter works with the style of the opponent so that GSP comes away with a win and then gets a future date on the network for that fighter. Matching up of styles and imagining how a fight will take place, speaking to colleagues in the business about match ups is what I find to be the most intellectually challenging aspect of the sport. For the Ballroom, the matchmaking plan has really been to make Glen Burnie a spot on the boxing map where top prospects go to fight. So bringing in the young guns, matching them up in quality fights and seeing how they perform is what that is about and at the same time putting on the type of fights that the crowd there is used to seeing. If you went with me for a year and saw all the fights that I do, you would realize how few early knockouts there are on any of the shows. And the reason for that is simple and is the basis for my matchmaking- the bottom line is that I am going to be sitting ringside for each fight and I am a fan of fights. I do not want to be bored nor do I want to see a kid get gored. I want to see even fights with quality fighters, sit back and enjoy them. I want all the hours that I spend on the telephone, all the fights that I watch on TV and all the gym visits to mean something and be worth something. And to me that means I want a great fight.

Middendorf's closing comments: "I really appreciate the opportunity to answer these questions. I wish that there were more. I also wish that there was a fair way for me to respond to the really negative comments. Unfortunately, people are going to say whatever they want and the nature of your blog is that they can with complete impunity and anonymity. The sad thing is that that limits the ability of the blog to drive constructive dialogue and it becomes a forum where people feel free to vent. The funny thing to me is that people who have serious questions of how the boxing world works or how fights are made don’t just come up and ask me. If they don’t want to do it in person, they can email me at"

Amateur Results From Woodlawn!

Here are results from tonight's amateur card at Martin's West in Woodlawn, MD:

Heavyweight: Alex Johnson of Keely's Boxing and Youth Center in DC defeated Steve Wheeler of Baltimore Boxing Club by decision in a four-round bout.

Middleweight: Dean Bartch of Brooklyn Boxing over Eric Lowe of Loch Raven by decision.

Super Heavyweight: John Johnson of Cashland Baltimore over Jason Boyer of Fredrick, MD.

Welterweight: Lenwood Dozier of BXF defeated Daniel Ankers of York, PA. by decision.

Lightweight: David Veras of BXF RSC-2 over Devin Desrocher of Brooklyn Boxing.

Middleweight: Vincent Batteasi of BXF over Richard Lin of Baltimore Boxing.

Heavyweight: Darryl Wertz of Baltimore Boxing defeated Michael Snowden of DC.

Thanks to "The Auctioneer" Brad Dudley for his assistance. If there are any corrections necessary, please let me know because it's probably a mistake I made.

Ocean City Boxing Show Shaping Up!

Jake Smith's August 12 boxing card at the Ocean City Convention Center is starting to come together. Here's what it looks like so far:

The main event will be an eight-round super middleweight bout between Essex, MD's Tony "Cyclone" Cygan and David "Weezel" Estrada of Chicago, IL. Cygan (10-1, six KO's) is coming off a difficult six-round majority decision victory over Roy Ashworth on June 21 at Martin's West. Estrada (9-7, seven KO's) has lost his last three bouts including a six-round unanimous decision to Ishmail Arvin on June 15 at Michael's Eighth Avenue.

The co-feature should be an interesting one as Baltimore cruiserweight Willie "For Real" Williams will take on Richard Steward of New Castle, DE. Williams (2-1, one KO's) won his last outing, a four-round unanimous decision over Ryan Madigan on June 21 at Martin's. Stewart (8-1-1, six KO's) fought a six-round draw against Glenn Turner on June 16 in Philadelphia in his last bout. Stewart is gaining more notoriety as the older brother of "The Contender: Season 2" participant Michael "No Joke" Stewart.

In what could be a very interesting contest, Baltimore super middleweight Henry "Hurricane" Mayes will take on James North of Weston, WVA. Mayes (5-1, four KO's) will be trying to bounce back after a tough second-round knockout loss to Jarell Mason Jackson on April 21 at the Pikesville Armory. North (8-12-2, three KO's) has lost his last two bouts to undefeated fighters Roger Cantrell and Anthony Hanshaw, who is in the upcoming ShoBox super middleweight tournament.

Also scheduled to appear on this card are undefeated Baltimore-area boxers Mike "The Persecutor" Paschall (8-0, two KO's)and Jesse "The Beast" Nicklow (5-0, two KO's) along with Reisterstown, MD favorite "Diamond" Matt Hill and undefeated Upper Marlboro heavyweight "Big" Phill Brown (1-0).

More on this card as it develops.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Amateur Show in DC July 29!

Local boxing legend Keely Thompson is hosting an amateur boxing show on Saturday, July 29. It will be "Fight Night in Columbia Heights" at the Number 10 Boys and Girls Club, 2500 14th Street, NW.

According to the information I received, two of the boxers that are scheduled to be featured on the card will be natives of El Salvador who now live and train in DC; heavyweight Edwin Duarte and middleweight Jose Mario Flores. The card is scheduled to begin at 5 PM.

Advance tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for children. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, contact Keely's District Boxing and Youth Center at (202) 232-0193.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Washington Post Profiles Franchon Crews!

A few weeks ago, it was the Baltimore Sun. Today, the Washington Post has a profile on 19-year old amateur boxing sensation Franchon Crews of Baltimore. Looks lengthy and has some nice information. The story was written by Marc Carig.

If you read the story online at, go to the audio slideshow they have. You can hear Franchon talking over some great photos!

Please give the Post positive feedback on this story. It may convince them to do articles on future Beltway Boxers!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Corley Documents Documentary!

In the second part of my interview with DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley, he talks about a documentary project in the works.

this is an audio post - click to play

'Chop Chop' Corley Talks About Sept. 15 Title Bout!

Former WBO Junior Welterweight champion DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley talks about his Sept. 15 title bout against Junior Witter.

this is an audio post - click to play

Schedule Addition: 'Pit Bull' White on ESPN2 August 11!

I just received word that Smithsburg, MD lightweight Dean "Pit Bull" White will also be a part of the busy August I talked about earlier. White will be facing Monty Meza Clay on Friday, August 11 on ESPN2 from Chester, WVA.

Since those two losses to Mike Ricasa and Oronde Dawley in late 2005, White (13-4-1, six KO's) has been on a bit of a roll as he is unbeaten in his last three contests. White won a six-round split decision over Marty Robbins on January 20 in Pikesville then won an eight-round unanimous decision in the rematch against Ricasa on February 23 in Woodlawn.

White then held the highly-talented Nick Casal to an eight-round draw on June 3 in Las Vegas.

Clay, who hails from Rankin, PA, comes into the contest with a record of 20-1, 13 KO's. Clay suffered his first loss in his last contest on May 12 as he was stopped in the 11th round by Edner Cherry in a bout for the NABA Lightweight title.

Franchon Crews -- Golden Glove Champion!

The victories continue for amateur boxing champion Franchon Crews. The 19-year-old from Baltimore won her championship bout at the Women's National Golden Gloves in Fort Lauderdale, FL with a 5-0 decision over Jessica Francois of Baton Rouge, LA.

Crews is now a national champion, a Pan American Games champion and a Golden Gloves champ. It's a shame there will be no women's boxing at the Olympics.

Also at this year's Golden Gloves event, Tyrieshia Douglas of DC won a 125-pound non-tournament bout 5-0 over Donna Blue of Florida.

Busy Time Along The Beltway Coming Up!

The next few weeks will be extremely busy for boxers and fans along the Beltway. Starting this week, Beltway Boxers will be in action somewhere almost every week until the end of August. Some of these items have already been talked about but a couple have not. Here is the schedule so far:

Thursday, July 20, Martin's West-- Baltimore Boxing has an amateur show. One of the featured boxers will be light heavyweight Steve Wheeler.

Friday, July 28, Las Vegas--Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan faces Lucas Arias in first round bout of ShoBox Super Middleweight tournament.

Friday, August 4, Memphis, TN--Anthony Peterson in ESPN2 co-feature against Marc Thompson.

Wednesday, August 9, Ledyard, CT--Teddy Reid takes on former world champion Verno Phillips in ESPN2 main event.

Saturday, August 12, Las Vegas--Hasim Rahman defends WBC Heavyweight title against Oleg Maskaev on Pay-Per-View.

Saturday, August 12, Ocean City, MD--Baltimore Pro Boxing promotes card at the Ocean City Convention Center. The card is scheduled to be telecast for a tape-delayed showing on Comcast.

Saturday, August 19, Reno, NV -- Sharmba Mitchell takes on Paul Williams on HBO's Boxing After Dark.

Saturday, August 19, Springfield, VA--Promoter Scott Farmer is bringing a card to the ABC Sports Complex.

Friday-Sunday, August 25-27, Washington, DC--The Mayor's Cup Invitational Amateur Boxing Tournament comes to the DC Armory.

And that will lead into September, which right now features DeMarcus Corley in a world title bout, a possible IBF Featherweight title defense for Eric Aiken, and pro cards coming to Woodlawn and Glen Burnie!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A. Peterson Returns to ESPN2 August 4!

NABO Lightweight champion Anthony Peterson of DC returns to action on Friday, August 4 when he appears as the co-feature on an ESPN2 card at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN.

The undefeated Peterson (18-0, 14 KO's) will take on Marc Thompson (15-1, 12 KO's, two NC's) of Topeka, KN in a non-title, eight-round co-feature.

Don't let Thompson's record fool you. The only other time he stepped up in competition was in his only loss. He was stopped in the first round by undefeated 140-pound contender Mike Arnaoutis in a bout for the NABO Junior Welterweight title in January of this year.

Other than two wins against Raul Munoz, all of Thompson's other wins have come against debuting fighters or under-.500 boxers. The positive with that is the fact that he has 12 KO's, so he knows what to do with those boxers.

Thompson, A. Peterson Make Major Ratings Moves!

For those of you who believe in the rankings of the major governing bodies, you might be interested to know that two big wins by Beltway Boxers have allowed them to move quickly up the world rankings.

Newly crowned WBC Continental Americas and NABO Heavyweight champion Tony "The Tiger" Thompson of Silver Spring, MD moved up to number six in the WBO and number 10 in the WBC by virtue of his dominating win over Dominick Guinn.

New NABO Lightweight champ Anthony Peterson of DC also leapt into the top 10 as he is ranked number seven by the WBO.

In other ranking news, former three-time WBA middleweight champion William Joppy is listed at number 8 by the WBC at super middleweight and, inexplicably, number 15 at light heavyweight by the WBO.

Also, former WBO Junior Welterweight champ DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley will go into his September 15th WBC Junior Welterweight title bout against Junior Witter ranked number two by that governing body. Witter is ranked number one by the WBC.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Corley Title Bout Date Set; Buchanan Has Opponent for Super Middleweight Tourney!

Two big items here. I can confirm a report that there is now a date for the matchup between former WBO Junior Welterweight champion DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley and Junior Witter. The bout will be for the vacant WBC Junior Welterweight title. The date will be Sept. 15 in London, England.

Corley will come into the bout with a record of 31-4-1, 17 KO's and has not fought since Sept of 2005 in Kinder, LA when he scored a ninth round TKO over Johnny Walker.

A side note about that Louisiana bout: That bout became the catalyst for a proposed documentary about Corley. The film currently has the working title of "Do or Die: A Champion Becomes an Underdog, an Underdog Becomes a Champion." The documentary may be distributed by the end of the year.

I plan to have an interview with the producer of the documentary, Paul Glasco, as well as Corley himself, sometime next week.

If you read one of Chris Middendorf's posts, he mentioned that there is now an opponent for undefeated Henry "Sugar Poo" Buchanan for the ShoBox Super Middleweight Tournament. Buchanan (13-0, 10 KO's) will face undefeated Lucas Arias of Costa Rica (10-0, eight KO's). This bout will be on the first night of the tournament, which will be Friday, July 28 at the PFTC Sports Center in Las Vegas, NV and, of course, will be on ShoBox.

I will be talking to both Middendorf and Buchanan about this tournament. We now have one question for the written Middendorf interview.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Joppy and Brown Talk About the 'Leonard Legacy'!

In the final part of my interview with William Joppy and J.D. Brown, we talk about the legacy of the greatest Beltway Boxer of all time, International Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard and what that has meant to the area pro and amateur boxers over the last 20 years.

this is an audio post - click to play

Joppy and JD Talking Championships at 168 Pounds!

I talked with former three-time WBA Middleweight champion William Joppy and DC Boxing Hall of Famer J.D. Brown about their plans for Joppy in the 168-pound division.

This interview was actually conducted BEFORE Joppy defeated Jonathan Corn this past Saturday in St. Louis. However, due to technical problems beyond my control, it is just showing up today. However, you can get an insight into Joppy's future plans.

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Still Looking: Where are the Middendorf Questions?

I am scheduled to do my interview with matchmaker Chris Middendorf next week. Last week, I requested questions from the Beltway Boxing fans to ask Middendorf. To date, I have received NONE!

Where are all the fans who had the big mouths and wanted to talk bad about the man? Suddenly, when asked to put their name behind their questions, they all slink away! That's PITIFUL!

That shows that some fans have no heart. They're afraid to put their name behind what they say, but they feel they can do so from a distance. Step up! You have until Saturday, July 15 at 11:59 ET to do so.

Remember to send your questions to my email address:

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Joppy Wins in St. Louis!

Former three-time WBA middleweight champion William Joppy (37-4-1, 28 KOs) knocked out Jonathan "Native Sensation" Corn (44-15-2, 23 KOs) at the Saavis Center in St. Louis in the fifth round on the Roman Karmazin-Cory Spinks undercard.

Joppy dropped Corn in the first, then laid him out face first with a big right hand at 2:15 of round five of a super middleweight bout. Says: Aiken vs. Guerrero, Mitchell VS Williams, Corley VS.Witter!

The following information comes from truly one of the best boxing reporters in the business, Dan Rafael of and it involves three high-profile Beltway Boxers.

In his weekly notebook, Rafael writes that IBF Featherweight champion Eric "Mighty Mouse" Aiken of Forestville could make the first defense of his title against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero on Sept. 2. This is a bout that both men have wanted for a long time. Guerrero (18-1-1, 11 KO's) recently avenged his only loss with a knockout over Gamaliel Diaz on June 23 on ShoBox.

Aiken currently has a record of 16-4, 12 KO's. According to Rafael, if all parties agree to the bout and if Showtime decides to carry it, it could end up as the co-feature to the heavyweight bout between James Toney and Samuel Peter.

Another long-talked about battle could take place on August 19 when former WBA Super Lightweight champion the "Little Big Man" Sharmba Mitchell of Takoma Park takes on undefeated phenom Paul "The Punisher" Williams. There was talk that this bout was to take place on May 3, but the bout fell through and Mitchell (57-5, 30 KO's) ended up beating Jose Luis Cruz by 10-round unanimous decision.

What makes this bout even more intriguing is that Williams (30-0, 22 KO's), a native of Augusta, GA, has been training around the Beltway for quite some time now. To me, this is the epitome of a crossroads bout. The contest would headline an HBO "Boxing After Dark" telecast, according to Rafael.

And Rafael notes that negotiations are almost completed for a matchup for the vacant IBF Welterweight title between former WBO Junior Welterweight champ DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley of DC and Junior Witter of England. According to Rafael, the bout will take place in London sometime in September.

Corley (31-4-1, 17 KO's) has not fought since September of 2005 when he stopped Johnny Walker in the ninth round in Kinder, LA. Witter (33-1-2, 19 KO's)has been inactive since October of 2005 when he defeated Colin Lynes by unanimous decision to when the European, British and Commonwealth Junior Welterweight titles in London.

I'll keep you posted on how these bouts develop.

Pearson Stopped in Ninth Round!

Capitol Heights, MD lightweight Lamont "Bay" Pearson was stopped in the ninth round by former WBA Super Featherweight champion Joel Casamayor in Phoenix, AZ. Pearson fought well early, but the former champion got going midway through and forced Pearson to stop boxing at 44 seconds of the ninth round.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nice Baltimore Sun Article on Franchon Crews!

Please pick up today's Baltimore Sun for a nice feature article on Amateur boxing champion Franchon Crews. The article's called "Knockout Voice, Killer Punch" and it was written by Lem Satterfield and John Eisenberg.

Crews will head to the national Golden Gloves this weekend.

Also, please send positive feedback to the Sun about this article. Let's convince the editors that boxing should be written about more frequently in their paper.

Thanks should also go to the Baltimore Examiner for picking up the slack. They have written some nice stories recently on Tyrell Samuel and Mike Ricasa. You can check their website to see those stories. I wish their brethren at the DC Examiner would do the same.

Pearson-Casamayor Weights!

Capitol Heights, MD lightweight Lamont "Bay" Pearson weighed in at 134 pounds for tonight's ESPN2 matchup against former WBA Junior Lightweight champ Joel Casamayor, who weighed in at 136.

There is a great preview of this bout on written by one of my favorite writers, Graham Houston. Please check it out.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pearson Assesses DC Boxing Scene!

In the final part of my interview with Lamont "Bay" Pearson, he gives his views on the local boxing scene.

this is an audio post - click to play

Lamont Pearson Talks About July 7 Contest!

Lamont "Bay" Pearson, now fighting as a lightweight, joins me to talk about his July 7 nationally televised ESPN2 bout against former WBA Super Featherweight champion Joel Casamayor.

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 02, 2006

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT! Interview with Chris Middendorf Coming Soon!

To answer some of the comments and questions concerning boxing in this area and beyond, I will be interviewing matchmaker Chris Middendorf later this month. This interview will be done in a slightly different manner as it will be a strictly written interview.

Another difference is that Middendorf will answer questions that will come primarily from you, the Beltway Boxing fans! To be a part of this, there are some guidelines you will have to follow.

1. No anonymous questions. Please list your real name and the town you live in. Not only will this give me an idea on where the readership for the blog is coming from, but, in all honesty, there should be ownership provided by those who want to ask tough questions. Feel free to ask him about the Ballroom Boxing promotion, the upcoming ShoBox Super Middleweight Tournament (where he serves as matchmaker) or anything else involving the sport.

2. Only questions will be answered. This will not be a forum to dish out any personal attacks against Middendorf or anyone else. No name-calling will be allowed in this interview.

3. Please do not send your questions here to the blog. Send your questions to my email address: I will pass the questions on to Middendorf.

4. The deadline to send your questions in for the interview will be Saturday, July 15 at 11:59 PM ET.
I will write up the interview for the blog the following week.

I am looking forward to your questions and this interview. Thanks!

Reid Faces Phillips on ESPN2 August 9!

Adelphi, MD junior middleweight Teddy "Two-Gun" Reid returns to action on Wednesday, August 9 when he faces former IBF and WBO Junior Middleweight champion Verno Phillips at the Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT. The bout will be televised by ESPN2.

Reid (23-7-2, 17 KO's) returns to the scene of his last bout, a 10-round draw against J.C. Candelo on January 20. In that bout, Reid lost two points for roughhousing.

Ironically, Phillips' last bout was also against Candelo on April 5 in New Orleans. Phillips (39-10-1, 20 KO's) won a 10-round unanimous decision.

Nwodo Wins USBA Cruiserweight Title!

Baltimore cruiserweight Emmanuel “Chukwu” Nwodo added his name to the growing list of cruiserweight contenders with an explosive third-round knockout over Chicago, IL’s Chris “Cold Steel” Thomas to win the vacant USBA Cruiserweight title at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA.

In front of a standing-room only crowd of 1,500, Nwodo wasted no time in winning the title. The native of Enugu, Nigeria dropped Thomas with a picture-perfect left hook a minute into the first round. Thomas, a former NABA Cruiserweight titleholder, showed a lot of resolve getting up from the punch and surviving the round, but he never got back in the bout.

By the third round, Nwodo was in complete control of the contest. Nwodo sent Thomas to the canvas for the second time in the contest with a right-left combination. Seconds later, Nwodo sealed the victory as Thomas walked into a straight left hand and fell back to the canvas. Referee Joe Cooper waved the bout off at 2:30 of the third.

“I trained strong (for this fight)” said Nwodo, who came into the contest ranked third by the USBA. “I know I am strong like a brick. I know I am one of the best cruiserweights out there right now and I can show what I am made of.”

The win was the 10th straight for Nwodo, who is 10-0 with eight KO’s since fighting full time in the United States. Overall, the victory raises Nwodo’s record to 20-4 with 16 KO’s. Thomas, who was ranked fourth by the USBA, falls to 16-5, 14 KO’s.

In other bouts on the card, DC middleweight Purcell “Hard Rock” Miller captured his first victory since returning from a five-year hiatus. Miller scored a second-round TKO over Ron Krull of Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

After a relatively even first round, Miller started to land solid body shots on Krull, resulting in Krull dropping to the canvas. As Krull got up from the punch and came forward, he ran right into a Miller straight right hand followed by another wicked body shots. Referee Cooper called the bout at 1:24 of the second.

This was Miller’s third contest since his hiatus. He fought a tough six-round draw against Jason Naugler in November 2005 then lost a controversial second-round TKO to Dante Craig in March of this year. Miller’s record is now 22-4-1, 17 KO’s. Krull’s record drops to 6-28 with five KO’s. He is winless in his last 14 bouts and has lost 10 in a row.

In what was billed as a “turf war” between two long-time Washington-area fan favorites, cruiserweight Derek Amos now of Woodbridge, VA, made short work of Stafford's Jason Waller, registering a first-round knockout.

Amos sent Waller crashing to the canvas early in the round with a crushing left-right combination. Referee Cooper didn’t bother to count and the bout was stopped at 38 seconds of the round.

The bout was Amos’s first in three years and broke a 12-bout losing streak. His record is now 14-22, nine KO’s. The loss was Waller’s sixth straight and drops his record to 28-33-4, with 19 KO’s.

In super middleweight action, Akron, OH’s Delbert Sommerville made his pro debut a successful one by defeating local fan favorite “Money” Mike Sawyer of Falls Church by four-round unanimous decision. Sommerville showed good speed and repeatedly beat Sawyer to the punch, though Sawyer showed good resilience. All three judges (Gail Carpenter, Brian Costello and Greg Coleman) scored the bout, 39-37. I scored the bout a draw, 38-38.

The loss was Sawyer’s first in his pro career. His record is now 2-1, one KO.

In a battle of young heavyweights, Ray Grant of DC scored a quick first-round knockout over Akron’s Dennis King to win his pro debut.

Grant dropped King with the first straight right he threw in the contest. King did not beat referee Rick Ellis’ count and the bout was stopped at 28 seconds of the round. With the loss, King is now 0-3.

In the curtain-raising contest, debuting cruiserweight William Prieto of Akron won a relatively easy four-round unanimous decision over Boris Calizat of Arlington, also making his pro debut.

Prieto kept Calizat at bay throughout the contest with good hand speed. In the latter stages of the bout, Prieto taunted his opponent by dropping his hands and sticking out his face before firing his punches. All three judges and the Fightnews scorecard saw the bout 40-36.

The promoter and matchmaker for the card was Han “Sugar” Kim.

Other notables in attendance included former WBC Middleweight champion Keith Holmes, ShoBox super middleweight tournament participant Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan, former “Contender” star Jimmy Lange, and Beltway-area prospects Thomas “KO” Snow, Reggie “The Mechanic” Holly, Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow and Ibn Ali, the nephew of Muhammad Ali.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: This was a really solid card that featured an exceptional performance by Emmanuel Nwodo. This past week saw two Beltway Boxers make major strides in their careers. First it was Tony Thompson and now Nwodo. If you combine Nwodo's win with the loss suffered by cruiserweight contender Dale Brown Friday night on ESPN2, Nwodo should be in prime position to get a shot at a world title in 2007. Nwodo told me that his people may want to take one more bout before a title shot.

By the way, the tally now reads one world title and five regional belts won by Beltway Boxers so far this year!

Purcell Miller needed a victory badly and he got a good one against a pretty tough opponent in Ron Krull. Miller may still be able to bring a lot to the table in the ring. His ring entrance is still one of the best I've seen anywhere in boxing with the full brass band leading him to the ring.

Tough going for Mike Sawyer. He just couldn't get going in this contest. I didn't think Delbert Sommerville was that wonderful of an opponent, but Sawyer was a step slow tonight, although I thought it could have been a draw.

I really didn't think Derek Amos was going to knock out Jason Waller. That rarely happens to Waller, but Amos just caught him.

The bout itself generated a lot of nostalgic feelings for me because I covered both guys at the beginning of their careers. An added bit of nostalgia came when I saw Amos's father, Herman, for the first time in many years. Herman Amos was a promoter in the early to mid- 90's and he along with his business partner, Spurgeon Montgomery, put on the first boxing cards at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. Of course, Derek appeared on many of those cards and those events helped get the TV series I appeared on, "Boxing Spotlight," generated throughout the area.

I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ray Grant, but he definitely brought a crowd with him to the bout. Grant made short work of King but someone who already has a fan base makes him one to watch right off the bat.

Speaking of the crowd, they came in full force for this show. Kudos have to go to Han Kim and his staff for making a jump from their last show in late April which was a typical club show, to hosting a regional title bout. That is not always typical of what happens in this business but they can definitely build on this.

Dominic Wade Wins Gold Medal at Junior Olympics!

Congratulations to Largo, MD's Dominic Wade who won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the Junior Olympic National Championships in Marquette, Michigan.

Wade defeated Issac Atencio of Denver, CO by a score of 9-3 to capture his second straight Junior Olympic title. Wade also scored his second straight victory over Atencio. Wade beat Atencio earlier this year for the 2006 Silver Gloves championship.

Because of his victory, Wade will travel to Antalya, Turkey to compete in the 2006 Cadet World Championships August 3-14.

Three other Beltway Boxers won silver medals at the Junior Olympics. Gary A. Russell of Capitol Heights lost his final bout in the light welterweight division to Gerardo Iberra, Jr. of Houston, TX by a score of 14-12. Super heavyweight Zakki Scott of Temple Hills was stopped by defending champion Trevor Bryan of Albany, NY in the third round. In the 95-pound division, Darious Moton of Oxon Hill lost by a 14-2 decision to Favian Cervantez of Arleta, CA.

By the way, there was a slight error in the last update on this story. I received information through USA Boxing that Moton and Wade were brothers. That is wrong. My apologies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Scale Watch for Springfield, VA card!

Here are the weights for tonight's card at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA.

Emmanuel Nwodo 199 3/4 VS Chris Thomas 195
Jason Waller 195 VS Derek Amos 201
Mike Sawyer 159 VS Delbert King (will weigh-in today)
Purcell Miller 168 VS Ron Krull 177
Ray Grant 254 1/2 VS Dennis King (will weigh-in today)
Boris Calizaya 181 1/2 VS William Prieto (will weigh-in today)

I will post the results about this time tomorrow. I also hope to have complete results concerning our local amateurs in the Junior Olympics and I will have a MAJOR announcement about an upcoming interview that will be on this site by the end of the month.