Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'Bombs Away on Pearl Harbor Day' in Pikesville!

The state of Maryland will host its 17th and final pro boxing card of 2006 on Thursday, December 7 at the Pikesville National Guard Armory in Pikesville, MD. Promoter and recent Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Jake Smith will put on Baltimore Pro Boxing’s second annual “Bombs Away on Pearl Harbor Day” card.

One of the featured bouts pits two boxers looking to change their recent fortunes. Baltimore heavyweight Jed “The Punisher” Phipps will take on Ralph “Wild Wild” West of Jamboree, KY. Both fighters have lost their last two bouts. Phipps (17-5, 10 KO’s) lost by eighth-round DQ to Leo Nolan for the USBO Heavyweight crown on August 26 in Pompano Beach, FL. West (16-9-1, 13 KO’s) is coming off a third-round knockout at the hands of Michael Marrone on September 2 in Los Angeles.

The other co-feature bout will have undefeated Severn, MD middleweight Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow (7-0, five KO’s) taking on hard-punching Jason Champion of Capitol Heights (3-1, two KO’s). Nicklow is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Osbourne on the last Pikesville, MD card on October 26. Champion won by third-round TKO over Brandon Darby on May 19 in Morgantown, WVA.

In other bouts on the card, Baltimore super middleweight Henry “Hurricane” Mayes (5-1, four KO’s) will match up against John “Chi Chi” Rosado, (4-3-2, two KO’s) of the Bronx, NY. Mayes is trying to bounce back from a six-round unanimous decision loss to Dhafir Smith on August 12 in Ocean City, MD. Rosado has not fought since losing a six-round unanimous decision to Sam Reese in November of 2002 in Glen Burnie, MD.

Laurel, MD cruiserweight Nick Caroleo (2-0, one KO) will take on Robert Evans (0-1, Philadelphia. PA.) Caroleo has not fought in more than a year, winning by second-round TKO over Albert Bandikebicius on November 26 in Upper Marlboro, MD.

In heavyweight action, “Irish” Glenn Williams (3-3-1, three KO’s) will battle Derrick Martin of South Carolina. Williams, now fighting out of Catonsville, MD will try to win his second straight bout after scoring a second-round TKO over Dalonta Marshall on the last Pikesville card. Martin has a record of 1-0, his lone win coming by first-round TKO over Kevin Varnadore on October 26 in Charleston, SC.

The card is also scheduled to include the pro debuts of highly touted amateurs Elias "The Golden Greek" Boulbassis, Dalemanik Roberson-El and female champion Shelly Sievert.

There are also scheduled to be a number of amateur bouts on the card as well.

Russell B. Williams: 1929-2006!

The name on this heading was not a boxer, but he was a TRUE champion -- not only in my eyes but in the eyes of the many, MANY people he touched.

Russell B. Williams is my father. On Monday, November 27, my father passed away. He was 76 years old.

My father was a DC Public School teacher for 32 years (at Bell Vocational High and Lincoln Junior High). I can't tell you the number of people who have said and can truly say they were touched by this man.

As Discombobulating Jones said in his post (Thank you so much, DJ) my dad and I were very close and he is a big part of the reason (along with my Mom) why I am the way I am today. He took me to my first boxing match -- May 16, 1977-- Muhammad Ali vs. Alfredo Evangelista at the Capital Centre. He also did everything a father could possibly do for his son.

We will celebrate his life on Wednesday, December 6 at 10 am at First Baptist Church of Glenarden
3600 Brightseat Road
Landover, MD.

By the way, December 6 would have been Dad's 77th birthday. It seems appropriate that he came into this world on that date and now he is going home on the same day.

Please bear with me if the updates here aren't as frequent as usual during this time. Thank you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mack Lewis Story Found on Web!

I am very late on this, but I came across a great article on the legendary Baltimore trainer Mack Lewis. The story was written in October by another legendary Beltway Boxing figure, the great boxing writer Alan Goldstein.

The story was featured in the Press Box newspaper which is free in the Baltimore area. It can be found online at this address:

Saturday, November 25, 2006

'For Real' Williams Wins in Erie, PA!

Congratulations to Baltimore light heavyweight prospect Willie "For Real" Williams who won a close, six-round majority decision over D'Andre McCole this past Tuesday at the Avalon Hotel in Erie, PA.

According to, Williams survived a knockdown in the fifth round as he was dropped by a McCole left hook. Williams won the decision by the scores of 56-56, 56-55 and 57-55.

Williams is now 6-1, two KO's. McCole, who lost to Russ Shiflett in March of 2004 at Martin's West and to Corey Cummings in September of 2004 in Ocean City, falls to 4-16-3 and has lost seven straight.

Williams is still scheduled to be a part of the "Bombs Away on Pearl Harbor Day" on Thursday, December 7 at the Pikesville National Guard Armory.

Willie Pep: 1922-2006!

The boxing world lost one of its true legends earlier this week. Former world featherweight champion Willie Pep passed away on November 23 in Hartford, CT.

Pep, known as "The Will O' The Wisp," was regarded by many as the greatest defensive fighter of all-time. He won more bouts than any other boxer with a record of 230-11-1, 65 KO's in an incredible 26-year career from 1940-1966. He was famous for his four struggles with fellow hall of famer Sandy Saddler. Pep lost three of the four bouts, but his February 11, 1949 victory over Saddler in Madison Square Garden was voted Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year.

Pep fought a number of times in the Beltway area. On December 14, 1942, Pep fought in DC for the first time, scoring a seventh-round TKO over Jose Aponte Torres. On February 15, 1943 Pep won a 10-round decision over Bill Speary at the Century Club in Baltimore.

On November 27, 1944, Pep won a 10-round decision over Pedro Hernandez at Uline Arena in DC. On December 13, 1945 in Baltimore, Pep fought Baltimore boxer Jimmy McAllister to a 10-round draw, surviving a knockdown in the second round.

Five years later -- July 25, 1950 -- Pep fought for the first time in Griffith Stadium in DC, defeating Bobby Bell by 10-round unanimous decision. One year later -- June 4, 1951 -- Pep fought for the final time in the area, defeating Jesus Compos by 10-round decision in Baltimore.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here They Are: The 2006 Boxing Along The Beltway Year-End Excellence Awards!

As promised, here are the categories and candidates for the first annual Boxing Along The Beltway Year-End Excellence Awards! Here is the way YOU can be a part of this process:

1. This post and the next three after this one (scroll down) list a total of nine categories and who I feel should be considered the top candidates for those awards. Write-in selections can be included, provided they fit the criteria of the category.

2. Please make ONE selection per category per ballot. You can send in more than one ballot. I would appreciate it if you can make all your selections on one ballot.

3. You will not be able to post any comments or votes on the blog. Send your ballots to this email address: Voting begins TODAY and will continue until Friday, December 29.

4. There will also be an "Unofficial Official" award done purely for fun. For this, you will create the name of the category and the recipient for the award. Have fun with this award but try not to be hateful.

An example of an "Unofficial Official Award" would be: Most Exciting Boxing Area: The Beltway.

Folks, please try to take this venture as seriously as possible. This may be the only way our Beltway Boxing community will be honored for what they do. They deserve the support and the opportunity to know that you appreciate what they do. I could have selected these awards myself, but I think we have a big enough and informed enough community to choose this. If we don't honor our own, who will?

Let me add a disclaimer: All boxing people listed in categories are listed in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. They are not ranked by me in any way. Records are not listed purposely. I don't want to influence voting in ANY way. All events listed in categories are listed in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. If you want information about a certain boxer, bout or moment, feel free to check the archives here.

With that said, this post will have the first three categories: Ready? Here we go!


Given to the Beltway Boxer who has made the biggest impact in their first year of competition. Candidates in this category started their pro career between November 2005 and November 2006.

Top Candidates:

“Big” Phillip Brown

Nick “Flash” Collins

Andrew “Doo Man” Farmer

Horace “The Reason” Grant

Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow

Juan Carlos Robles

“Money” Mike Sawyer

Thomas “KO” Snow

Willie “For Real” Williams


Given to the boxer voted most likely to be a future title contender.

Top Candidates:

Ishmail “The Arsenal” Arvin

Ty Barnette

Tim Coleman

Tony “Cyclone” Cygan

Andrew “The Doo Man” Farmer

Jarell Mason Jackson

Henry “Hurricane” Mayes

Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow

Mike “The Persecutor” Paschall

Tyrell Samuel

Thomas “KO” Snow


The boxing victory that gave the biggest boost to that boxer's career and the Beltway Boxing community.

Top Candidates:

Eric Aiken wins NABA Featherweight title with seventh-round TKO over Darby Smart, January 20

Tony Thompson wins Maryland State Heavyweight title with fourth-round TKO over Brandon Cabell, January 26

Lamont Peterson wins WBC Americas Junior Welterweight title with 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Leo Moreno, February 17

Henry Buchanan wins Tri-State Cruiserweight title with first-round TKO over Lloyd Bryan, March 3.

Eric Aiken defeats former IBF Bantamweight champion Tim Austin by sixth-round TKO, April 1

Sharmba Mitchell defeats Jose Luis Cruz by 10-round unanimous decision, May 3

Eric Aiken wins IBF Featherweight title via eighth-round DQ over Valdemir Pereira, May 13

Anthony Peterson wins NABO Lightweight title with unanimous decision over Adan Hernandez, June 16

Tony Thompson wins WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title with unanimous decision over Dominic Guinn, June 28

Emmanuel Nwodo wins USBA Cruiserweight title with third-round TKO over Chris Thomas, July 1

Henry Buchanan wins quarter-final bout in Showtime Super Middleweight Tournament bout with 10-round unanimous decision victory over Lucas Green Arias, July 28

Send ballots to

Category Number 4 in the Year-End Excellence Awards!

Category Number 4 in the Year-End Excellence Awards!
This next category is a bit long so I decided to make it a post by itself.


The Beltway Boxing card that generated the most excitement and had the best matches.


January 20, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD – Tony Cygan vs. Billy Lyell, Jed Phipps vs. David Cleage, Dean White vs. Marty Robbins

January 26, Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD – Tony Thompson vs. Brandon Cabell, Tyrell Samuel vs. Raul Rivera, Derek Ennis vs. Martinus Clay

February 4, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA – Mike Sawyer vs. LaGene Richardson, Zain Shah vs. Leo Edwards, Willis Lockett vs. Elijah Dickens

February 18, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA – Jimmy Lange vs. Joey Gilbert, Daniel Attah vs. Isidro Granados, Jarell Mason Jackson vs. Carlos Jones

February 23, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD – Dean White-Mike Ricasa II, Adam Bloom vs. Glenn Williams, Jessie Nicklow vs. William Armstead

March 3, Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC – Henry Buchanan vs. Lloyd Bryan, Purcell Miller vs. Dante Craig, Reggie Holly vs. Ken Humphreys

March 9, Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD – Maxell Taylor vs. Derek Ennis, Orazio Robinson vs. Jose Rodriguez

March 24, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD – Jed Phipps vs. Andrew Greeley, Henry Mayes vs. Nick Collins, Jesse Nicklow vs. Larry Brothers

April 21, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD – Henry Mayes vs. Jarell Mason Jackson, Willie Williams vs. Bobby Jordan, Jessie Nicklow vs. Don Shrock

April 29, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA – Emmanuel Nwodo vs. Ron Krull, Calvin Riley vs. Mike Needling, Andre Hemphill vs. Alan Snyder

June 15, Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD – Tim Coleman vs. Muhsin Correbrey, Tyrell Samuel vs. Margarito Lopez, Ishmail Arvin vs. David Estrada.

June 21, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD – Tony Cygan vs. Roy Ashworth, Mike Ricasa vs. Andrew Mendez, Mike Paschall vs. William Gill

July 1, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA – Emmanuel Nwodo vs. Chris Thomas, Purcell Miller vs. Ron Krull, Derek Amos vs. Jason Waller

August 19, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA – Andrew Farmer vs. Grant Messer, Jaime Palma vs. Randy Dobbs, Terry Roy vs. Robert Monroe

September 14, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD – Corey Cummings vs. Barry Butler, Mike Paschall vs. William Gill II, Jessie Nicklow vs. James Shedrick

September 28, Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD – Darnell Wilson vs. Daniel Judah, Ishmail Arvin vs. David Toribio, Tyrell Samuel vs. Carlos Vinan II

October 7, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA – Jimmy Lange vs. Thomas Wilt, Purcell Miller vs. Larry Marks, Larry Brothers vs. Anthony Bonsante

October 20, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD – Mike Paschall vs. Dhafir Smith, Jessie Nicklow vs. Anthony Osbourne, Willie Williams vs. William Bailey

October 23, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD – Wayne Hampton vs. Rowyan Wallace, Carlos Jones vs. William Gill, Phillip Brown vs. Horace Grant

November 9, Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD – Tim Coleman vs. John Campbell, Larry Brothers vs. James Shedrick

Categories 5-7 On the Ballot!

Here are the next three categories in our awards:


The people who have given the Beltway Boxing Community the best action this year.

Top Candidates:

Scott Farmer

Joe Hensley/Nick Tiberi (Major League Boxing)

Han Kim (Sugar Han Promotions)

Gene Molovinsky/Chris Middenddorf (Keystone Boxing)

Jake Smith/Josh Hall (Baltimore Pro Boxing)

Scott Wagner/Chris Middendorf (Ballroom Boxing)

Cassandra White/Jack Crider (Babie Girl Productions)


The Beltway Boxers listed here have been ranked highly by the major governing bodies at some point during the year. This award decides who you think has the best chance of receiving a world title opportunity.

Top Contenders:

Corey “Black Ice” Cummings

Emmanuel “Chukwu” Nwodo

Jimmy Lange

Anthony Peterson

Lamont Peterson

Tony “The Tiger” Thompson

Darnell “The Ding-A-Ling” Wilson


The most explosive punches seen along the Beltway are listed here.


Jed Phipps KO 1 over David Cleage – January 20, Pikesville Armory

Nick Collins KO 1 over Eddie Otts – January 20, Pikesville Armory

Mike Sawyer KO 1 over LaGene Richardson – February 4, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA

Nick Collins KO 3 over Charles Mack-Horne – February 23, Martin’s West

Henry Buchanan TKO 1 over Lloyd Bryan – March 3, Lincoln Theatre

Henry Mayes KO 2 over Nick Collins – March 24, Pikesville Armory

Andre Hemphill TKO 1 over Alan Snyder – April 29, ABC Sports Complex

Tyrell Samuel KO 1 over Fred Fleming – May 4, Michael’s Eighth Avenue

Tyrell Samuel KO 2 over Margarito Lopez – June 15, Michael’s Eighth Avenue

Emmanuel Nwodo TKO 3 over Chris Thomas – July 1, ABC Sports Complex

Derek Amos KO 1 over Jason Waller – July 1, ABC Sports Complex

Andrew Farmer KO 1 over Grant Messer – August 19, ABC Sports Complex

Jimmy Lange TKO 10 over Thomas Wilt – October 7, GMU Patriot Center

The Final Two Categories!

Here are the final two categories in the BATB Year-End Excellence Awards:


The most exciting and competitive bout seen along the Beltway in 2006.


Dean White vs. Mike Ricasa (White wins eight-round decision in rematch) – February 23, Martin’s West

Maxell Taylor vs. Derek Ennis (six-round draw) -- March 9, Michael’s Eighth Avenue

Willie Williams vs. Bobby Jordan (Jordan wins four-round decision) – April 21, Pikesville Armory

Tim Coleman vs. Muhsin Corbbrey (Coleman wins six-round decision) –June 15, Michael’s Eighth Avenue

Corey Cummings vs. Barry Butler (Butler wins 10-round split decision) -- September 14, Martin’s West

Jimmy Lange vs. Thomas Wilt (Lange wins by 10th round TKO) – October 7, Patriot Center

Juan Robles vs. Derek Amos (Robles wins four-round unanimous decision) – October 7, Patriot Center


The boxer who made the biggest impact and progressed the furthest in 2006.


Eric “Mighty Mouse” Aiken

Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan

Emmanuel “Chukwu” Nwodo

Anthony Peterson

Lamont Peterson

Tony “The Tiger” Thompson

Dean “Pit Bull” White

That completes the awards. Once again, please send your ballot (which will include your "Unofficial Official" Award) to The deadline is December 29.

Here is your ballot. (You can copy and add your selections):











Thanks in advance for your participation!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Petersons Remain Undefeated in Mississippi!

The Peterson Brothers continued their winning ways with relatively easy victories last night at Fitzgerald's Casino in Tunica, MS.

Anthony Peterson won an eight-round unanimous decision over former WBO Bantamweight champ Alfred Kotey to raise his record to 21-0, 15 KO's. Sources tell me that Kotey fought in a defensive posture for the majority of the bout and did not give Anthony an opportunity to completely show his skills. Anthony is ranked number four by the WBO and I've been told he could receive a mandatory title shot with WBO Lightweight champ Acelino Freitas at some point next year. He is also ranked number eight by the WBA.

Lamont Peterson won a solid eight-round unanimous decision over Marteze Logan. Peterson received rave reviews for his performance as he won by judges scores of 80-72 (twice) and 80-71. L. Peterson is now 19-0, eight KO's and is ranked eighth by the WBA at junior welterweight.

Results from Springfield, VA!

For those who can't hear the audio posts, here are the results from tonight's card at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA:

Junior welterweight Jaime "The Punisher" Palma of Front Royal, VA scored a fourth-round TKO over Edward Anderson. Palma is now 9-10-1, two KO's. Anderson falls to 3-7, three KO's.

Andrew "Doo Man" Farmer won a fourth-round TKO over Billy "Crowbar" Mitchum of Spartansburg, SC. Farmer is now 4-0, four KO's while the 47-year-old Mitchem is now 6-13-1, one KO.

Heavyweight Terry "T-Brick" Roy scored a second-round TKO over Rob Monroe in the second battle of Front Royal. I must make one correction of a statement I made in the audio post. The first bout between these two ended in a THIRD-round knockout. I originally said it was a first-round TKO. The second fight was actually shorter than the first.

Roy is now 2-0 two KO's, both coming against Monroe, who is now 0-3.

Front Royal junior middleweight Warren "The Mack" Clatterbuck remained undefeated when his opponent "Mean" LaGene Richardson of Boston, MA retired after the first round, because of cramps. Clatterbuck is now 5-0, three KO's while Richardson is 0-5, having been stopped in all five bouts.

Catlett, VA heavyweight Tommy "Mad Dog" Smith won by first-round TKO over Keff Johnson of Philadelphia. According to, Smith fought his first bout since 1992 and raised his record to 3-2-1, three KO's. Apparently, this WAS Johnson's pro debut. I still think he practiced his fall, though.

In the opening contest, Arlington, VA junior middleweight Bayan Jargal used a brutal body shot to stop Boston's Patrick Bozeman at 2:48 of the first round. Bozeman is 0-2.

Let me reiterate some things I said in my post-fight wrap and add some comments as well.

1. In hindsight, this card could have waited to be put on. Promoter Scott Farmer gave an excellent effort to make this show happen. Too bad some of the boxers did not match the effort Farmer showed. Quite frankly, there were boxers on this show who did not deserve to get the fare necessary to get back home.

One of those boxers fought (and I use that word VERY loosely in this case) Farmer's son Andrew. "The Doo Man" is a good prospect with a lot of talent that he didn't get to show because he had an absolute fool facing him. Billy Mitchem embarrassed himself and tried to embarrass Andrew Farmer. Thank goodness Andrew kept his composure and conducted himself in a professional manner. I hoped that referee Billy Johnson would stop the bout at some point just on general principle.

2. Palma looked very impressive, the best I've seen him in the ring so far. What is equally impressive about "The Punisher" is his growing fan base. Not only is it impressive in number, but also in makeup. Palma has a "Rainbow Coalition" in the making here. There are African-Americans, Caucasians, Latinos and other nationalities in his fan base. This fan base is very unique to this area. Palma seems to be turning his career around and it will be interesting to see how his fan base grows as he continues to win.

3. I want to commend the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations and its chair, David Holland. Mr. Holland knew immediately that there seemed to be something wrong with a number of situations involving the card. He asked questions and he was very proactive throughout the card. I don't think he was very pleased with what took place tonight. He's not the only one.

Post-Fight Wrap-Up from Springfield, VA!

Gabcast! Boxing Along the Beltway #19 - Post-Fight Wrap-Up from Springfield, VA!

In this post, I recap a bizarre and frustrating card from the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA

'Punisher' Palma Discusses Victory in Springfield!

Gabcast! Boxing Along the Beltway #18 - Jamie Palma Discusses Punishing Victory!

Jaime "The Punisher" Palma talks about his impressive fourth-round TKO over Edward Anderson tonight at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Special Attraction Added to December 9 Virginia Card!

I have known about this for awhile folks, but I wanted to wait until the announcement was officially made this morning.

Those of you who are fans of the popular radio show "The Junkies" on WJFK-FM 106.7 already know this, but JP (John-Paul Flaim) of the Junkies will make his professional boxing debut on the December 9 show at the Patriot Center. JP made the announcement on the show this morning, to the complete surprise of his co-workers Cakes, EB and Lurch.

I know many of you are saying "that's silly!" Before you say that completely, let me say that JP will not be fighting another celebrity or a Playboy Bunny. He will be fighting an actual pro boxer (Jay Watts of Virginia Beach, VA who is 1-8, one KO.) He is training with actual boxers (his trainer is former boxer Willie "The Heat" Taylor) in an actual gym.

Before we take this too seriously, let's be real about this. This is a clever way to sell tickets. That's all it is. I know people will get on this and say, "this just cheapens the sport!" It's not that big a deal, folks. In all the years I've been covering this sport in this area, it is the best way I can remember to have a mainstream radio outlet get involved with a local boxing card.

I heard the announcement today and I think the promotion just sold a boatload of tickets just with the way the announcement was done.

We'll have more in the weeks to come.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!! Year-End Awards Coming Soon!

Today, I announce what I hope will be an annual tradition here along the Beltway. Starting Monday, November 20, voting will begin for the 2006 Boxing Along The Beltway Year-End Excellence Awards!

When I did the Urbanflavorz Boxing Report (the original home for Boxing Along the Beltway), I chose these awards myself. This year, I will have my own choices, but the most important choices will be YOURS!!!

On Monday, November 20, I will post a series of categories and some nominees I think deserve consideration in each category. You will have the option to choose ONE of the nominees or put in a write-in candidate. Only one choice per category, please. There will be some categories where you may have to do some research. Feel free to use the archives here to jog your memory.

There will also be an "Unofficial Official" Award where you will name the award and name it's recipient. This award will be an opportunity to be creative, but please don't be hurtful about it. Try to keep these awards as positive as possible.

ONE OTHER NOTE: You will NOT be able to post your votes here on the blog. I have an email address set up especially for this event. I will announce that email address on Monday as well.

So watch this space on Monday, November 20, for the categories and my nominees in the 2006 Boxing Along The Beltway Year-End Excellence Awards!!

A note to anyone who owns a trophy shop: I would love to give the recipients of the awards nice plaques, but I just don't have the funds. If anyone would like to donate about 12 plaques, please contact me. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Number One on 'My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts' Countdown!

Here is the number one bout on my Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts countdown! I wrote about this bout back in August of 2005, but here it is again.

1. Lloyd "Jabba" Bryan vs. Bernice "The Heat" Barber, November 30, 1995, Martin's Crosswinds, Greenbelt, MD.

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: The bout was a true war of attrition on a night where everything surrounding my boxing career came together.

The bout was a 12-rounder for the vacant USBA Intercontinental Middleweight title and we were going to televise it on Boxing Spotlight. We had just received a spot on what was then Home Team Sports (now Comcast Sportsnet) and the show expanded from one to two hours.

Jabba Bryan was originally from Jamaica, but lived in Capitol Heights, MD. He was a rising undefeated middleweight prospect at the time. Barber was out of Virginia Beach, VA and was a former kickboxing champ who had started to win some state boxing titles. I suggested to our crew that we build this bout up as big as we can. We went to Jabba's gym and interviewed him there. We did pre-fight interviews with both men that looked similar to the ones shown on ESPN, HBO and Showtime. The announcers studied tape on both men to see what kind of bout we might have. Now it was up to the fighters to give us the bout worthy of the buildup.

The bout exceeded the buildup, eventually, although there was a scary moment in the first round. Barber caught Bryan with a vicious right hand and dropped him. Bryan landed awkwardly on his right ankle. Bryan barely survived the round. From the second round on, the excitement kept building. However, Bryan started gaining little advantages and set a new pace for the bout. The advantages seemed to culminate in the 11th round when Bryan dropped Barber with a right hand of his own. But Barber came back later in the round, pressured Bryan and sent him to the canvas for the second time.

During the final round, it seemed like EVERYBODY was drained: the boxers, the fans and the announcers. Bryan had enough, however, to pull out the 12th round and win the title. It was the first time I had ever called a full 12-round bout and I felt like I had BOXED 12 rounds. I had never had that feeling before and haven't had it since. But it was a feeling of total accomplishment. Those two boxers gave it their best and those who saw it are STILL talking about it.

AFTERMATH: The two men fought again in July of 1999 in Atlanta, GA. It apparently is true that the sequel is almost never as good as the original. Bryan knocked out Barber in the first round.

Bryan is still an active boxer. He now fights as a cruiserweight and will be taking on undefeated Matt Godfrey on December 1 in Providence, RI. Barber fought and lost two more bouts before calling it a career in February of 2000.

Lange-Cabell Now a Title Bout; Johnson Off Card; Pultz Return Official!

I have received word that the main event bout on the December 9 card at the George Mason University Patriot Center between Jimmy Lange and Fontaine Cabell will now be for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Junior Middleweight Championship!

Also, former three-time world champ Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson is now off this card completely.

And, the return of former WBO Cruiserweight champion Boone Pultz is now official. Pultz will take on "The People's Champion" Jonathan Felton in a six-round encounter. Pultz, who turns 47 this Saturday, has not fought since September of 1995.

More on these developments later in the week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

DC December 9 Card Taking Shape!

Some bouts have been put together for the Saturday, December 9 card at the Lincoln Theatre in DC, according to promoter Cassandra White.

We've talked about this card marking the return of Clarence "Untouchable" Vinson, however this card is also scheduled to feature the return of one of the members of the family many consider the "First Family of Beltway Boxing." Demetrius Davis makes his return to the ring after an eight-year absence due to legal problems.

Davis (17-11-4, seven KO's) will be fighting as a light heavyweight when he takes on William Gill of Toms River, NJ (5-12, four KO's). Davis fought the bulk of his career as a super middleweight and fought quality people like Eric Lucas, Bryant Brannon, Omar Sheika and Thomas Tate. Davis's biggest win came on April 28, 1998 when he won a 10-round unanimous decision over Joseph Kiwanuka in Philadelphia.

White and matchmaker Jack Crider are still looking for opponents for Vinson and for Thomas "KO" Snow, who recently won by first-round KO in a bout in North Carolina. Snow is now 7-0, five KO's.

Also scheduled to appear on this show are Beltway Boxers Reggie "The Mechanic" Holly and Horace "The Reason" Grant.

An interesting name on this card is Miami, FL light heavyweight Mike "The Pit Bull" Vallejo. This is interesting because Vallejo has only fought one time and that bout was a part of Fox Network's failed boxing reality show "The Next Great Champ" in July of 2004. Vallejo lost by four-round unanimous decision to the eventual overall winner, Otis Griffin.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's OFFICIAL! White-Spivey is ON!!!

I received word today from Major League Boxing promoter Joe Hensley that the eight-round bout between Dean "Pitbull" White and "The Pride of Portsmouth" Dorin Spivey is on for Saturday, December 9 at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.!

Whatever deals that were talked about with former three-time world champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson fell through over the weekend. I think, in all honesty, there was more emotion talking than anything else, but I can say that there were contracts discussed and sent at that point. Hensley says that Johnson will still be a part of the December 9 card.

This bout will be a rematch of a November 4, 1998 bout in Virginia Beach, VA in which Spivey stopped White in the seventh round. The loss was White's second in his pro career. White won one more bout before taking a five-year hiatus from boxing. A spokesperson for White's camp said getting a rematch with Spivey was the main reason White returned to the sport.

Personally, I'm glad to see this bout be official, finally. I felt bad for White because he probably heard about the proposed change through this space. Again, I stand by everything that I previously wrote, but I knew going in that this had to be hard for him.

I'm also glad this bout will take place because, folks, I have a feeling that this will be the one bout everyone will be talking about when the card is over. Those of you who went to the October 7 show saw how tough Spivey is. Dean White is just as tough, if not more so.

Take a look at the record: Since White came back in October of 2005, he has had two bouts with Mike Ricasa (lost the first and won the second) and has fought Oronde Dawley, Marty Robbins, Nick Casal and Monty Meza Clay. Only Robbins had an under .500 record (White won a split decision in that bout on January 20 of this year in Pikesville)

The combined records of Ricasa, Dawley, Casal and Clay are 51-3-2. White went six tough rounds with Dawley, gave Casal the only blemish on his record (an eight-round draw on June 3) and was stopped after a tough six rounds by Clay.

This bout will be a barnburner. It has fight of the year qualities for our area. We'll be talking more about this and the rest of the card in the next couple of weeks.

One other card note: George Mason University's men's basketball team will have their home opener on Saturday, November 18 at 4 PM against Wichita State. During that afternoon, the Patriots will hoist their Final Four banner. At halftime, Jimmy Lange will be signing autographs, as a way of pumping up the December 9 card. GMU Head Coach Jim Larranaga attended the October 7 boxing card at the Patriot Center.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

UPDATE: December 9 Changes Hit Snag!

Updating our previous post. Within the last few minutes,I have found out that the big changes I discussed for the December 9 card at the Patriot Center may not happen after all.

Negotiations for the proposed bout between Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson and Dorin Spivey hit a snag within the last hour. The stumbling block seems to be a battle between a boxer's word and a half a pound in weight.

We know this much: Johnson agreed to the bout and the contract, which called for the bout to be fought at 136 pounds. This would be the heaviest weight Johnson has fought at in his career.

Johnson told me that, while he agreed to this weight, he did it out of emotion and has asked that the bout be fought at 135 1/2, saying that a half-pound should not matter.

Promoter Joe Hensley is sticking to his guns however, telling me that this is a matter of principle and Johnson should stick to his word and fight the bout at 136.

So here's where we stand: If Johnson agrees to the contract, then he will take on Dorin Spivey and the plans are to have Dean White in another prominent bout on the card.

If Johnson doesn't agree, than we revert back to the original plan of White taking on Spivey, but Johnson will be on the card in another bout.

More as this story develops.

DEVELOPING NEWS: Major Shakeup Possible for December 9 Patriot Center Show!

We have a developing story that, if official, will dramatically change the lineup for the December 9 show at the George Mason University Patriot Center. Here's what I know:

It looks like the co-feature bout that was originally scheduled to be an eight-rounder between Dean "Pit Bull" White and Dorin Spivey will be changed. I don't think fans of White will be happy with this.

If this becomes official, White will be moved out of the bout with Spivey and replaced by former three-time world champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson.

I have talked with Major League Boxing's promoter Joe Hensley and he confirmed the possible switch and it is contingent on both men signing the contracts. He also said that White will still have a prominent place on this card.

I have also been in contact with Mark Johnson and he called this bout with Spivey,"a done deal."

I must tell you that this all happened between five and six pm ET. (please note the time of this post). There is more to this story and the reasons behind it. As soon as the official word comes down on this, I will do an audio report/commentary on this situation.

My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts -- Bout # 2!

Here's the runner-up in this countdown.

2. Darryll Tyson vs. Freddie Pendleton, April 29, 1995, USAir Arena

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: It didn’t headline the greatest card in Beltway Boxing history, but it was the bout everyone was talking about when the card was over.

This bout came under the category of “score one for old school.” Here, you had two exciting experienced boxers that were familiar faces in the sport. Two veterans who did it the right way – stayed in shape and stayed committed to the sport they loved.

No one in boxing has ever shown more commitment to his career than “Fearless” Freddie Pendleton. The native of Florida once had an under.500 record, but managed to right his career and win an IBF Lightweight world title in 1993. Pendleton lost his world title the next year and was trying to get back to world title contention going into the bout with Tyson.

Tyson, meanwhile, was on a roll at this point, winning five straight bouts and two regional titles, both coming in the victory over Reggie Green. Tyson would put his USBA Junior Welterweight championship on the line in the bout against Pendleton.

Let me add a personal note here. By this time, the TV series I was on, “Boxing Spotlight,” was getting a solid reputation not only along the Beltway but around the country as well. Our reputation was such that when a card was nationally televised, Boxing Spotlight was allowed to videotape the undercard and show it on a tape-delayed basis.

Because of this, our hope was to convince Don King Productions and Showtime to allow us to videotape the undercard because it was loaded with Beltway Boxers (see August 2005 archive for full rundown on the card). Unfortunately, the people in power did not see it our way.

That’s why one of the best bouts in Beltway Boxing history, as well as the best undercard in Beltway Boxing history has no public video available.

The bout was a classic. Both men were knocked down during the bout and the contest became a war of experience and attrition. Fans knew that both men couldn’t last the full 12 rounds. Unfortunately for Beltway Boxing fans, Tyson withered in the 10th round under a barrage of Pendleton punches and the bout was stopped.

To give you a final idea of how great the bout was, both Don King and Mike Tyson (who was working color commentary for the Showtime telecast in his first full public appearance since his release from prison) mentioned how great the bout was in post-fight interviews and commentary. That does not happen often.

AFTERMATH: Neither man was able to win world titles after this bout, although Pendleton received two more world title bouts after this bout, being stopped by Vince Phillips in the 10th round in December of 1997 for the IBF Junior Welterweight crown and by James Page in the 11th round in July of 1999 for the WBA Welterweight title. Tyson is now a trainer in DC and he is currently working with the returning Clarence Vinson.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Updates of Upcoming Cards!

Here is some information about the last four Beltway Boxing cards of the year. There are very few complete match details, but this will get things started.

Saturday, November 18 at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA. Promoter Scott Farmer has signed the following names:

Undefeated junior welterweight Andrew "The Doo Man" Farmer (3-0, three KO's)

Junior welterweight Jaime "The Punisher" Palma

Cruiserweight Juan Robles (4-0, two KO's)

Junior middleweight Warren Clatterbuck (3-0, one KO)

Heavyweight Terry "T-Brick" Roy (1-0, one KO)

Scott Farmer says that there may be nine bouts on this card.

Thursday, Dec. 7 "Bombs Away on Pearl Harbor Day" at the Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD. The following names have been confirmed for that card by promoter Jake Smith:

Heavyweight Jed "The Punisher" Phipps

Light heavyweight Willie "For Real" Williams

Light heavyweight Henry "Hurricane" Mayes

Heavyweight "Irish" Glenn Williams

Also scheduled will be the pro debut of "The Golden Greek" Elias Boulbassis and national female amateur champion Shelly Severt.

The December 9 show at the Lincoln Theatre in DC is still on. Promoter Cassandra White plans to feature:

The return of Clarence "Untouchable" Vinson

Undefeated featherweight Thomas "KO" Snow (6-0, four KO's)

Welterweight Reggie "The Mechanic" Holly

The December 9 show at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA has the following matchups in place according to promoter Joe Hensley:

Jimmy Lange 10 rounds vs. Fontaine Cabell

Dean "Pit Bull" White 8 rounds vs. Dorin Spivey

Andrew "The Doo Man" Farmer 4 rounds vs. Mike Barnes.

Both Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson and Boone Pultz have opponents in place but the contracts have not been signed. As soon as those bouts are made official, you will get those details.

Full Report from Glen Burnie!

For those who can't get the audio post-fight show from Michael's Eighth Avenue, here is a written report of the action.

Undefeated Baltimore, MD welterweight Tim Coleman probably didn’t think he would be in this position after having only five pro fights. But there he was in a main event bout in front of his hometown crowd during Ballroom Boxing at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD.

The welterweight prospect didn’t even spend time enjoying the experience as he stopped Houston, TX’s John “The Quiet Storm” Campbell at 2:06 of the first round. Coleman came out from the opening bell and just landed rights and lefts repeatedly at the overwhelmed Campbell. Coleman followed Campbell across the ring as Campbell was unable to put up a sufficient defense. Campbell was never knocked down in the bout, but Referee Kenny Chevalier ruled that Campbell was not defending himself sufficiently and stopped the contest.

“He was a pretty game guy, he came to fight,” said Coleman after the bout. “But after the first couple of shots, I knew he wasn’t going to last.”

This was Coleman’s first bout since June 15 and he was coming off a shoulder injury. Coleman said there was a little rust in his performance.

“I saw a lot of flaws in my performance,” Coleman said. I’m just coming back and I really want to get a fight in because I’ve been off for so long.”

Coleman added that there wasn’t any real pressure fighting in a main event this early in his career.

“There’s always pressure fighting in front of your home crowd, but I just come in and do what I do,” Coleman said. “We work hard in the gym and we apply it here.”

With the victory, Coleman raises his record to 6-0, two KO’s. Campbell falls to 1-2, one KO.

The co-feature bout was a battle of two Oklahoma heavyweight prospects. However, undefeated Eric “Danger” Fields of Ardmore turned his battle with Tulsa’s Donald Jones into a very short skirmish.

Fields landed the first punch he threw on top of Jones’s head and sent Jones to his knees. Jones had no opportunity to return punches and suffered two more knockdowns before referee John Gradowski stopped the bout at 2:23 of the first round.

Fields is now 4-0, four KO’s while Jones is now 4-5, one KO.

In other bouts on the card, undefeated lightweight Jorge “The General” Lara of Brooklyn, NY battled Newport News, VA’s James Franks to a tough four-round draw.

Lara, fighting for the first time in more than a year, salvaged a draw by overcoming a nasty cut near the center of his face caused by an accidental headbutt in the third round. Franks used solid body work throughout the contest, but was unable to do enough to get him the victory. Judge Gradowski saw the bout 39-37 for Lara. Judge Don Risher scored the bout for Franks, 39-37 while Judge Malik Waleed saw the draw at 38-38. I also scored the bout a draw.

Lara’s record is now 2-0-1 while Franks is 2-2-1, two KO’s.

In a four-round cruiserweight battle, Reuel Williams of Wilmington, DE spoiled the pro debut of Samir Mohammad of Lexington, KY.

Williams showed solid ring generalship in this bout. Although he was giving ground to his opponent, Williams was still able to beat Mohammad to the punch, landing solid jabs throughout the contest. Williams was able to use this strategy to earn a unanimous decision. Judges Chevalier and Waleed scored the bout 39-37, as I did. Judge Risher gave Williams a shutout at 40-36.

Williams’s record is now 2-1.

In the most interesting bout of the night, undefeated Brooklyn, NY welterweight prospect Martin “Mardi Gras” Wright stopped the debuting Antwon “Supreme” Barrett of Chesapeake, VA in the third round.

Wright managed to stop his opponent despite suffering a very strange knockdown in the first round. As the two boxers came in towards each other, their heads seemed to clash, sending Wright to the canvas. Referee Malik Waleed ruled a knockdown in favor of Barrett. Wright got up quickly and finished the round in good fashion.

By the third round, Wright was in complete control of the bout, using solid body shots and right hands, eventually sending Barrett to his knees. At the 2:47 mark of the third, Waleed asked Barrett if he wanted to continue. Barrett shook his head and Waleed stopped the bout.

Wright’s record is now 2-0-1, two KO’s.

In the opening contest, 42-year-old James “The Mighty Burner” Shedrick of Philadelphia, PA won an easy six-round unanimous decision over 42-year-old Larry “The Gladiator” Brothers of DC. Shedrick landed his right jab early and often, never giving Brothers a good chance to really get into the fight. All three judges (Risher, Gradowski and Chevalier) said Shedrick pitched a shutout, 60-54. I had Shedrick winning 59-55.

With the win, Shedrick is now 4-6, two KO’s while Brothers is 6-21-3, four KO’s.

Scott Wagner served as promoter of the Ballroom Boxing card. The matchmaker was Chris Middendorf.

Quick Results From Glen Burnie!

Here are the quick results from the Ballroom Boxing card last night at Michael's Eighth Avenue:

Baltimore welterweight Tim Coleman scored a first-round TKO over John Campbell. The bout was stopped at 2:06. Coleman remains undefeated at 6-0, two KO's.

James Shedrick of Philadelphia won a six-round unanimous decision over DC's Larry "The Gladiator" Brothers.

Undefeated heavyweight prospect Eric Fields of Ardmore, OK registered a first-round TKO over Donald Jones of Tulsa, OK. Fields is 4-0, four KO's.

Brooklyn, NY's Jorge Lara and James Franks of Newport News, VA battled to a four-round draw.

Reuel Williams of Wilmington, DE won by four-round unanimous decision over Samir Mohammad of Lexington, KY.

Brooklyn, NY's Martin Wright stopped Chesapeake, VA's Antwon Barrett in the third round.

Full report comes later today.

Post-Fight Wrap-Up from Glen Burnie!

Gabcast! Boxing Along the Beltway #16 - Post-Fight Wrap-Up from Glen Burnie!

In this post-fight wrap-up show from Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, "The Fight Doctor" Jerome Spears and I talk about the results of tonight's Ballroom Boxing card.

Tim Coleman Discusses Tonight's Ballroom Victory!

Gabcast! Boxing Along the Beltway #15 - Tim Coleman Discusses Ballroom Victory!

In this interview direct from Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, undefeated Baltimore welterweight Tim Coleman talks about his first round victory over John Campbell.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Scale Watch for Ballroom Boxing Tonight!

Here are the weights for tonight's Ballroom Boxing card at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD.

Tim Coleman 150 vs. John Campbell 146 3/4

Jorge Lara 125 3/4 vs. James Franks 120 3/4

Mike Gutrick 170 3/4 vs. Edward Andre Hemphill 178 1/4

Martin Wright 146 vs. Antoine Barrett 145

James Shedrick 157 vs. Larry Brothers 155 1/2

Donald Jones 192 1/2 vs. Eric Fields 217 1/2

Shamir Mohammed 171 3/4 vs. Reuel Williams 173 1/4

All bouts are four-rounders. The bouts for Tyrell Samuel, Jarell Mason Jackson and Dalemanik Roberson-El have all been scratched.

REMINDER: Check here or on Gabcast to hear my post-fight wrap-up show from Michael's at approximately 11 pm ET.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

History of Beltway Boxing on HBO!

Saw an interesting item on The Sweet Science's Blog. Thirty-four years ago today, HBO started televising boxing.

It got me to thinking: How have Beltway Boxers fared on "The Network of Champions?"

Thanks to and, I was able to do some research that came up with some interesting bouts and numbers. Needless to say, HBO has never had a love affair with the Beltway, but some of our boxers were involved in some notable bouts.

Of course, any talk about Beltway Boxing on HBO has to begin with the greatest boxer to come out of our area, hall of famer Sugar Ray Leonard. The six-time world champion appeared on HBO 11 times from 1978-1989.

Leonard's first bout was on July 18, 1978 in Boston, MA against Dick Eklund. Leonard won a 10-round decision.

Leonard's third HBO bout would be a milestone as it was the first time HBO televised a bout from the DC area. On January 11, 1979, Leonard beat Johnny Gant by eighth-round TKO at the Capital Centre.

Leonard’s other appearances on HBO included both fights with Thomas Hearns, his first swan song bout against Kevin Howard, his championship wins over Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Don Lalonde and his third bout with Roberto Duran.

It would be 14 years before another Beltway Boxer other than Leonard would appear on HBO. I don’t count Riddick Bowe because although he fought out of Fort Washington, MD, he continued to claim Brooklyn, NY as his home. The next true Beltway Boxer to appear on HBO was Laurel, MD’s Percy “No Mercy” Harris. In his final bout on December 5, 1992, Harris lost by fourth-round TKO to a future star named Roy Jones, Jr. in Atlantic City.

Bowe, however, did figure prominently on May 22, 1993 when he headlined a card at RFK Stadium and defended his undisputed world heavyweight title against Jesse Ferguson. Also on the card would be a matchup of future hall of fame boxers as Roy Jones, Jr. defeated Bernard Hopkins. Unfortunately, neither man had blossomed into the stars they would become. The bout was a snoozefest.

For Beltway Boxing on HBO, this marked the beginning of a significant drought. HBO has not televised a card in the Beltway area since the RFK Stadium card. That’s 13 years and counting.

On February 9, 1996, a veteran Beltway Boxer got a close look at boxing’s future when Darryll “Terrible T” Tyson faced a young Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, it was not a long look as De La Hoya dropped Tyson with a vicious body shot in the second round to end the bout.

The end of the 1990’s saw more Beltway Boxers appear on HBO’s airwaves. Former two-time heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman of Baltimore made the first of 11 appearances on the network(tying him for the most among Beltway Boxers with Sugar Ray Leonard) on November 1, 1997 at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY defending the USBA title and winning the IBF Inter-Continental title with a unanimous decision over Obed Sullivan.

On January 31, 1998, Rahman defended both belts with another unanimous decision over Jesse Ferguson in Atlantic City. Sharing co-feature honors on this card was Beltway legend and former three-time world champion Simon Brown. By this time, however, Brown was on the tail end of his great career and was seen as a solid name opponent. Such was the case when he was stopped in this title opportunity by Bernard Hopkins in the sixth round.
On December 19 of that year, “The Rock” lost a controversial bout in which he was stopped by David Tua in the 10th round in Miami, Fl. It would take almost an entire year before another Beltway Boxer appeared on HBO.

It was Rahman once again on November 6, 1999 when he would lose for the first of two times against Oleg Maskaev by eighth-round TKO.

The new millennium saw old, familiar Beltway names appear on HBO on February 26, 2000 in Madison Square Garden, Derrell “Too Sweet” Coley made his only appearance on HBO losing by seventh-round TKO to Oscar De La Hoya.

On May 20, 2000, Rahman would make his fifth appearance on the network as he would come from behind to beat South African Corrie Sanders by seventh-round TKO in Atlantic City.

The year 2001 saw one Beltway Boxer make his pro debut on HBO while four others appeared in four of the biggest bouts of the year. Clarence Vinson, a bronze medalist in the 2000 Olympics made an inauspicious pro debut on January 27 at Madison Square Garden. Vinson won a four-round unanimous decision over Adrian Valdez but was not well-received during the bout.

But 2001 would be the year of the Middleweight Championship Series at Madison Square Garden and two Beltway Boxers were prominent figures in the action as WBC champ Keith Holmes and WBA titleholder William Joppy looked to defend their titles. Unfortunately, their opponents were two future first-ballot hall of famers. On April 14, Holmes lost his title to IBF champ Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision. Then on May 12, Joppy dropped his crown to Felix Trinidad by fifth-round TKO.

In between those two middleweight bouts, HBO showed one of the biggest upsets in recent memory on April 21 in Carnival City, South Africa as Rahman stunned the boxing world by knocking out Lennox Lewis in the fifth round to win the WBC, IBF and IBO Heavyweight titles. The victory was voted the “Upset of the Year” by Ring Magazine. Rahman would not hold the title long as he was decimated by Lewis in the fourth round of the rematch shown on HBO on November 17 in Las Vegas.

Rahman’s defeat of Lewis in the first bout would also mark another milestone. This would be the last time a Beltway Boxer would win a bout on HBO (this does not include Winky Wright and DaVarryl Williamson who were born in DC but claim other cities as their hometowns).

In 2002, the HBO audience got their first look at former world flyweight and super flyweight champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. On February 23 of that year, Johnson campaigned as a bantamweight in a rematch against Rafael Marquez in Las Vegas. The first contest saw Johnson thinking he had won the bout, only to find out back in his hotel room that he had lost a split decision. The rematch saw no controversy as Johnson was stopped in the eighth round of the bout.

On June 1 of that year, Rahman made his eighth appearance on “The Network of Champions” traveling to Atlantic City to face Evander Holyfield. Rahman left Boardwalk Hall with an eighth-round technical decision loss and a large lump on his head.

On March 29, 2003, Rahman came back to HBO in a rematch with David Tua in Philadelphia. Once again, controversy would reign as the two would fight to a 12-round draw.

July 12, 2003 saw the HBO debut of WBO Junior Welterweight champ DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. This would be a title defense for Corley in which he would not be the favored fighter. That honor would go to Zab Judah. When the two met in Las Vegas, it was a close, split decision that favored the challenger Judah.

In 2004, three Beltway Boxers made unsuccessful bids on HBO. Corley challenged Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 22 in Atlantic City and lost a 12-round unanimous decision. On July 17, Teddy Reid made his only appearance on the network, losing by eighth-round TKO in Houston, TX. On December 4, Joppy returned in a losing effort, dropping an easy 12-round unanimous decision to Jermain Taylor.

In 2005, Corley made his third appearance on HBO, being stopped in the fifth round by Miguel Cotto on February 26 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Former WBA Junior Welterweight champion Sharmba Mitchell challenged Mayweather on November 11 in Portland, OR.

This year, Rahman has appeared twice on HBO. Now in his second term as WBC champion, Rahman fought James Toney to a draw on March 18 in Atlantic City. “The Rock” then lost his crown to Oleg Maskaev by 12th round TKO on August 12 in Las Vegas. The very next week, Mitchell was stopped in the fourth round by Paul Williams in Reno, NV.

HBO has been very particular over the years as far as Beltway Boxers are concerned; only 12 have been selected to appear on the “Network of Champions” mostly as opponents for better-known boxers. Other than Sugar Ray Leonard, only Hasim Rahman was able to achieve notable victories.

My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts -- Bout # 3!

We have reached the top three of My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts.

Number three is one we should all remember.

3. Vincent Pettway vs. Simon Brown, April 29, 1995, USAir Arena, Largo, MD

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: The most famous bout in the countdown headlines the best card in Beltway Boxing history and produces a knockout for the ages.

Honestly, there isn’t a lot more I can say about this bout that hasn’t been said or written about before. The majority of you have seen the knockout and Brown’s reaction to it. The knockout was voted “Knockout of the Year” by most boxing magazines including The Ring and Boxing Digest. The punch also made Ring’s 100 greatest knockouts of all time. And of course, who could forget the unconscious movement by Brown after the punch landed.

The bout was the perfect example of an unwritten creed that Beltway Boxers seemed to have at that time: Don’t fight each other unless it means something. Well, this bout meant everything – not only to the boxers themselves but to the area as well.

I need to talk a lot about the week leading up to the card itself. I was working for our TV show, Boxing Spotlight, and our crew was all over the place covering all the events leading up to the card. In a way, it was a difficult week for me because I had been a fan of Simon throughout his career (my father even taught him in junior high school). Also, I had gotten to know Vincent through his very vocal support of Boxing Spotlight. Now these two warriors were going to be the main event of a very big card.

Unfortunately, as great as the card and this particular bout ended up being, it was a card that wasn’t appreciated by the majority of DC/Baltimore area sports fans at that time. It was a dream bout on a dream card. Only when we look back on the card do fans really appreciate what took place that night.

If you want to read more about the impact of the entire “Beltway Brawl” card, go to the August 2005 archives.

AFTERMATH: The defense would prove to be Pettway's only successful defense of his IBF Junior Middleweight title. Pettway would lose the belt to Paul Vaden by 12th round TKO on August 12, 1995 in Las Vegas in a bout he was leading on all three scorecards going into the final round. Pettway would try again for the IBF and WBC Junior Middleweight titles when he faced Terry Norris on February 24, 1996 in Richmond, VA. The future hall of famer stopped Pettway in the eighth round.

After the Norris loss, Pettway would win four straight against lackluster competition before ending his career on August 31, 2001 at DuBurns Arena in Baltimore with a fifth-round TKO loss to Luis Rosado.

Brown would received two more shots at world titles when he moved up to middleweight. He would lose by unanimous decision to then-WBO Middleweight champ Lonnie Bradley on August 30, 1996 in Reading, PA and get stopped by IBF titleholder Bernard Hopkins in the sixth round on January 31, 1998 in Atlantic City. The Hopkins loss was the first of six in a row that Brown suffered to end his career.

One other note: Between the title bouts, Brown fought for the last time in the Beltway area on September 12, 1997. Brown faced Reuben "Ratman" Bell at the Pikesville Armory. Both fighters were dropped on this occasion and Bell was in control of the bout before having to retire with a bad hand. The bout turned out to be Bell's last -- he was killed five months later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ballroom Boxing Returns November 9!

Two of Maryland’s finest undefeated prospects will be showcased on the next Ballroom Boxing show on Thursday, November 9 at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

Featherweight Tyrell Samuel (8-0, five KO’s) of Baltimore is in the main event, a six-round encounter against Damon Antoine (4-11-1, two KO’s) from Akron, OH.

Samuel is coming off the toughest bout of his young career, a six-round split decision over Carlos Vinan on the last Ballroom Boxing card on September 28. Antoine has lost two straight and three of his last four, all against undefeated competition. In his last bout, Antoine lost a four-round unanimous decision to Juan McPherson on October 20 in Youngstown, OH.

One of the co-feature bouts involves welterweight Tim Coleman of Laurel, MD. Coleman (5-0, one KO) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Muhsin Corrbrey on June 15 at Michael’s Eighth Avenue. This bout will be a four-round encounter against John Campbell (1-1, one KO) of Houston, TX. Campbell was stopped in the third round in his last bout by Esteban Almarez on September 30 in Killeen, TX.

Another co-feature bout will have Temple Hills, MD light heavyweight Jarell Mason Jackson taking on William Gill of Toms River, NJ in a six-round battle of resurgent boxers.

After an up-and-down early career, Jackson (6-4-1, two KO’s, one NC) has been unbeaten in his last five bouts (3-0-1, one NC). This includes his last outing, a third-round TKO over Curtis Mullins on May 19 in Morgantown, WVA.

One note about Jackson's record: you may have notice that he lost a win there since my last posting about him. According to published records, Jackson's second-round knockout over Henry Mayes on April 21 at the Pikesville Armory was very recently changed to a no-contest decision. Reportedly, Jackson tested positive for a banned substance after the bout.

Ironically, this will be the second time that Mayes (5-1, four KO's) has been knocked out in a bout, only to have the result changed to a no-contest. Back in May of 2005, Mayes was stopped in the first round by Alton Rice at Martin's West. However, Rice tested positive for a banned substance after that contest.

Jackson's opponent, William Gill, has also made positive strides recently in his career. After losing five in a row, Gill (5-11, four KO’s) has won his last two, both by technical knockout. In his last bout, Gill scored a fifth-round TKO over Carlos Jones on October 23 at Martin's West in Woodlawn, MD.

In an interesting cross-Beltway matchup, light heavyweight Edward Andre “Da Heat” Hemphill of Woodbridge, VA will take on Mike “Nice” Gutrick of La Plata, MD in a four-round bout.

Hemphill (6-5-1, three KO’s) is coming off a second-round TKO over Joe McCreedy on October 28 in Uncasville, CT. Hemphill has been busy – and successful-- of late. He will be participating in his third bout in less than a month and will be looking for his third straight victory. Gutrick (3-6, two KO’s) has not been active as a boxer since 2004 when he fought six times that year and went 2-4, losing his last four.

In a battle of the aged, 42-year-old Larry “The Gladiator” Brothers of Washington, DC will take on 42-year-old James Shedrick of Philadelphia in a four-round super middleweight bout.

Brothers (6-20-3, four KO’s) has fallen on real tough times recently, losing his last five bouts, including a fourth-round TKO to Anthony Bonsante on October 7 in Fairfax, VA. Shedrick (3-6, two KO’s) has also lost his last two including a five-round technical decision to Jessie Nicklow on September 14 in Woodlawn, MD. In that bout, both boxers suffered cuts that forced the bout to be stopped.

Also scheduled for the card will be the pro debut of Baltimore light heavyweight Dalemanik Roberson-El, a highly-touted amateur who was ranked fifth in the country at light heavyweight. Roberson-El is scheduled to take on Ronald Overby of Cleveland, OH (0-3).

In a four-round super bantamweight bout, Jorge Lara of Mexico will take on Newport News, VA’s James Franks. Lara (3-1) has not fought since November 4, 2005 when he won a four-round unanimous decision over Andres Estrada in Mexico. Franks (2-2, two KO’s) lost his last bout by third-round technical knockout to Ron Boyd on August 25 in Dover, DE.

Other bouts may be added to this card.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jarell Jackson Opponent a No-Show in West Virginia!

Interesting story out of Morgantown, West Virginia involving one of our Beltway Boxers. Temple Hills, MD light heavyweight Jarell Mason Jackson was scheduled to participate in a card at the Waterfront Hotel. His opponent, Will Prieto, signed the contract for the card and showed up at the weigh-in the day before.

However, on the night of the show, Prieto refused to fight Jackson. He has been suspended indefinitely by the West Virginia State Athletic Commission.

Jackson has a record of 7-4-1, three KO's and is 4-0-1 in his last five bouts. He last fought in the area on April 21 when he scored a crushing second round TKO over Henry Mayes at the Pikesville Armory.

Prieto wasn't the only one who didn't follow through with his commitment on this night. Travis Fulton was originally scheduled to face former WBA Heavyweight champion Tony Tubbs but he did not show and he has also been indefinitely suspended by the West Virginia Commission.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts -- Bout # 4!

This is bout number 4 in My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts countdown.

4. Darryll "Terrible T" Tyson vs. Reggie "Showtime" Green, September 20, 1994, DC Armory

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: One of the best crossroads bouts in recent Beltway Boxing history -- the dangerous veteran versus the undefeated upstart. And the bout had something for everyone, whether you saw the bout live on or TV.

When I think about this bout, the first thing that comes to mind is how close the bout came to not happening.

Tyson was coming off a stretch in which he fought four top-flight boxers. He lost a WBC Lightweight title bid by unanimous decision to Miguel Angel Gonzalez in December of 1992, and then in July of 1993 he fought twice within a 10-day period – a 10-round draw against former world champion Livingstone Bramble in DC, then he flew to Las Vegas where he lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Rafael Ruelas.

Tyson then captured the USBA Junior Welterweight title with a split decision over former champion Roger Mayweather in Atlantic City in October of 1993.

After the Mayweather win, Tyson was off until August 18, 1994. Knowing he was going to face Green, Tyson fought a tune-up bout against Genaro Andujar in DC at the Convention Center. After the tough stretch and the inactivity, no one expected any difficulty during the Andujar bout and Tyson did stop Andujar in the fifth round, but he paid a price.

During the contest, Tyson was caught with a nasty head butt that caused a gash over his right eye. Everyone who saw the cut immediately seemed to realize that the big bout against Green was in jeopardy.

Tyson’s first reaction ended up being one of the greatest memories I have in my career of covering boxing. With Tyson’s entrance song (“Bustin’ Loose” by Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers) blasting in the background, Tyson went into this wild dance around the ring. It was so uncharacteristic of him that you knew there was something amiss. Later, Tyson appeared cautiously optimistic about the cut being healed in time for the Green bout a month later.

Thankfully, everyone’s fears were unnecessary. The cut was fixed and the bout came off as part of the first of two televised cards in our area that week. With a USA Network audience watching, Tyson and Green stepped into the ring at the DC Armory fighting for Tyson’s USBA and the vacant NABF Super Lightweight title.

By this time, Green had begun to spar with the top pound-for-pound boxer at the time, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. This proved to be very beneficial going into this bout. Until this point, Green’s most notable wins were a second-round win over previously undefeated Ralph “Tiger” Jones in March of 1993 in Atlantic City, the two victories over Lyndon Paul Walker and a third-round TKO over another Beltway Boxer, Kenny Baysmore in May of 1994 at the Show Place Arena. But Tyson soon learned that the young man deserved to be in the same ring with the old pro.

The bout was a serious give-and-take affair. Both guys had a lot of moments in the contest. Green’s boxing ability seemed to surprise Tyson at times. Tyson tried to pressure Green and Green handled the pressure very well.

The bout was EXTREMELY close heading into the 12th and final round. This is where it was great to have seen the bout on TV because viewers saw, and more importantly, heard something that we didn’t get live. Between the 11th and 12th, Tyson’s handlers asked their boxer a question that sounded straight out of a “Rocky” movie.

“Do you have three minutes?”

Tyson answered, “I’ve got three minutes!”

Tyson proceeded to use those three minutes to give everything he had. During the end of those minutes, Tyson dropped Green with a right hand. Green beat the count, but the knockdown proved to be the final difference in the contest. Tyson won a split decision to capture both titles.

AFTERMATH: In my opinion, both men benefited greatly from this bout. Although he never gained another world title shot, Tyson maintained his reputation as one of the toughest battlers in the 140-pound division. Green, even in defeat, earned a similar reputation and went on to have a good career.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Peterson Opponents Announced for November 18!

The opponents have been named for the November 18 card at Fitzgerald's Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS for DC's undefeated Peterson Brothers.

NABO Lightweight champion Anthony Peterson (20-0, 15 KO's) will take on former WBO Bantamweight champion Alfred "Cobra" Kotey of Ghana in an eight-round non-title bout. Peterson is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Armando Cordoba on September 1 in East Peoria, IL. Peterson is ranked fourth by the WBO and ninth by the WBA. He was also named the "Prospect of the Year" by ESPN.

Kotey (24-13-1, 14 KO's) is a 14-year veteran who won his WBO title in 1994 with a unanimous decision over Rafael Del Valle. Kotey has lost six straight bouts and seven of his last eight.

Lamont Peterson (18-0, eight KO's) currently holds the WBC US Light Welterweight title and he will square off in another eight-round non-title bout against Marteze Logan from Covington, TN.

L. Peterson is coming off a convincing sixth-round TKO victory over Omar Bernal on the same Sept. 1 card as his brother. Logan (23-25-2, six KO's) is a tough veteran who recently broke a six-bout losing streak with a fifth-round KO of Michael Moss on October 3 in Memphis, TN. Peterson is ranked ninth by the WBA at 140 pounds.

Logan, who fought and lost a bout at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD on March 11, 2004 (that was the first live telecast of Ballroom Boxing that included the bout between Hasim Rahman and Al Cole), is capable of the big upset -- his biggest win was an eight-round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Americo Santos in November of 2005. Logan has fought great competition throughout his career including Mike Arnaoutis, Paul Williams, Emmanuel Augustus, Steve Forbes, Vivian Harris and Cezar Bazan.

My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts -- Bout # 5!

Since we're in the top five and since I seem to be writing a lot about each bout, I decided to give each bout in the top five its own space. This is bout number five in the countdown.

5. Derrell "Too Sweet" Coley vs. Terrence Alli, July 5, 1994, Washington Convention Center

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: The coming-out party for the boxer perceived (at that time) to be the Beltway’s brightest star.

To understand fully why this bout is on the list, you have to understand how highly Derrell Coley was thought of at this time of his career. In many people’s eyes, Coley was the flagship boxer of the area, the can’t-miss kid who was poised to lead the next wave of Beltway Boxers to championship glory.

He seemed to go about his career in the right way, taking baby steps with one minor hiccup – a 10-round draw with Lonnie Smith in May of 1993. Coley barely passed his first test, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Darryl Lattimore two months later.

But fortunes seemed to turn after Coley starched veteran Saoul Mamby in the first round in August of 1993. Coley had to wait eight months before his next bout because of managerial troubles. After Coley made the switch from Michael Marley to Barry Linde, he won two straight by devastating knockouts. The stage was set for Coley’s coming-out party.

On July 5, 1994 in front of his hometown crowd at the Washington Convention Center and a nationally televised USA Network audience, Coley faced the biggest and toughest name to date on his record, perennial world title contender Terrence Alli. The vacant NABF Welterweight title was on the line. Despite Alli claiming to be a “bad old man,” youth was served on this evening as Coley took everything Alli had to offer before stopping him in the 11th round. It was Coley’s best performance to date.

AFTERMATH: Unfortunately for Coley, the win over Alli proved to be the high point of his career. During the rest of his tenure, Coley fell victim to a combination of poor performance, poor timing and poor politics.

One example of poor performance was Coley’s first NABF title defense – a bout against a relatively unknown warrior from Mexico named Jaime “Rocky” Balboa on Sept. 20, 1994 at the DC Armory. Coming in on short notice, Balboa almost embarrassed Coley in front of another USA network audience, even dropping Coley once during the bout. Coley did just enough to salvage a draw.

In his second defense on January 31, 1995 at the Armory, Coley put on a much better performance in defeating undefeated challenger Ray Lovato. Looking back, that win may have been a sign of things to come for two reasons: One, the scoring. In a bout that I thought Coley won easily, he managed to get only a majority decision. In fact the scores were really screwed with one judge having the score 117-111 while another saw a draw. The third judge had Coley winning 115-113.

The second reason was the poor timing. Despite beating Lovato, Coley did not get a world title shot against any of the welterweight titleholders. Lovato (with Coley still the ONLY loss on his record) received a title shot against IBF champ Felix Trinidad a year later.

That situation can be explained by the poor politics Coley endured. This became evident when Coley defended his NABF title against Oba Carr on August 12, 1995 in Las Vegas in front of another nationally televised audience, this time on Showtime. This was a Don King show and Carr was a talented, exciting, DON KING fighter.

Coley was beautiful on this night, matching Carr speed for speed and punch for punch. It looked like another solid win and another step on the road to a world title. However, it wasn’t to be as Coley was victimized by one of the worst judge’s decisions I have ever seen. Carr won a close split decision and the NABF title. The loss, I believe, decimated Coley. He wasn’t the same boxer after that.

Two bouts after the loss to Carr (June 11, 1996), Coley tried for the vacated NABF title but was dominated by unknown Pat Coleman. However, the loss was changed to a no-contest when Coleman tested positive for drugs.

In his next contest, Coley had to come off the canvas twice to beat Kip Diggs for the NABF crown on March 25, 1997 in Oxnard, CA. Four fights later, on February 26, 2000, Coley finally made some real money as he faced Oscar De La Hoya for a minor title. Although he started the bout in strong fashion, the old Coley stamina wasn’t there and he was stopped in the seventh round.

Coley stopped his career after four straight wins against lackluster competition. There is continued talk that Coley will resume his career at some point.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Thoughts on Open Scoring!

Gabcast! Boxing Along the Beltway #14 - My Thoughts on Open Scoring!

Here are my thoughts on the Open Scoring concept and more on the Open Scoring situation in DC in 1999.

New Poll: Your Thoughts on Open Scoring!

This is a general boxing poll that has some of its roots here in the Beltway.

During their convention this week, the World Boxing Council approved a rule that would allow open scoring for their world title bouts. The judge's scores would be announced after the fourth and eighth rounds. There is a condition that allows individual national commissions the option to refuse open scoring in their states.

In a statement, WBC President Jose Sulaiman said, "At this moment in time in boxing, one of the most important things is to do something for justice in scoring. We have been doing so many clinics, basic guidelines, booklets and videos, but we still have a problem. I believe that this is gigantic in sports, and will make the judges much more conscientious of their responsibility. It will make them be 100 percent concentrated, and it will also give them a sense of pride, because they have confidence in their scoring and themselves. A good judge should feel very proud. I believe that we have taken a major step in the history of boxing."

However, what everyone seems to forget that this is a step that has recently been taken before -- right here in DC. On April 24, 1999, the WBC, the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) all tried versions of open scoring at the "Triple Jeopardy" card at the Verizon Center during the three world title bouts. This was done in the wake of the horrible decision in the first Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield bout.

The WBC should be credited for being consistent because in their title match on this card (Hacine Cherifi defending the middleweight title against Keith Holmes), the cards were announced after the fourth round (the bout ended in the seventh with Holmes regaining his title).

The IBF title match (Mark Johnson versus Ratanachai Sor Vorapin for the vacant Super Flyweight crown) also had the scores announced after every four rounds.

The WBA title bout (Sharmba Mitchell defending his junior welterweight title against Reggie Green) had the judge's scores announced after EVERY round.

The consensus on this was that open scoring was an abject failure, especially after the Mitchell-Green bout when fans left before the official decision was announced because they already knew who won. Mark Johnson told me that he coasted the final few rounds of his bout because he knew that he was ahead on the scorecards. Most people I talked to on that night, including boxers, managers and broadcasters were against the Open Scoring concept.

But I'm curious to know what the fans think. Please participate in the new poll and PLEASE add comments. This may help shape the future of the sport!

My Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts -- Part 2!

Continuing my countdown of Favorite Beltway Boxing Bouts, here are bouts number 7 and number 6:

7. Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson vs. Arthur Johnson, February 22, 1998, DC Armory, Washington, DC

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Despite the length of the bout, it was a rare opportunity for Beltway Boxing fans to see a world-class boxer at the top of his game.

The road to the world championship was an arduous one for Mark Johnson. He had to ply his trade 3,000 miles from home and was ducked by the majority of top-flight flyweights in the world. Finally, Johnson received his world title opportunity on May 4, 1996 in Anaheim, CA and made the most of it when he knocked out former world champ Francisco Tejedor in the first round to win the IBF Flyweight championship.

Johnson made four successful defenses of his title and became a fixture on top-10 pound-for-pound lists throughout the boxing world. But Johnson had one goal left at that point in his career: to bring a title defense to his hometown. That dream was realized on February 22, 1998 when he defended his title against number-one ranked challenger Arthur “Flash” Johnson at the DC Armory in front of a nationally televised ESPN2 audience. The bout had boxing fans along the Beltway and across the nation drooling. Here was one of the best fighters in the world putting his title up against a legitimate number one contender, a guy who had fought hard in two previous world title bouts, only to come up short. Also, Mark Johnson paid a heavy price to have the bout in DC; he gave up $30,000 of his purse.

There was a lot of electricity in the air as “Too Sharp” came to the ring on a throne, surrounded by dancing girls. Henry “Discombobulating” Jones (who Mark DEMANDED in his contract serve as ring announcer) announced him as “King Marcellus.”

Unfortunately for Arthur Johnson, the ring entrance was longer than the actual bout. Midway through the opening round, Mark clipped Arthur alongside the head with a right hand punch that Mark later referred to as a “lookaway” punch. The blow stunned Arthur and Mark quickly finished him as he knocked Arthur out at 1:11 seconds of the first round.

AFTERMATH: Immediately after the bout, Johnson and his followers called out Johnny Tapia for a bout. However, Tapia moved up in weight to the Super Flyweight division. After two more flyweight title defenses, Johnson vacated the IBF Flyweight title and challenged Ratanachai Sor Vorapin for the vacant IBF Super Flyweight belt on the “Triple Jeopardy” card on April 24, 1999 at MCI (now Verizon) Center in DC. Johnson won his second world title with a unanimous decision. Johnson defended his title twice before legal issues took him away from the sport for almost two years. On August 16, 2003, Johnson surprised boxing observers by winning his third world title – the WBO Super Flyweight crown by winning a majority decision over Fernando Montiel in Uncasville, CT.

Arthur Johnson tried one last time for a world title, moving to bantamweight to challenge IBF titleholder Tim Austin. Once again, he was unsuccessful, losing a unanimous decision.

6.Keith Holmes vs. Andrew Council I, September 23, 1994, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: One of the most controversial bouts in recent Beltway Boxing history – in and out of the ring.

This contest was the final bout of one of the greatest weeks in Beltway Boxing history as the DC-area was the centerpiece of the boxing world. The area played host to two nationally televised boxing cards during the week of September 19th; one at the DC Armory shown on USA Network and this one at The Show Place Arena televised by ESPN2.

The card was promoted by legendary Baltimore promoter Stu Satosky in his only promotion on the DC side of the Beltway. Satosky tried to get a number of places in the Baltimore area to agree to host the show, including a couple of the colleges, but finally had to settle for the Show Place, which turned out to be a great move.

The Holmes-Council bout was originally scheduled to be the co-feature on the card, but when main event boxer Dana Rosenblatt was injured, the Beltway rivalry became the main event and it became a bout for the vacant USBA Junior Middleweight title.

There was also outside drama for this bout. Earlier in the week, Holmes had been arrested and charged with murder in a neighborhood incident. He was freed on bail the day before the bout and allowed to compete (months later, Holmes was found not guilty of the charge).

The bout itself was very competitive, with each man able to do what he does best. Holmes used his jab while Council bore in and landed punishing body shots. Unfortunately for Council, referee Chris Wollesen thought some of the body blows landed below the belt and took three points away from Council. That forced Council to alter his game plan and Holmes became more effective and went on to win a somewhat lopsided unanimous decision.

AFTERMATH: This was one of those career-changing bouts. I think if Council had won, he would have had the type of career Holmes has had, because he would have received the opportunities Holmes ended up receiving.

Five bouts after this win, Holmes defeated Quincy Taylor on March 16, 1996 to win his first WBC Middleweight title. He defended the belt twice against Richie Woodhall (October 19, 1996 at the Show Place Arena) and against former IBF Junior Middleweight titleholder Paul Vaden, scoring an 11th round TKO in that bout on December 5, 1997. Afterwards, Vaden called Holmes the toughest opponent he has ever had.

Holmes would lose his belt to Hacine Cherifi in France on May 12, 1998 but defeat Cherifi in a rematch on the “Triple Jeopardy” card in DC on April 24, 1999. Holmes made two defenses of his second title, including a rematch against Council on September 24, 1999 in DC. Holmes had a much easier time against Council this time, knocking him down in the ninth round en route to a lopsided unanimous decision. Holmes lost easily to Bernard Hopkins during the “Middleweight Championship Series” in 2001 and has fought sporadically as a junior middleweight and a light heavyweight since then.

Council bounced back from the first loss to Holmes by scoring seven straight victories including an eye-opening ninth-round TKO over former world champion Buddy McGirt on September 30, 1995 in Atlantic City. I remember watching that bout on TV with friends and family and someone in our group had Council’s number and we called him shortly after that bout. The usually calm Council was as excited as I’ve ever heard him.

Two fights later, Council suffered a setback when he was lethargic during a challenge for the NABF Junior Middleweight title on March 5, 1996 in Norfolk, VA. He lost a unanimous decision to a promising young veteran named Ronald “Winky” Wright.

Council again bounced back with two victories before losing to perennial middleweight title contender Robert Allen by 12-round unanimous decision on April 19, 1997 in Shreveport, LA. However, his next bout was Council’s first try for a world title but he lost another lopsided decision to Bernard Hopkins for the IBF Middleweight title on November 18, 1997 at the Show Place Arena. After the title loss to Holmes, Council fought twice more before ending his career with a 10-round split decision to Troy Rowland on October 31, 2003 in Grand Rapids, MI.