The 2011 Washington Golden Gloves concluded its run at the Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing Center with a tremendous night of action. This sets up some great championship bouts that will take place this coming Friday night, March 25 at the Waldorf Jaycees Community Center in Waldorf, MD.
The Open Division action included two tremendous contests. In a 165-pound semi-final bout D'Mitrius Ballard of No Xcuse and Jarrett Hurd of Hillcrest engaged in a battle that not only was the best bout of the night and probably the best bout of the tournament so far, but will be the first amateur contest in the five-plus year history of BATB that I have considered as a candidate for Beltway Boxing Bout of the Year.
Ballard, who has already qualified for the US Olympic Trials, won the contest but not before he got a major scare from Hurd. The Hillcrest boxer landed a solid counter right hand in the second round that dropped Ballard and almost put him out. Ballard recovered, despite looking like Trevor Berbick after Mike Tyson hit him. Unlike Berbick, however, Ballard not only recovered, but came back strong enough to get the win.
Although many in the crowd thought the bout should have been stopped after the initial knockdown and Ballard's reaction, credit should go to referee Floyd Favors for allowing the bout to continue.
Ballard will face Demond Nicholson of Cherry Lane in the finals. Nicholson advanced by walkover against Monreco Goldston of Main Street.
Defending National 152-Pound champion David Grayton of Headbangers also received a tough semi-final challenge from Enigma's Russell Gaskins who pressured Grayton throughout the contest. Grayton's combination of speed and power provedto be the difference as he scored the victory. Grayton will meet Jonathan Burrs, II of Hagerstown in the 152-Pound final. Burrs advanced last week.
Here are the rest of the Open Semi-Final results:
132 Pounds: Kevin Rivers (No Xcuse) over Joel Young (Enigma)
141 Pounds: Michael Reed (Dream Team) RSC-3 over Edwin Reyes (Round One)
201 Pounds: Zakki Scott (Sugar Ray Leonard) over Alexander Herb (Loch Raven)
201+ Pounds: Jerrell Reeves (Old School) over Thomas Willson (Hagerstown)
We also have two unopposed Open Champions:
178 Pounds: Jerry Odom (No Xcuse)
201 Pounds (Female): Neassa Hollon (Tony's Gym)
We also had an outstanding bout in the Novice Division. Jeremy Trussell of Upton came back from a first-round knockdown to get an RSC-2 over Tim Anderson of No Xcuse in the 165-Pound semi-finals. Trussell advances to the finals, where he will enter an all-Baltimore Gym final against UMAR's Maurice Stokes, who defeated Steven Bucci of Ground Control.
There was also one Novice Championship decided as Brittany Evans of Sugar Ray Leonard won the female 132-pound title defeating Shatrice Woodland of UMAR.
In other Novice Division Bouts:
141 Pounds: Johnny DaSilva (Round One) over Drayvontay Rawls (No Xcuse)
141 Pounds: Tenkoran Agyeman (Old School) over Travis Roberts (Ground Control)
152 Pounds: Maiwak Dagoot (Down Under) over Sam Williams (Dream Team)
178 Pounds: Edward Lay (Sugar Ray Leonard) wins via walkover against Keith Sowell (Old School)
201 Pounds: Base Trice (Round One) wins via walkover against Marcus Hemsley (Keystone)
201+ Pounds: Clinton Price (Midtown) wins via walkover against Shelton Graves (Mack Lewis)
Later today, we will give you the full bout sheet for Friday's championship action.
The Junior Division concluded competition with two title bouts. DeQuane Hall of Tony's Gym won the 10-11, 80-Pound title over Chris Normile of Baltimore Boxing. Also, Calvin Countess of Charm City captured the 14, 201+ title with a win over Shaka Williams of NOMIS.
These other Junior champions were either unopposed in their weight classes or won by walkover:
13-14, 106 Pounds: Ronnell Jackson (No Xcuse)
15-16, 119 Pounds: Jalonte Cole (No Xcuse)
10, 95 Pounds (Female): Zoria Curry (UMAR)
16, 114 Pounds (Female): Raynisca O'Neal (Limelite)
60 Pounds (Female): LaShawn Wood (Dunlap Boxing)
201+ Pounds (Master's Class): Christopher Green (Unattached)
One other note, BATB sends its best wishes to noted amateur referee Brent Bovell, one of only two referees in the Beltway area (Jim McNally of the Naval Academy is the other) that are eligible to referee Olympic Boxing events.
Mr. Bovell was recently hospitalized with a severe bout of double pneumonia. Our prayers are for a very speedy recovery.