Sunday, January 29, 2012

Washington Post Focuses on L. Peterson VS Boxing Politics!

Washington Post Columnist Mike Wise, who called Lamont Peterson's December 10th Championship win over Amir Khan at the Washington Convention Center the best local story of 2011, follows up with a column that talks about some of the politics Peterson has faced in the short time he has held the title.

Here is the column:


'Ding-a-Ling Man' Wilson Falls by KO in Germany!

Former USBA Cruiserweight champion Darnell "The Ding-a-Ling Man" Wilson was knocked out Saturday night in the fourth round by undefeated Denis Boytsov in Hamburg,Germany.

According to, Boytsov sent Wilson to the canvas with a right hand. Wilson, who is now fighting out of Miami, FL is now 24-14-3, 20 KO's. Boytsov, a Russian fighting out of Hamburg, is now 30-0, 25 KO's.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

L. Peterson, Could Face J. Manuel Marquez In April; Winner to Meet Pacquiao-Bradley Victor!

How's this for a scenario: WBA/IBF champ Lamont Peterson takes on Juan Manuel Marquez with the winner facing the victor in a match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley?

If Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had his way, this would be the exact scenario, according to's Lem Satterfield. Arum is scheduled to send a contract on Friday to the Peterson camp that would have Peterson face Marquez at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX sometime in April with the winner to face either Pacquiao or Bradley, who would fight in June in Las Vegas.

One loser in this situation would be Miguel Cotto, who apparently has turned down an opportunity to fight Pacquiao for a second time because he doesn't want to face Pacquiao at 147 pounds. Pacquiao's advisers tell Satterfield that Cotto is not completely out of this yet.

Another possible snag in this tournament scenario would be Floyd Mayweather. If Mayweather is able to fight Pacquiao in November (should he beat Bradley), this whole scenario would be at least partially scrapped.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baltimore Prospects Headline Card at Baltimore's Dubai Nightclub February 23!

Some of the Beltway's best prospects will be showcased on an United Boxers card on Thursday, February 23 in a brand new Beltway location -- The Dubai Nightclub located on 200 East Redwood in Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor. The starting time is 7:30 PM.

No matchups have been signed yet but the card is scheduled to feature the likes of Baltimore based welterweight James “Keep Em Sleepin” Stevenson, (15-0, 10KO’s), junior middleweight Cecil McCalla
(13-0, five KO’s) of Randallstown, MD, Edgewood Arsenal junior welterweight Emmanuel “The Tranzformer” Taylor, (14-1, 10 KO’s) and cruiserweight and 2011 BATB Co-Prospect of the Year Venroy "Hardwork" July, (9-0-2, three KO’s) of Suitland, MD.

Also scheduled on this card is Jerren "Hard Knocks" Cochran,(4-0, three KO’s), who is originally from Houston now fighting out of Alexandria, VA, originally from Massachusetts, now fighting out of Baltimore, middleweight Akim Ellis, (2-0, two KO's), Baltimore junior welterweight Kevin Womack, Jr. (2-1, one KO) and lightweight Rolando Chinea, (2-0, two KO’s) of Lancaster, PA.

Andrews-Rodriguez Rematch Added To February 11 Patriot Center Card!

Nice addition to the Saturday, February 11th card at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. It will be the rematch between Virginia welterweights Richie "The Rock" Andrews of Staunton and Juan "The Savior" Rodriguez of Haymarket.

The undefeated Andrews (2-0-3) gave Rodriguez(4-1-1, four KO's) his first pro loss on the December 17th card at Henderson Hall at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA. As in the first bout, the rematch is scheduled for four rounds.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Women's Olympic Trials To Be Held in Spokane, WA!

The first-ever Women's Olympic Boxing Trials will be held at the Pend Orielle Pavilion at the Northern Quest Resort outside of Spokane, Wash., will be held on February 13-19. A number of Beltway Boxers will be involved in the trials including national 165-pound champion Franchon Crews as well as Tyrieshia Douglas and Asia Stevenson. We hope to have the whole list before the event.

This will be a double-elimination tournament. The winners from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing will represent the United States in the lone international Olympic qualifier, the 2012 Women’s World Championships in May in China. The trio will have to finish in the top eight at that event to punch their ticket for London.

Monday, January 23, 2012

DC Council Plans Public Hearing To Clear Confusion In Peterson-Khan Contest!

The District of Columbia City Council plans to hold a public hearing to clear up any confusion surrounding the December 10 title bout between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan.

The Washington Examiner is reporting that At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange will hold a hearing on February, 3 to air out any differences. Orange chairs the Committee on Small and Local Business Development, which oversees the DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission.

Here is the entire Examiner article, written by Liz Farmer:


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corley Upsets Bracero in New York City!

Former WBO Junior Welterweight champion DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley scored a huge upset defeating previously undefeated Gabriel "Tito" Bracero by 10-round unanimous decision at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The win gives Corley the NABF Junior Welterweight title.

Corley knocked down Bracero three times during the contest but had to survive being knocked down in the eighth round to get the victory. Corley won the bout by scores of 96-90 and 94-92 (twice).

Corley broke a six-bout losing streak with the win and he is now 38-10-1, 22 KO's. Bracero is now 18-1, three KO's.

Byarm Loses Unanimous Decision in Philadelphia!

The homecoming didn't work out quite as well for Maurice "Freight Train" Byarm Saturday night in Philadelphia, PA. Byarm, fighting for the first time in his hometown, lost a 10-round unanimous decision to fellow Philadelphian Bryant "Bye Bye" Jennings at the Asylum Arena. Jennings won by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 (twice).

Byarm loses for the first time in his career and is now 13-1-1, nine KO's. Jennings remains undefeated with a record of 12-0, five KO's.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Byarm, Corley Hit Scales For Saturday Bouts!

Maurice Byarm and DeMarcus Corley both weighed in for their respective bouts that will take place tonight.

Byarm tipped the scales at 244 1/2 pounds for his 10-round, nationally-televised, Pennsylvania State title bout against Bryant Jennings at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia. Jennings weighed in at 220 pounds. The bout will be the main event on NBC Sports Network's Fight Night series which starts at 9 PM ET.

Corley weighed in at 137 pounds for his regional title challenge against NABF Junior Welterweight titleholder Gabriel Bracero at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Bracero was at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Byarm Bout For Pennsylvania State Heavyweight Title!

Maurice Byarm poses with his trainer, the legendary Adrian Davis. Photo by Rich Hundley III

There's added significance to Maurice "Freight Train" Byarm's bout against Bryant "Bye Bye" Jennings on January 21 at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, PA.

The bout will be for the Pennsylvania State Heavyweight title, according to Pennsylvania State Commissioner Greg Sirb. Byarm fights out of DC, but was born and raised in Philadelphia. Both guys are undefeated; Byarm is 13-0-1, nine KO's, Jennings is 11-0, five KO's.

Byarm had this to say at the final press conference held yesterday:

“This is going to be a great fight for me and Bryant, win lose or draw, it’s going to catapult us to higher elevation in our career. I think we’re going to bring out the best in each-other. At the end of this fight they’re gonna know who Maurice Byarm and Bryant Jennings, they’re going to know us both. Hats off to both of us for putting our undefeated records on the line for Philadelphia, we’re both fighting for the pride of Philadelphia."

The bout will be televised as the main event on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) on Saturday. The broadcast begins at 9 PM ET.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Corley, Russell, Coleman Have Big Bouts in Next Three Months!

Three Beltway Boxers -- A former world champion, a boxer many consider a future world champion and a young veteran contender -- have notable bouts coming up in the next three months.

Former WBO Junior Welterweight champion and DC native DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley will take on undefeated Gabriel "Tito" Bracero of Brooklyn, NY for Bracero's NABF Junior Welterweight title on Friday, January 21 at the Roseland Ballroom in Brooklyn, NY.

Corley (37-19-1, 22 KO's) will be trying to break a six-bout losing streak including a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Ruslan Provodnikov on December 5 in Ekaterinburg, Russia. That bout was for the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council Light Welterweight title. Corley's bout against Bracero will be his sixth minor title bout in his last seven contests.

Bracero (18-0, three KO's) is coming off his NABF title win -- a 10-round unanimous decision over Daniel Sostre on October 21 in Mashantucket, CT. Bracero, a native of Puerto Rico, will fight in New York City for the 17th time in his 19-fight career.

On Saturday, February 11, undefeated Capitol Heights, MD super featherweight "Mr." Gary Russell, Jr. returns to action with a 10-round matchup against veteran Dat "Be Dat" Nguyen of Vero Beach, FL that will be shown on Showtime from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Russell (19-0, 11 KO's) was scheduled to face Nguyen on November 26 on an HBO broadcast but the bout fell through. Russell instead faced Heributo Ruiz in Cincinnati, OH and scored one of the best knockouts of 2011 crushing Ruiz in the first round. Nguyen (17-2, six KO's) had a six-bout winning streak broken when he lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Luis Orlando Del Valle for the vacant NABA Featherweight title on June 11 in Brooklyn, NY.

Then on Friday, March 16, Baltimore junior welterweight and former USBA champion Tim "Pitbull" Coleman will try to bounce back from his loss to Vernon Paris when he faces former WBO Junior Welterweight titleholder Kendall "Rated R" Holt of Paterson, NJ in a 10-round contest at the Morongo Resort and Spa in Cabazon, CA. ESPN2 will televise. Coleman (19-2-1, five KO's) lost his USBA title to the undefeated Paris by seventh-round TKO in Santa Ynez, CA on August 5. Holt (27-5, 15 KO's) is also coming off a loss -- a 12-round split decision to Danny Garcia for the WBO Inter-Continental Junior Welterweight title on October 15 in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Khan Camp Drops IBF Appeal!

Former super lightweight champion Amir Khan has withdrawn his appeal for an immediate rematch against new champ Lamont Peterson with the IBF.

Khan and his promoter Golden Boy Promotions were going to attend a hearing with the IBF on Wednesday, but the request for the hearing was withdrawn.

"We've been reviewing everything, including the latest paperwork which we received from the IBF, and I sat down with Team Khan and we realized that based on the makeup of that hearing that it would have been a very one-sided story," Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told

"Since not everyone that was in Washington -- the IBF officials and supervisor -- would have been in attendance there would not have been a complete story told," he said. "You don't go to hear a partial side of the story, so we decided to withdraw the appeal and focus our time on Amir's next fight. We will be meeting with HBO (on Wednesday) and have something to announce soon as it relates to a date and site."

Khan is saying that he wants a rematch with Peterson so badly, he has authorized Golden Boy to authorize a 50-50 split with Peterson. This of course leads to the question:

How can the challenger dictate what the champion would make?

'Freight Train' Byarm Headlines Inaugural NBC Sports Network 'Fight Night' Series in Philadelphia on Saturday!

BATB's 2011 Co-Prospect of the Year and DC resident Maurice "Freight Train" Byarm starts off 2012 in a big way on Saturday, January 21. Byarm (13-0-1, nine KO's) will face off against fellow undefeated boxer Bryant "Bye Bye" Jennings of Philadelphia, PA (11-0, five KO's) in a 10-round bout at the Asylum Arena in Philadelphia that will be on the inaugural edition of the "Fight Night" television boxing series on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus).

Byarm, who was born in Philadelphia, will fight there for the first time in his pro career. Byarm is coming off a first-round knockout of Clinton Boldridge on October 15 in Grand Island, NB. Jennings also scored a first-round TKO in his last outing over Kevin Franklin on November 19 in Atlantic City.

Scheduled to appear on the non-televised undercard is Baltimore welterweight Lenwood "Mr. Composure" Dozier (7-3-1, three KO's) who will take on Jose Peralta Alejo of Jersey City, NJ (6-1, four KO's) in a six-round contest.

Monday, January 16, 2012

USA Boxing Fundraiser at Sugar Ray Leonard Gym January 21!

The Potomac Valley Association of USA Boxing will have a fundraising card on Saturday, January 21 at the Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing Center, 7707 Barlowe Road in Palmer Park, MD. The year 2012 could be a big year for the Beltway amateur scene with the Silver Gloves, Golden Gloves and, of course, the Olympics plus other events coming this year. This will be the first chance for many of you to see our future talent.

The prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Doors open at 6:30 PM and first bout is slated for 7:30. Call Juice Gatling at 240-353-0564 for details.

Lange Defends WBU Title Against Galvan February 11 at Patriot Center!

Great Falls, VA junior middleweight Jimmy Lange will make the first defense of his WBU (World Boxing Union) title against "The Modern-Day Warrior" Ruben Galvan of Hammond, IN in the main event of the Saturday, February 11th card at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.

Lange (37-4-2, 25 KO's) will headline his 14th Patriot Center card. Lange is coming off his sixth-round TKO title win over Raul Munoz on September 10th. BATB has learned that Lange will be working with former world champion and Beltway legend William Joppy in preparation for this contest.

Galvan (27-20-4, 10 KO's) has faced a who's who of boxers throughout his career including Jorge Paez, Paul Spadafora, Dmitriy Salita, Zab Judah, Vernon Paris and current WBC middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Galvan lost a six-round unanimous decision to Baltimore's undefeated Cecil McCalla in June of 2010.

The card also features two additional world title bouts – Mike “No Joke” Stewart against Joe Wyatt for the vacant WBU welterweight belt and WBC middleweight champion Tori “Sho Nuff” Nelson of Ashburn, Va., facing Vashon “Lady V” Living for the vacant WIBA women’s middleweight crown.

The rest of the undercard will feature two dominant local fighters, both undefeated. Chantilly, Va. junior middleweight Zain “Tiger” Shah will face his toughest test to date with highly regarded “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey, while junior welterweight Todd “White Lightning” Wilson of Fairfax, Va., vies for his 12th win opposite Fernando “The Whip” Basora. A heavyweight battle between pro debuting Duane Mobley of Upper Marlboro, Md., and Dennis Benson of Norfolk, Va. is also scheduled.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brooks Loses, Woods Wins in Philadelphia!

Two Beltway-area boxers had mixed results on a card at the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia, PA Friday night.

Baltimore heavyweight Riley Brooks lost a four-round unanimous decision to John Lennox of Carteret, PA. Brooks lost the bout by scores of 40-36 (twice) and 39-37. However, according to my colleague Kurt Wolfheimer, Brooks was landing the heavier shots and deserved at least a draw in the bout. Brooks is now 1-3-1 while Lennox is 9-1, four KO's.

Danville, VA cruiserweight Jaywon Woods won a four-round unanimous decision over Rayshawn Myers of Cleveland, OH. Woods dropped Myers in the first round on the way to the victory. The scores were 40-35 across the board. Woods is now 9-1-1, five KO's while Myers is 4-12, three KO's.

Friday, January 13, 2012

WBA Orders Immediate Peterson-Khan Rematch!

Ring Magazine's Lem Satterfield is reporting that the WBA has ordered an immediate rematch between WBA/IBF Super Lightweight champion Lamont Peterson and former champion Amir Khan.

"I just received, a half an hour ago, a letter from the WBA on their official decision that they are going to order an immediate rematch between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson," Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, told Satterfield. "I think that it's the right decision, and I hope that we can get the rematch done."

Some of the controversy stems from the actions of IBF affiliate Mustafa Ameen, who has been dubbed, the "Mystery Man," as a result of his alledged rinside behavior that was caught on video and seemed to include picking up a yellow scoring slip near WBA ringside scoring official Michael Welsh during the Dec. 10 fight.

Ameen will address his actions during the IBF hearing and discussion with officials representing Khan and Golden Boy in New Jersey, and Schaefer is hoping for a similar result.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baltimore's Best Amateurs Battle US Navy Team; January 26; Bee Scottland Honored!

There will be an interesting dual meet of boxing on Thursday, January 26th at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD. A team made up of some of the Baltimore area's top amateur boxers will battle the team from the United States Naval Academy. There are scheduled to be 10 bouts on the card.

During the evening, there will also be a donation made to the family of the late Beethavean Scottland, who died following injuries suffered in a bout in 2001. Scottland was in the first pro main event held under the Ballroom Boxing banner.

This is a co-promotion with Ballroom Boxing and Baltimore Boxing. Baltimore Boxing's Jake Smith is looking forward to this event.

“I’m excited for this event because it involves members of the community and is going to help out the family of a fighter who fought many times at Michael’s Eighth,” said Smith, who owns the Baltimore Boxing Club where many of the local fighters currently train. “The Navy’s coach Jim McNally is a personal friend of mine and somebody I have the world of respect for.”

Tickets are $25 in advance with individual VIP seats for $50 and tables of 10 are $500. Doors will open at 7 PM and the first bout is slated for 8:15 PM. Tickets are available by going to

Monday, January 09, 2012

Louise Artisst, Wife of IBF Board Of Director Paul, Passes!

BATB sends deepest condolences to the family of Louise Barrett Artisst, who passed away on January 2. Mrs. Artisst is the wife of former DC Boxing and Wrestling Commissioner and current IBF Board of Director Paul Artisst. Mr. Artisst was the supervisor for the Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan bout in Washington on December 10.

Mrs. Artisst is also survived by her sons, Anthony Artisst, Paul B. Artisst, Alan J. Artisst; granddaughter, Serena Frederick; and three sisters, Evelyn, Virginia and Ginger.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 10 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 1029 Monroe St, NE. Family and friends can visit from 9:30 AM until time of service at 10:30 AM.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

WBA May Order Immediate Peterson-Khan Rematch Because Of 'Mystery Man!'

The new year has started off with one of the most bizarre stories seen in a long time. Apparently, Golden Boy Promotions and former world champion Amir Khan have found a new way to protest their loss to Lamont Peterson.

The protest concerns the man shown in Mike Greenhill's photo that is standing to the left with the hat on. This man was shown (and it is documented with video. The question was why anyone would be showing video of this guy in the first place?) conversing with the WBA supervisor throughout the contest. His name, reportedly, is Mustafa Aleem who is an IBF member but was NOT assigned to the bout. The IBF supervisor for this contest was Paul Artisst, who is a local person, former head of the DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission and is VERY well respected throughout the sport.

The Khan camp is saying that this is enough for Khan to get an immediate rematch with Peterson. According to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, the WBA has verbally agreed and will officially announce this early next week.

A spokesperson for the Peterson camp says that Aleem is not affiliated in any way with the Petersons.

Jeter Gets Rematch With Felix For UBO All-Americas Title February 25!

Stevensville, MD junior middleweight Tony "Mo Better" Jeter will get his rematch with Jose Felix of Richmond Hill, GA on Saturday, February 25 at Club One Fitness in Millersville, MD. The bout will be for the vacant UBO All-Americas Junior Middleweight title and Felix may put his USBU title that he won against Jeter on the line as well.

Felix (11-11-2, four KO's) stopped Jeter (12-3-1, nine KO's) in the fifth round on December 18th at Henderson Hall at Fort Myer in Arlington, VA. The win broke Felix's nine-bout losing streak.

Details on the rest of the card are sketchy but the card is scheduled to feature the return of Mike "The Persecutor" Paschall as well as "Slick" Nick Kisner and Sherman Artis.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Shah To Battle Veteran Yorgey On February 11 Patriot Center Card!

A very interesting matchup has been added to the Ice Promotions card on Saturday, February 11 at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. Undefeated Centreville, VA middleweight Zain "Tiger" Shah will face veteran contender Harry Joe Yorgey in a six-round contest.

Shah (6-0, four KO's) is coming off a second-round knockout of Julius Kennedy on September 10 at the Patriot Center. It must be noted, however, that there are reports that the win might be changed to a no-contest because Shah hit Kennedy while Kennedy was down on one knee.

Yorgey (23-1-1, 11 KO's) scored a fifth-round TKO over Donovan Castaneda on February 25 in Tulsa, OK. Yorgey visited Virginia last year in hopes to have a bout with Jimmy Lange. Yorgey's only loss was for the interim WBO Light Middleweight title in November of 2009. Yorgey suffered a third-round knockout at the hands of Alfredo Angulo.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- The Other Big Story And How It Didn't Get Its Just Due!

Along with Lamont Peterson and Tori Nelson winning world titles, there was one other major story that many in the mainstream media, especially along the Beltway slept on. A story that even fans of this blog slept on.

That story was about three-time, two-division world champion Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson's induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Maybe the timing of his announcement was bad, because it came during the week of Peterson-Khan, but the announcement should have received a lot more publicity than it did.

Reporters in the internet boxing media truly celebrated Johnson's election because for many, as Steve Kim of said, Johnson was the first blue-chip boxer they had a chance to cover.

It was a chance for me to celebrate because I met Johnson before the internet boxing world. I met a man named Panama Mike Payne who was to become a color-commentator on my first boxing TV show, Friday Night at the Fieldhouse on DCTV. Payne had watched Johnson throughout the amateurs. We were getting ready to call Johnson's fifth pro fight at the original Washington Convention Center. Right before the bout, Panama pulled me aside and said,

"You watch. Johnson will be a world champion someday."

It was early in my boxing writer career and I didn't know you could make a prediction like that after only four bouts. Plus, Johnson had a loss on his record at that time (losing to Irish boxer Richie Wenton in Ireland on St.Patrick's Day). As we know, Panama was right, but unfortunately Panama never got to see Johnson become a world champion because he was killed shortly after that.

Throughout his career, Johnson always put DC first, even when he had to go to the west coast to find flyweights to battle. His loyalty to DC and people here who followed his career from the early days was incredible.

There was a time in boxing where the Beltway couldn't be touched when it came to boxing. From Vincent Pettway's title win in 1994 to the championship wins of Johnson, Keith Holmes, William Joppy and Sharmba Mitchell all the way through the title wins for DeMarcus Corley and Hasim Rahman in 2001. Through that time, Johnson was the only one to be considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Johnson is also the last Beltway Boxer to earn that distinction.

And yet when the announcement came and was posted here on BATB, only one person -- my broadcast partner Jerome "The Fight Doctor" Spears who also covered Johnson during the early years -- put a congratulatory note on the post.

It could be that many of you are too young to have seen Mark Johnson fight. Hopefully, some of the older fans have seen Johnson throughout the area and have congratulated him. The mainstream media, again, maybe because of the timing, did not mention this as they should.

But that's why BATB is here. The mission of this blog has always been to inform folks who live in the DMV about the boxing scene. Many people around the country and world know how good the boxers are here, but many people who LIVE in the area don't.

If all goes well, I will be in Canastota, NY on June 7-10 to chronicle Mark's induction into the Hall of Fame. I hope many of you will join me there. It will be a true culmination of one of the great careers in Beltway Boxing history!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- Beltway Boxer of the Year!

We now come to the final award -- the easiest one to choose for 2011. We indeed had a number of boxers make great strides in their career by winning big matches or becoming well-known in the boxing world.

But there was only one who went from top 10 contender to mandatory contender to world champion. He and his camp took calculated risks but his talent made the chances pay off.

The BATB Beltway Boxer of the Year is:

Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO's) WBA/IBF Light Welterweight champion, Washington, DC

In 2010, the Peterson camp took a huge gamble in turning down a $300,000 bout against Amir Khan in England. Nothing felt right about the contract, the camp said. There was a rematch clause that they didn't like. Peterson instead took a $10,000 bout against Victor Ortiz that ended in a 10-round draw. It looked like the gamble would not pay off.

But fortune shined on the Peterson camp when the IBF eliminator came their way on July 29 of 2011. Peterson traveled to Las Vegas and closed the show in the 12th round with a great knockout. Because Khan had defeated Zab Judah earlier in the year, Peterson would be the mandatory challenger and ended up being paid twice what he would have made the first time the bout was proposed. The stage was set and because Khan insisted on having the fight in DC, the stage would be at the Washington Convention Center.

To paraphrase the late newsman Paul Harvey, we now know the rest of the story. But the epilogue of the story seems to get better with every passing week. Despite the controversy surrounding the win, many boxing fans along the Beltway and around the world have celebrated one of the great rags-to-riches stories in recent boxing history. Peterson and his brother Anthony have been feted all around the city with Lamont Peterson getting the key to the city from DC Mayor Vincent Gray and both brothers being named the grand marshals for the Martin Luther King Day parade in Southeast, DC.

It's been quite a while since a Beltway Boxer had a more complete year than Lamont Peterson, who wins this award for the second time in the BATB era.

Honorable Mention:

Gary Russell, Jr. (19-0, 11 KO's) super featherweight, Capitol Heights, MD.

If not for the magnitude of Lamont Peterson's year, Russell probably would have won this award hands down. The 2008 US Olympian won seven bouts in 2011 against opponents with a combined won-loss record of 156-49-5. Russell thrilled national TV audiences with his blinding hand speed and great power. Russell's first-round knockout of Heributo Ruiz on November 26 turned Russell into a true contender. Four national media outlets have named him the prospect of the year, something BATB did in 2010 (along with Seth Mitchell). There is already talk of a world title shot in 2012.

Seth Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KO's), heavyweight, Brandywine, MD

The man called "America's Best Heavyweight" had another outstanding year culminating in an eye-opening knockout win over Timur Ibragimov on the Peterson-Khan undercard. Mitchell has nine straight knockouts and put himself in the top 10 of one of the major governing bodies. Mitchell's development has been so fun to watch and it will be very interesting to see what 2012 brings.

Tori Nelson (5-0-1), WBC Female Middleweight champion, Ashburn, VA

You could say Nelson set the standard for winning world championships in the Beltway with her 10-round split decision WBC title win over Lorissa Rivas on July 29 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Nelson, like Peterson, has a very interesting back story as she holds down three jobs (cafeteria worker, school bus driver and IHOP waitress) and is a single mother of two. So the fact that Nelson was even able to take the title bout and then win the title is an amazing story.

Nelson is not resting on her laurels as she tries for her second world title in February at the Patriot Center. We await the next chapter of this story.

Previous BATB Beltway Boxers of the Year:

2006: Eric Aiken
2007: Darnell Wilson
2008: Lamont Peterson/Joshua Snyder
2009: Fernando Guerrero
2010: Tim Coleman

That concludes the awards. I'll have a special comment sometime on Wednesday.

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- Bout of the Year!

Truly there is no doubt about the 2011 Beltway Bout of the Year. The bout was the result of two calculated risks -- one that succeeded and one that failed. The bout was also THE best bout that I have seen along the Beltway in my 27-year history of covering boxing in the DMV. Suffice it to say that weeks after the bout, folks around the local, national and international boxing scene are STILL talking about it and the fallout has been incredible for the participants involved.

The BATB Bout of the Year is:

Lamont Peterson 12 round split decision over Amir Khan -- December 10, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

This bout was as important a contest as I have seen in this area. Yes, we've had title bouts before (contrary to what the media tended to say during this week), but this had more going for it. There was of course, the world champion who wanted to prove his worth by defending his title against the number-one challenger in the challenger's hometown. There was also that challenger who turned down $300,000 to fight Khan earlier in favor of a $10,000 bout, then won a title eliminator that made him eligible to face Khan anyway.

In the end of course, Peterson's gamble paid off while Khan's didn't. The result is that the bout has been named one of the best of 2011 by most boxing media and Peterson's win moved one local writer to call the victory the best sports story in DC in 2011. We need not be redundant in saying how great the bout itself was.

Honorable Mention:

Joshua Snyder eight-round split decision over Maxell Taylor, November 3, Martin's Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, MD.

This bout could have been a dictionary definition of the term "phone-booth fight." These two young veterans were in each other's chests for most of the bout. Finally in the seventh round, Snyder was finally able to get Taylor off of him and was able to win the bout. Two great boxers in action.

Omar Sims four-round majority decision over Barry Trotter, November 19, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD.

Another bout fought in close. In their short careers, both men have been in some very exciting fights. We thought we would get the same when they fought each other and we weren't disappointed. The two landed good in close shots before Sims was able to get the victory.

Previous BATB Bouts of the Year:

2006: Maxell Taylor six-round draw with Derek Ennis, March 9, Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD.

2007: John Mackey six-round unanimous decision over Tony Cygan, December 7, Pikesville, MD

2008: Juan Rodriguez TKO 3 over Benjamin Borteye, November 7, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

2009: Cory Cummings TKO 9 over Demetrius Davis, May 29, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD

2010: Jessie Nicklow 10-round unanimous decision over Scott Sigmon, March 20, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD/Nicklow 10-round draw with Julius Kennedy, September 17, Du Burns Arena/Sigmon 10-round unanimous decision over Kennedy, December 11, Pikesville National Guard Armory, Pikesville, MD.

Next: Beltway Boxer of the Year!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- Card of The Year!

There should be very little doubt in the final three awards for 2011 starting with the Card of the Year. In 27 years of covering boxing in the Beltway region, I can't remember a card that people were talking about days after the card was over. There can truly be only one Card of the Year for 2011.

The BATB Card of the Year of 2011 is:

"Capital Showdown" -- December 10 -- Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

The main event and co-feature not withstanding, this card was a nice showcase of the present and future of the Beltway Boxing scene with 11 Beltway Boxers on the card. The undercard featured solid performances by Anthony Peterson (in a win over DC resident Daniel Attah), a comeback win for Fernando Guerrero and great wins by undefeated boxers Thomas Williams, Jr., Dusty Harrison (against Terrell Davis), Joshua Davis and Terron Grant. The card was exciting and great for the sport in this area.

Honorable Mention:

March 12 -- George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.

This card saw the continuation of a Beltway Boxing franchise, the end of a storied career a big upset and a controversy.

No matter how fans feel about Jimmy Lange the boxer, Jimmy Lange the franchise is one of the most successful in Beltway Boxing history. Win or lose, people come to see him. The cards themselves have also grown and have showcased some great talent from the Beltway region. Lange had a workmanlike win over Jimmy Holmes on this card. Former world champion and Beltway legend William Joppy put a bow on his incredible career by defeating Baltimore's Cory Cummings by unanimous decision in a rematch for his 40th victory. Unheralded Larry Pryor upset previously undefeated and rising prospect Mark Tucker and Todd Wilson won by controversial disqualification over Dean White.

November 19 -- Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

This card had a number of really good bouts and some great knockouts. We've talked about Kevin Womack's devastating KO of Benjamin Olinga, but there were a number of others including Dennis Benson's crushing KO of Abodurin Akinyanju. There was also a nice comeback knockout for Lenwood Dozier over Norman Allen and Venroy July's stoppage of Jason Pauley in the main event. There was also a great bout between Omar Sims and Barry Trotter that Sims won by majority decision. A very exciting card.

July 16 -- DC Star Nightclub, Washington DC

A number of solid Beltway prospects were on this card and put in some good workmanlike performances. Alexander Johnson dominated the main event scoring a fourth-round TKO over Keon Johnson. Emmanuel Taylor won a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Jose Roman. Venroy July, Alantez Fox and Thomas Snow all won decisions and young pros Jerren Cochran and Jacey Thompson all won by crushing knockouts.

Previous BATB Cards of the Year:

2006 -- December 9, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA (Jimmy Lange draws with Fontaine Cabell, Dean White defeats Dorin Spivey, JP Flaim of the Junkies loses against Jay Watts.)

2007 -- December 7, Pikesville National Guard Armory, Pikesville, MD (Tim Coleman draws with Martinus Clay, Jessie Nicklow defeats Anthony Little and John Mackey defeats Tony Cygan) and August 3, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD (Pro-Am card -- Horace Grant over Mujaheed Moore, Thomas Snow knocks out Markel Muhammad, Seth Mitchell [his only amateur loss] falls to Abodurin Akinyanju and Dusty Harrison also on the amateur portion.

2008 -- October 18, ABC Sports Arena, Springfield, VA (John Mackey wins over Jesse Williams, Darrell Martin over Andre Nichols)

2009 -- September 25, Shipley Arena, Westminster, MD (Mark Tucker wins USBO title, Tyrell Samuel over Gustavo Dailey)

2010 -- March 20, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD (Jessie Nicklow over Scott Sigmon, James Stevenson over George Rivera)

Next: Bout of the Year

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- Knockout of the Year!

First, a reminder about the criteria for this award.

1. The knockout had to have taken place somewhere in the Beltway Boxing region. This eliminates Gary Russell, Jr.'s stunning KO of Heributo Ruiz.

2. The knockout must have been accomplished by a Beltway Boxer. This eliminates Dennis Benson's KO of Abodurin Akinyanju. Benson is from Norfolk, VA.

With that out of the way, there weren't too many knockouts of note this year but one in particular REALLY stood out.

The BATB Knockout of the Year for 2011 is:

Kevin Womack KO4 over Benjamin Olinga, November 19, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

The fact that Womack is still eligible for 2012 rookie honors doesn't overshadow the fact that he made a name for himself with a brutal knockout over Olinga. In the fourth and final round of the contest, Womack landed a crunching right uppercut that left Olinga on the canvas for several moments. Olinga was taken to a nearby hospital after the bout.

Honorable Mention:

Thomas Snow KO3 over James Franks, April 22, DC Star Nightclub, Washington DC

Solid knockout by Snow as he threw a beautiful left-right combination that dropped Franks face-first to the canvas with no count necessary. The bout was stopped at 1:36 of the round.

Emmanuel Taylor KO3 over Lenwood Dozier, August 19, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD

This was another combo knockout as Taylor ended Dozier's night with a lightning quick two-punch combination that toppled Dozier to the canvas. Dozier could not beat the referee count and the bout was stopped at 2:35 of the third.

Previous BATB Knockouts of the Year:

2006: Jed Phipps KO1 over David Cleage -- January 20, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD.

2007: Elias Bouloubassis KO1 over Vincent Robbins -- March 10, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD.

2008: Seth Mitchell TKO2 over Alexis Cruz Medina -- May 29, Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD.

2009: Tony Jeter KO1 over Keith Gross -- September 26, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.

2010: Jimmy Lange KO 10 over Joe Wyatt -- November 6, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.

Next: Card of the Year

Beltway Boxing 2011 -- Prospect of The Year!

The BATB Prospect of the Year for 2011 is the toughest choice to make. The 2010 Prospects of the Year -- Gary Russell, Jr. and Seth Mitchell have elevated themselves to contender status as both are ranked by the major governing bodies.

So who leads our next wave? In 2011, two guys stood out from the rest of the pack and, as in 2010, neither one distinguished himself from the other. The difference from the previous year is that both men did this under the radar, but there could be some big things in store for both of them in 2012.

The BATB Prospects of the Year for 2011 are:

Maurice Byarm (13-0-1, nine KO's), heavyweight, Washington, DC and Venroy July (9-0-2, three KO's), cruiserweight, Suitland, MD

While all the up-and-coming heavyweight press was deservedly going to fellow Beltway Boxer Seth Mitchell, Byarm was quietly going about the country doing his job. The year started off with Byarm stopping Willie Palms in the fifth round in DC on April 23. Byarm then signed with Greg Cohen Promotions of New York. Byarm's first bout under the Cohen banner was a dubious one as he fought to a six-round draw with Homero Fonseca on August 17 in Austin, TX. However, Byarm bounced back with two wins away from home winning a six-round unanimous decision over Rodricka Ray in Tunica, MS on July 30 and a first-round knockout over Clinton Boldridge on October 15 in Grand Island, NB. By the end of 2012, there could be two Beltway heavyweights looking to do great things.

July also had things moving in the right direction in 2011 winning four of his five bouts. July suffered a draw in a six-rounder against Paul Jennette on April 23 in Winston-Salem, NC. In July's four victories, he didn't lose a round. July won three decisions against Joe Broken Rope (January 28), Rayshawn Myers (July 16) and Willie Chisolm (August 19) and ended his year with a first-round knockout of Jason Pauley on November 19. The fact that July lives a dual life as a lawyer and a boxer and still have quality performances is amazing enough. It will also be fun to see his progression.

Honorable Mention:

Todd Wilson (11-0, three KO's), junior welterweight, Fairfax, VA

Wilson only fought twice in 2011, but his victories were notable because they came against true veterans. Wilson won by third-round disqualification over Dean White and then opened many people's eyes with his six-round unanimous decision over former world champion Eric Aiken. Wilson has one of the rising fan bases in the area and if he steps up his competition in 2012, could have a big year.

Alexander Johnson (12-1, five KO's), light heavyweight, Washington, DC

Despite his nationally-televised loss against Luis Garcia, the path Johnson forged to get to that point is what puts him on this list. Johnson won twice in 2011 including his big 10-round majority win over previously undefeated Farah Ennis on April 2 in New Jersey. If the loss to Garcia was a result in part of something wrong with Johnson's stomach, then expect him to bounce back strong in 2012.

Scott Sigmon, (19-3, 10 KO's), super middleweight, Bedford, VA

Sigmon was the busiest fighter in the Beltway region in 2011, fighting seven times in a seven-month period and notching six wins. Sigmon's lone setback was a 10-round majority decision against undefeated Chris Fitzpatrick. Sigmon scored two knockouts over faded contender Tiwon Taylor. With the exception of his win over John Terry, all of Sigmon's wins came against .500 or above veteran competition.

Previous BATB Prospects of the Year:

2006: Tyrell Samuel
2007: Tim Coleman
2008: Bayan Jargal
2009: Mark Tucker
2010: Gary Russell, Jr. and Seth Mitchell

Next: Knockout of the Year