As we head into August, a number of Beltway Boxers will be on the road for some interesting contests. Here's what we know so far.
Friday, August 9 -- Undefeated Capitol Heights, MD featherweight "Mr." Gary Russell, Jr. returns to action in a scheduled 10-round contest against Juan Ruiz of Santa Clarita, CA. The card is being shown on Showtime from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA. Russell (22-0, 13 KO's) will fight for the first time since hurting his hand in his 10-round unanimous decision victory over Vyacheslav Gusev on March 2 in Las Vegas. A victory puts Russell in position to face the winner of Orlando Cruz and Orlando Salido who are slated to fight for the vacated WBO Featherweight title. Ruiz (23-11, seven KO's) will be trying to break a six-bout losing streak.
Undefeated Newport News, VA heavyweight Jerry "Slug" Forrest (7-0, six KO's), is slated to be on that card as well. Forrest is managed by Sharif Salim who handles Seth Mitchell. Forrest will take on "El Gallo Negro" Gerald Washington of San Jose, CA (8-0, five KO's). Washington is a former football player at the University of Southern California who spent time on the practice squads of the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills.
Monday, August 19 -- BATB has learned that rookie super middleweight D'Mitrius Ballard of Temple Hills, MD (2-0, two KO's) will be involved on a card at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. No word yet on his opponent.
Wednesday, August 21 -- Glen Burnie, MD welterweight Lenwood "Mr. Composure" Dozier comes back into the ring in a four-round contest at the Steel Stacks Arts Quest Center in Bethlehem, PA against an opponent to be determined. Dozier (8-5-1, four KO's) scored a first-round TKO over Markel Muhammad on April 27 in Winston-Salem, NC in his last outing.
Friday, August 23 -- There are two Beltway Boxers competing on that night. Undefeated DC welterweight Dusty Hernandez Harrison returns to Dover Downs in Dover, DE for a scheduled six-round contest against Guillermo Valdes of Miami, FL. Harrison (16-0, nine KO's) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision win over Ben Ankrah on June 29 in Mashantucket, CT. Valdes (12-4, three KO's) has not fought since June of 2011 and has lost his last two outings to undefeated boxers. Valdes has been stopped in his last three contests
Also on August 23, Charlottsville, VA middleweight George "Wartime" Rivera returns to the ring for a six-round contest at the Valley Forge Resort and Casino in Valley Forge, PA against "Lightning" Harry Joe Yorgey of Bridgeport, PA. Rivera (13-8-1, four KO's) last fought on February 9 and was stopped in the eighth round against Keenan Collins in Allentown, PA.
Yorgey (27-2-1, 12 KO's) has been feasting on Beltway competition as of late as he has beaten four locals in his last five bouts. Yorgey's last two bouts were victories over Julius Kennedy. Yorgey also defeated Zain Shah and Lawrence Jones during that stretch. Yorgey is undefeated against Beltway competition thus far in his career (9-0) including victories over Billy Johnson, Matt Hill (twice), Larry Brothers and Mike McFail in the early stages of his career.
Also, and we will cover this in greater detail in a separate post, it looks like Tony Thompson will battle Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, August 24 in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The bout will be for Pulev's IBF International Heavyweight title and another world title shot. We'll have a more official preview of this later in the week.