We now come to the Beltway Boxing Card of the Year for 2013 and unlike other awards this year, this was the easiest choice to make.
Out of 29 cards this year, most of them on the very good level, one card help reshape the direction of the Beltway Boxing landscape going forward. The card gave fans exactly what the wanted and gave a number of locals a prime opportunity to become fan favorites. This choice was a no-brainer from the moment the card ended.
The Beltway Boxing Card of the Year for 2013 took place on:
September 7 at Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Phil Jackson Benson vs. Scott Sigmon, Alantez Fox vs. Zain Shah, Mike Reed vs. Rameses Gil
What made this Keystone Boxing-promoted card so special was that every local on the card received a solid test thereby giving a packed house at Rosecroft a great opportunity to see where many locals would be headed.
The card featured the Bout of the Year for 2013 in Mike Reed’s win over Rameses Gil and that bout wasn’t even the main event. Phil Jackson Benson won the WBC USNBC Super Middleweight title with a sixth-round TKO over Scott Sigmon. In an all-Beltway junior middleweight contest, Alantez Fox captured a six-round unanimous decision over Zain Shah. In what was a very evenly-matched contest, Marcus Bates won by fourth-round TKO over Carlos Alcala of Hillside, IL. Welterweight Benjamin Olinga captured a four-round split decision over fellow local Tyrone Wright.
Two locals did not pass the test given to them -- Eric Govan was stopped in the first round by Jess Noriega and Joshua Davis lost a four-round unanimous decision to Aaron Chavez of Melbourne, FL. This card was as competitive and as exciting a card as we have had in this area in the last couple of years.
Honorable Mention (listed in chronological order):
March 23 at Frederick Fight Club, Frederick MD -- Dillon Heyman (pictured) vs. Stanley Harvey, Zakki Scott vs. Travis Reeves, Eric Govan vs. Mark Baltimore
This all-four-round card was the initial one for Venroy July's Hardwork Promotions and the card was a very competitive one with some great performances by young locals. Dillon Heyman won a tough majority decision over Stanley Harvey of San Diego, CA. Zakki Scott won a majority decision over fellow local Travis Reeves, who was making his pro debut. Devar Ferhadi stopped a game Jason Bakanowski of Northborough, MA at 1:29 of the third round. Eric Govan won his pro debut with a unanimous decision over Mark Baltimore. Rodrigo Gabriel won his pro debut with a unanimous decision over Quincey Johnson.
In the only non-competitive bout on the card, Ecuadorian Olympic heavyweight Ytalo Parea scored a first-round TKO over Chris Gordon of Charleston, SC. Even the exhibition on the card was spirited as Gerome Quigley sparred with Tommy Ayres, Jr.
May 18, University of the District of Columbia Sports Complex, Washington, DC -- Dusty Hernandez Harrison vs. Eddie Soto, Jerry Odom (pictured) vs. Andrew Morias, Patrick Coye vs. Chorles Parker
This All-In Entertainment card had a lot of hype associated with it -- it was the first card at UDC since Riddick Bowe stopped Pinklon Thomas in the eighth round in September of 1990. Also, of course, the card was slated to feature a breakout performance by Dusty Hernandez Harrison.
That is exactly what took place as Harrison stopped Eddie Soto in five rounds. Jerry Odom continued his first-round knockout streak against Andrew Morias. Patrick Coye scored a brutal knockout in the first round over Chorles Parker. Kevin Rivers, Jr. won a four-round unanimous decision over veteran Jason Rorie. Local heavyweight Phill Brown made a comeback but was stopped in the first round by Californian Natu Visinia. The card would have been even better if the bouts for Greg Newby and Mike Reed had taken place -- and if the lights hadn’t gone out in the gym during the Charles Natal-Damon Antoine bout.
June 15, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC -- Ty Barnett (pictured) vs. Stephon Alexander, Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Rasool Shakoor, Danny Kelly vs. Rayshawn Myers
A lot of knockouts on this card, however, some of the locals had to work for them which made this card very interesting. Ty Barnett, in his dual role as promoter (Top Flight Promotions) and boxer, put himself in with a tough Stephon Alexander and eventually knocked him out in the sixth round. Kevin Rivers, Jr. stopped Rasool Shakoor with a solid body shot in the second round. Danny Kelly’s knockout of Rayshawn Myers was one of the best of the year.
David Grayton needed just 38 seconds to stop Jamaal Davis. Both Antonio Magruder and Monreco Goldston scored knockouts in their pro debuts. Mike Reed went the four-round distance for the first time in defeating DeMarcus Rogers of Nashville, TN. Renaldo Gaines was stopped in the second round by Anthony Smith of Las Vegas.
(Photos: Sept. 7 card by Wallace Barron; all others by Juan Marshall)
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)
2011 – December 10, Washington Convention Center, Washington DC (Lamont Peterson over Amir Khan for IBF/WBA Junior Welterweight title, Seth Mitchell over Timor Ibragimov)
2012 -- October 27, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA (Tony Jeter over Jimmy Lange, Brandon Quarles draws with John Mackey)
Tomorrow -- Our final award -- The Beltway Boxing Boxer of the Year!