(photos by Mike Greenhill)
Virginia Beltway Boxers Tori "Sho Nuff" Nelson and "The Bolivian Queen" Jennifer Salinas scored unanimous decision victories in the featured bouts during the Shawstyle Productions/Shabazz Brothers card at Martin's West in Woodlawn, MD.
Nelson of Ashburn, VA (right) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Kita "Ready-Made" Watkins of Fort Worth, TX to capture the vacant Universal Boxing Federation Middleweight title. The championship is Nelson's ninth in her career.
The bout was a rematch of a contest the two had on March 20 at Martin's West. Nelson won the first bout easily with a shutout 10-round unanimous decision. Nelson had to work a little harder to get the win in the rematch. Watkins used more movement and defended herself much better against Nelson's right hand. However, Nelson showed her champion's heart at the midway point of the bout when she decked Watkins with a right hook to the chin in the fifth round. Nelson was able to control the bout the rest of the way to score the win. Judge Brent Bovell scored the bout a shutout for Nelson at 100-89 while John Gradowski saw the bout 98-91 and David Greer scored it 99-90. This was the first time in four bouts that Nelson lost a round on a judge's scorecard.
Nelson remains undefeated at 15-0-3, one KO while Watkins drops to 7-13, one KO.
The co-feature saw Salinas of Manassas, VA win an eight-round unanimous decision over a very game Jasmine "Ms. Redd" Clarkson of Cedar Hill, TX.
Clarkson gave Salinas difficulty early with her southpaw style and movement. However, Salinas was eventually able to match Clarkson's speed and increase her own activity. As the bout wore on, Salinas was able to connect more frequently. Judges Gradowski and Greer scored the bout 78-74 while Judge Kenny Chevalier scored the bout 79-73.
Salinas is now 16-3, four KO's while Clarkson is 2-3.
There were two pro debuts on the card. Lightweight Eric "El Torito" Hernandez of Leesburg, VA won a four-round unanimous decision over Mason Wickett of Milwaukee, WI.
After getting comfortable in the first round, Hernandez was able to land solid right hands to the body as well as left and right uppercuts to Wickett's face. To Wickett's credit, he stayed in the bout and weathered the storm but Hernandez's offense was the determining factor in the contest as he won by shutout (40-36) across the board. Wickett is still looking for his first win as he is now 0-10.
The other pro debut saw Randallstown, MD middleweight Jeffrey "Gladiator" McCalla score a first-round knockout over Carlos Dixon of Dallas, TX. McCalla, the younger brother of veteran middleweight Cecil McCalla, rushed Dixon from the opening bell and pressured him with solid bouts. Eventually, McCalla dropped Dixon with a left hand to the face. Dixon beat the count but McCalla swarmed Dixon in a neutral corner long enough for referee Kenny Chevalier to stop the bout at 2:50. Dixon's record falls to 1-4-1, one KO.
Ashburn, VA lightweight Seth "Killer B" Billups scored two knockdowns en route to a third-round stoppage of Christopher Russell of Amarillo, TX. Billups landed a counter right hand to drop Russell to one knee late in the first round. Billups then landed a left hand to the body and a left uppercut to the head in the third round to end Russell's evening at 28 seconds.
Billups remains undefeated at 6-0, five KO's while Russell falls to 3-13-1, two KO's.
In one of the fastest knockouts in Maryland state history, Brooklyn, NY super lightweight Ivan "The Beast" Baranchyk needed just three seconds to stop Angel "El Fuego" Figueroa of Lorain, OH.
The bell rang, Baranchyk landed a straight left hand to the body, a crushing left hook to the head, Figueroa fell and the bell rang again.
Baranchyk, a native of Belarus, remains undefeated at 7-0, six KO's. Figueroa's record evens at 3-3-1.
Because Baranchyk boxes out of New York, his knockout will not qualify for Beltway Boxing Knockout of the Year. However, Devin Butcher's first-round knockout of Walter McCray certainly is in the running. After pressuring his opponent from the opening bell, the Baltimore native Butcher stopped McCray of Lynchburg, VA with a crushing right hand that sent McCray crashing to the canvas and his mouthpiece flying over my ringside location. Referee Brent Bovell counted to 10 and the bout was over at 55 seconds.
With the win, Butcher's record is now 4-0, two knockouts while McCray is 0-2.
In the curtain-raising contest, Baltimore welterweight Kevin "The Scarecrow" Womack, Jr. stopped James "Trouble" Gooding of Tampa, FL at 2:29 of the second round. Womack dropped Gooding twice with right hands before the bout was stopped.
Since losing three straight bouts in 2014, Womack is unbeaten in his last four contests (2-0-2, two KO's). Womack's overall record is now 6-5-3, four KO's. Gooding falls to 1-8-1, one KO.
We have the call of the Nelson-Watkins rematch and our Post-Fight Wrap-Up here:
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