There will be a card tonight at the Sphinx Club in Northwest Washington, DC that will warrant a different type of preview than I normally give. First, I apologize for the late notice of the card. I actually was given the details of the card only yesterday afternoon.
After looking at the bout sheet, I started to understand why.
The positives out of the way first. Tonight's DC Fight Night Promotions card will feature the pro debut of three of the most accomplished amateurs to come out of the Beltway in many years.
Tyrek Irby of Oxon Hill, MD was the first local to qualify for the Olympic Trials at 141 pounds. Irby participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning two bouts.
Tiara Brown of Bladensburg, MD was a world amateur champion at 125 pounds and was a two-time participant in the Women's US Olympic Trials.
Malik Jackson of DC won medals in numerous tournaments in Poland and the Ukraine and is a former USA Nationals champion.
Unfortunately, the pro debuts may not be as memorable as hoped. Seven of the nine bouts on the card -- including the three bouts for Irby, Brown and Jackson -- will match Beltway Boxers against boxers from Wilson, NC, a town where a North Carolina boxing blogger tabulated that boxers went 0 for the entire year of 2015.
Back in June of 2013, there was a similar card that took place at Echostage lounge in DC. My normal thought pattern is not judge the card simply by what is written on paper. However, the card was what I thought it would be -- a fiasco.
Three years later, I can't help but pre-judge now. On this card, only one of the boxers from Wilson has a win, two are winless and four are making pro debuts.
If you have heard my podcasts, you have heard my take on this. I'm afraid that one of these Wilson boxers will get seriously injured. Also, the Beltway Boxers will not get an opportunity to show their talent.
After the June 2013 card, the District Of Columbia Boxing And Wrestling Commission had banned boxers from Wilson from coming to DC. Unfortunately, the man who imposed the ban, Deputy Commissoner Alfred Grant, passed away in 2015.
I don't want you to avoid this card entirely -- there are some quality boxers on the A side of this event and you should support them. However, history has proven that you should not expect much from their opponents.
With that, here is the card:
Main Event - Six Rounds - Lightweights -- Patrick Harris (9-0, six KO's), Hyattsville, MD vs. Joseph "Trouble" Figueroa (11-59-5, three KO's), Bronx, NY. Harris is coming off a second-round TKO over Dedrick Bell on April 1 at the DC Armory. Figueroa makes his third straight trip to the Beltway. Figueroa lost back-to-back unanimous decisions in April and May in Springfield, VA to Andrew Farmer and Steve Weimer.
Co-Feature - Four Rounds -- Super Lightweights-- Antonio "Teflon" Magruder (4-0, three KO's), Washington, DC vs. Ronnie Watson (pro debut), Wilson, NC. Magruder last fought on February 27 and scored a third-round TKO over Terrell James at the Washington Convention Center.
Four-Rounds - Lightweights - Females - Tiara Brown (pro debut), Bladensburg, MD vs. Khadija Sanders (pro debut), Wilson, NC.
Four-Rounds - Super Featherweights - Renardo "Misunderstood" Gaines (7-2, one KO), District Heights, MD vs. Sean Lockhart (5-26-2, two KO's), Greenwood, SC. Gaines has not fought since winning a six-round majority decision over Stephon McIntyre in July of 2015 at the Sphinx Club. Lockhart last fought in January of 2015 at the Convention Center and was stopped by Harris in the first round.
Four-Rounds - Heavyweights - Mike "Silverback" Balogun (7-0, six KO's) Upper Marlboro, MD vs. Demonte Cherry (1-1, one KO), Wilson, NC. Balogun scored a second-round TKO over Luther Smith on August 19 in Crystal City, VA. Cherry knocked out Mose Smith in the second round on July 29 in Charlotte, NC.
Four-Rounds - Bantamweights - Mo Adams, Jr (1-1), Washington, DC vs. Isaiah Stubbs (Pro Debut), Wilson, NC. This will be the first bout for Adams, Jr. since losing to Gabriel Braxton by third-round TKO in January of 2015 at the Washington Convention Center.
Four-Rounds - Super Lightweights - Tyrek Irby vs. Marquis Johnson (pro debut), Wilson, NC.
Four-Rounds - Bantamweights - Malik Jackson vs. Javonta Cherry (0-1), Wilson, NC. Cherry lost his pro debut by first-round TKO to Mack Allison IV on July 23 in Durham, NC.
Four-Rounds - Middleweights - Philip Hooker (1-0, one KO) , Washington, DC vs. Damian Archer (0-2), Wilson, NC. Hooker made his pro debut on August 19 and scored a first-round TKO over David Rohn in Crystal City, VA. Archer was stopped in the first round by Steve Weimer on June 4 in Springfield, VA.
First bell for the card is at 7 PM ET.