Finally, we conclude our Beltway Boxing 2016 Awards. The announcements were made on the Boxing Along The Beltway Google App For Android at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD on Friday night prior to the events of Saturday evening.
(Illustrations by Ross Molovinsky)
The Beltway Boxing Knockout of the Year is:
Sam Crossed KO1 over Mike Estus, August 19, Crystal City Hilton, Crystal City, VA
On a card that featured a number of knockouts, the one created by "The Vanilla Gorilla" stood out. Crossed crushed Estus with right hands that stretched Estus on the campus. After two decision wins that made some question his power at the cruiserweight level, Crossed changed some ideas with this vicious knockout.
The Beltway Boxing Card of The Year took place on:
November 12, Coppermine Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD
The Shawstyle Promotions/Shabazz Brothers card contained a solid victory by Travis Reeves -- a second-round TKO over Aaron Quattrochi in the main event. However, it was the middle bouts that made the card special. Stephon Morris won a tough, four-round majority decision over Gregory Clark in a solid middleweight bout. In another middleweight contest, Jeffrey McCalla worked hard to earn a third-round TKO over a game Jose Valderrama. Also, Devin Butcher won a close unanimous decision in an all-Maryland light heavyweight bout over Eric Govan. This was a very competitive card.
The 2016 Beltway Boxers of the Year are:
"Swift" Jarrett Hurd, super welterweight, Accokeek, MD 19-0, 13 KO's
Gervonta "Tank" Davis, super featherweight, Baltimore, MD 16-0, 15 KO's (prior to January 14)
No other boxers moved their careers better than these two undefeated boxers. It wasn't about the number of bouts both men had as each men fought just twice in 2016. However, it was the quality of bouts and their successful performances under the bright lights that set them apart.
For Hurd, his movement came as a continuation of an ascent that began with his eye-opening sixth round TKO of Frank Galarza in November of 2015. On June 25, Hurd was in a co-feature contest against fellow undefeated boxer Oscar Molina in Brooklyn, NY. Hurd forced Molina's glove to touch the ground in the first round and proceeded to systematically break down Molina until the bout was stopped in the 10th and final round
On November 12th in Philadelphia, PA, Hurd, after one boxer became ill and another refused to face him, took on former world title contender Jo Jo Dan. Hurd proceeded to batter Dan for six rounds before Dan's corner had the bout stopped. The two wins have made Hurd one of the top 154-pounders in the world as he is ranked in the top 10 in three major governing bodies as well as Ring Magazine. A title shot could be mere months away.
For Davis, the 22-year-old also used strong performances to put himself in contender position. In front of a large Beltway crowd at the DC Armory in Washington, DC, Davis put on a very impressive performance with a sixth-round stoppage of Guillermo Avila on April 1. Davis broke down Avila throughout the bout, dropping him with a brutal straight left hand late in the fifth round. Davis would close the show with two crushing right uppercuts that forced referee Michelle Myers to stop the bout at 29 seconds of the sixth round.
On June 3, Davis needed just 41 seconds to stop Mario Macias in Hollywood, FL. The win against the two veteran boxers put Davis in the top ten rankings in the super featherweight division and, even though this selection was made before January 14, everyone can see why we made this selection.