Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 14th MGM National Harbor Card Almost Complete!

The Greg Cohen Promotions/Banner Promotions card that will take place on Friday, April 14 at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD is almost complete.  Three of the bouts will be shown on a ShoBox telecast on Showtime that will begin at 10 PM ET.  Two of the bouts on the televised portion of the card will include boxers from Baltimore.

In the co-feature bout, undefeated Baltimore welterweight Malik "Iceman" Hawkins will face off with equally undefeated Carlos "Narro" Soto of Torreon, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico in an eight-round encounter.  Hawkins (10-0, seven KO's) comes off a six-round unanimous decision victory over Antonio Chaves Fernandez on November 11 in Sloan, IA.  Hawkins will face an undefeated boxer and go eight round for the first time in his pro career.

Soto (13-0-2, seven KO's) makes his first trip to the United States after fighting all of his pro bouts in his native Mexico.  Soto is a former Youth Silver lightweight champion who is competing for just the second time in three years.  Soto scored a third-round technical knockout over Alonso Martinez on February 3 in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Opening the ShoBox telecast will be undefeated Baltimore super featherweight Glenn Dezurn who will take on two-time national amateur champion Leroy Davila of New Brunswick, NJ in another eight-round contest.  Dezurn (8-0, six KO's) has scored TKOs in his last three contests including a second-round stoppage of Devon Jones on December 15 in Charenton, LA.  Davila (5-0, three KO's) is coming off a third-round TKO over Anthony Taylor on January 20th in Atlantic City, NJ.  Neither boxer has gone six rounds before, much less eight.

The main event on the card will be a bout for the interim WBA Light Heavyweight championship. Undefeated Dmitry Bivol of Vsevolzhsk, Russia will defend his title against Samuel Clarkson of Cedar Hill, TX. Bivol (9-0, seven KO's) made the first defense of the interim title by knocking out Robert Berridge in the fourth round on February 23 in Nizhny Tagil, Russia.  Bivol won the title on May 21 in Moscow by a 12-round unanimous decision over Felix Valera.  As the interim titleholder, Bivol is ranked number one by the WBA.

Clarkson (19-3, 12 KO's) has not fought since December 9th when he scored a first-round TKO over Larry Pryor in Dallas, TX.  Clarkson is currently riding a nine-bout winning streak which includes a third-round stoppage of Jerry Odom on a ShoBox card in Bethlehem, PA in July of 2015.

The non-televised undercard will feature an interesting eight-round light heavyweight contest between Travis "Seveer" Reeves of Baltimore taking on Taneal "Spider" Goyco of Philadelphia, PA.  Reeves (13-2-2, seven KO's) was one of the three Beltway Boxing Prospects of the Year in 2016.  Reeves is currently riding a 10-bout winning streak which includes his second-round dismantling of Aaron Quattrocchi for the USBO Light Heavyweight title on November 14 in Baltimore.

However, Goyco (9-9-1, four KO's) has proven to be a spoiler for Beltway Boxers over the years, gaining a 3-1 record with two knockouts.  In his last outing, Goyco upset Jerry Odom by fifth-round stoppage on November 11th in Philadelphia.  Goyco also has a sixth-round split decision win over Devin Butcher and a sixth-round knockout victory over Jeremy Trussell.  Goyco's one loss came against Demond Nicholson by stoppage in the fourth round.

The card will also mark the pro debut of Hasim "Gold Blooded" Rahman, Jr. who will battle Lanham, MD's Ralph Alexander in a four-round heavyweight encounter.  The older son of the former two-time heavyweight champion, Rahman, Jr. competed in Las Vegas as an amateur until legal issues delayed his entry into the pros.  Alexander competed in the Washington Golden Gloves in the novice and open divisions from 2014 to 2017.

In other bouts on the card, Philadelphia heavyweight Joey Dawejko will take on Rodney Hernandez of Modesto, CA in an eight-round bout.  Dawejko (17-4-3, 10 KO's) comes off a first-round TKO over Willie Kyles on December 3 in Johnson City, TN.  Dawejko's four losses have all come when he has stepped up in competition, including a 10-round unanimous decision loss to fellow Philadelphia heavyweight Amir Mansour for the Pennsylvania State title.  Hernandez (10-5-1, two KO's) is trying to bounce back from a six-round unanimous decision loss to Zhilei Zhang on July 22 in Atlantic City, NJ. Hernandez is 0-2 when fighting on the East Coast of the US.

In another eight-round heavyweight battle, undefeated Sergey Kuzmin of Saint Petersburg, Russia will face off with Carlos "El Chicano" Cotto of Caguas, Puerto Rico.  Kuzmin (9-0, six KO's) has scored TKO's in his last three contests and is the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council Heavyweight champ.  Kuzmin knocked out Vaclav Pejsar on February 23 in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. Cotto (8-1-1, five KO's) is a cousin of former world champion Miguel Cotto.  Carlos Cotto has not fought since winning a six-round split decision over Jimmy Suarez in April of 2015 in Mayguez, Puerto Rico.  Suarez knocked out Cotto in the first round in their first meeting two months earlier.

In a six-round featherweight encounter, Salinas, CA's Ruben Villa will take on Luis Enrique Diaz Torres of Puerto Rico.  Villa (4-0, two KO's) is coming off back-to-back four-round unanimous decisions while Torres (2-0, one KO) is also coming off a four-round unanimous decision.

Another six-round bout has Michael Dutchover of Santa Fe Springs, CA (3-0, three KO's) facing off with Eder Amaro "Koriano" Fajardo of California by way of Mexico (2-2, one KO)  Dutchover has scored first-round knockouts in his last two outings while Fajardo will try to bounce back from a six-round unanimous decision loss.

Also slated to appear on this card will be Accokeek, MD super welterweight "Slick" Justin Hurd (2-0, one KO). The brother of IBF Super Welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd scored his first pro stoppage in his last bout when he stopped Dawond Pickney in the second round on February 11th in Fort Washington, MD.  Promoters are still looking for an opponent for Hurd.

The doors will open at 6:30 and the first bout is slated to begin at 7:15 PM ET.  At last report, tickets were still available.

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