Sunday, December 31, 2017
As usual, we will hand out year-end awards in six categories:
Rookie of the Year
Prospect of the Year
Knockout of the Year
Bout of the Year
Card of the Year
Boxer of the Year
But we will start with a summary of Beltway Boxing 2017 -- "The Year Of The Up And The Down." That sounds like a crazy title but 2017 was a year that took local boxing fans to the highest of heights early in the year followed by moments late in the year that forces us to question where we are going into 2018.
In the first two months of the year, Beltway Boxers won six titles -- three world and three regional -- a feat not accomplished in more than a decade.
January 14th saw Gervonta Davis win the IBF Junior Lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO over Jose Pedraza in Brooklyn, NY. On the same card, Immanuwel Aleem won the WBC Silver Middleweight title with a gutsy sixth-round TKO over previously undefeated Ievegen Khytrov.
On January 28th, Lamont Roach, Jr. captured the WBC Youth Silver Super Featherweight championship with a blistering first-round knockout of Alex Valdez in Indio, CA.
In February, locals won two more world titles and another regional title. On February 18th, Lamont Peterson won his third world belt in his second weight class earning the WBA “Regular” Welterweight title by unanimous decision over David Avaneysan in Cincinnati, OH.
One week later, Jarrett Hurd scored a ninth-round TKO over Tony Harrison in Birmingham, AL to win the IBF Junior Middleweight championship. On the same card, Alantez Fox took the vacant WBC USNBC Middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Kenneth McNeil.
These big victories in the first two months paved the way for some other great victories later in the year. In March, Antoine Douglas would win a WBC Latino Middleweight title, scoring a second-round TKO in the Dominican Republic. Also, D’mitrius Ballard won the WBC USNBC Super Middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Adrian Luna on May 18th in Tucson, AZ.
Then, on the same day -- May 20th -- Davis made the first defense of his title in London, England, brutally knocking out Liam Walsh in the third round. Hours later, Gary Russell, Jr. successfully defended his WBC Featherweight championship with a seventh-round TKO of Oscar Escandon in front of his hometown fans at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD.
Tyrieshia Douglas won the UBF Super Flyweight title on June 17th with a fourth-round TKO over Ebony Rivera at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, MD.
On June 30th, Roach would return to Indio to defend his title by scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Jesus Valdez. Roach would fight two more times during the year, including one on national TV at the MGM National Harbor Casino.
July saw Gerome Quigley win the USBO Welterweight title at the Sphinx Club in DC capturing a 10-round unanimous decision over Luis Hernandez. Quigley would win a German version of the WBU Middleweight title in August. Also, Antoine Douglas won the NABA Middleweight title with a fourth-round TKO over Juan DeAngel in Miami, OK.
Hurd would defend his title with a 10th round TKO over former world champion Austin Trout on October 14th in Brooklyn, NY.
On November 21st, Mykal Fox won his first regional title, capturing the UBF All-Americas Welterweight championship with an eight-round unanimous decision over Manuel Alejandro Reyes in Bethlehem, PA.
Fourteen world and regional titles were won in 2017. It was, overall, a good year for Beltway Boxing. However, there were a number of defeats and draws during the year that tempered local enthusiasm.
On February 18th, Thomas Williams, Jr. was stopped in the sixth round by Marcus Browne in Cincinnati.
David Grayton fought to a technical draw against former world champion Kermit Cintron on March 17 in Reading, PA. On the same card, Moshea Aleem lost for the first time, dropping a six-round unanimous decision to Chordale Booker.
On May 6th, Emmanuel Taylor lost by fifth-round TKO to Lucas Matthysee in Las Vegas, NV. Then on June 10th, Demond Nicholson dropped a six-round split decision to Steve Rolls in Verona, NY.
July 14th saw Glenn Dezurn battle to an eight-round draw against Adam Lopez in Miami, OK.
On August 26th, Davis won by ninth-round TKO over Francisco Fonseca in Las Vegas but lost his IBF Super Featherweight title because he did not make weight.
On October 21st, Alantez Fox suffered a separated shoulder during a unanimous decision loss to former world champion Demetrius Andrade in Verona, NY.
November was a very difficult month for Beltway Boxers. Two locals lost bouts on November 12th. Mike Reed was stopped in the second round by Jose Ramirez in Fresno, CA while Dezurn lost an eight-round unanimous decision to Jesse Angel Hernandez in Uniondale, NY.
On November 17, Kareem Martin lost by eight-round unanimous decision to Ryan Karl in Flint, MI.
November 21st saw Grayton lose a tough 10-round unanimous decision to Miguel Cruz in St. Petersburg, FL.
The year ended with two overseas knockout losses on December 16th. Antoine Douglas was stopped in the seventh round by Gary O’Sullivan in Quebec, Canada while Nick Kisner was knocked out in the fourth round by Ryan Merhy in Charlenoi, Belgium.
Most of these losses throughout the year were quality defeats that took place in front of a national television audience. Beltway Boxers made 27 appearances on national TV with a record of 13-12-2. Davis and Dezurn led the way with three TV appearances. Immanuwel Aleem, Hurd, Grayton and Roach, Jr. had two with Moshea Aleem, Douglas, Reed, Malik Hawkins, Ballard, Taylor, Jordan White, Nicholson, Fox, Davis, Peterson, Williams, Jr., Martin, and Russell, Jr. all with one appearance. Here’s an interesting stat: At least one Beltway Boxer appeared on national television in 11 of the 12 months of the year!
The Beltway region hosted 19 cards in 2017, one more than the previous year. Maryland had a big year, hosting 11 cards compared to just three in 2016. The MGM National Harbor Casino paid huge dividends to the Free State as four high-profile cards were held there. All four were nationally televised (two by Showtime, one by HBO and one by ESPN2) and three of the cards featured world title bouts by the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Oleksandr Usyk, Dmitry Bivol and the Beltway’s own Gary Russell, Jr. Washington, DC hosted five cards down from eight the previous year. Northern Virginia held just three cards down from seven in 2016.
So, on the pro side, the Beltway Boxing community enters 2018 with some question marks. Who will rise to the next level? Has the group of boxers called “The Next Wave” some six years ago gone as far as they can? Will there be more new locations for local cards? These are just some of the questions that we will find out in 2018.
Beltway Boxing 2017 was very bright on the amateur side as locals won numerous medals and championships around the nation and the world. Among the highlights:
Troy Isley and Lorenzo Simpson made trips to Germany and acquitted themselves well. Isley made two trips to Germany, advancing to the semifinals of the Chemistry Cup in Halle in March. Then he won a bronze medal at the Elite Men’s World Championships in Hamburg in September. Meanwhile, Simpson was in Frankfurt, Germany in August and captured a silver medal at the Brandenburg Cup.
The year proved to be a breakout year for Amelia Moore as she captured four championships in 2017. In July, Moore won a Women’s National Golden Gloves championship in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Later that month, she captured a Ringside World Championship. In October, Moore won a National PAL title and then capped her year by winning a USA National title in December.
A Beltway Boxer earned the first national Men’s Golden Gloves champion since 2014 as Keyshawn Davis became the first boxer from Virginia to win the title in more than forty years.
All four of the boxers mentioned so far on the amateur side -- Isley, Simpson, Moore and Davis -- all captured USA National titles in Salt Lake City, UT in December.
Eight more locals -- Travis Best, BJ Santana Brown, Richard Dodson, Jahmal Harvey, Benjamin Johnson, Marcus Luther, Dontae White and Tyreek Williams -- took titles at the National Silver Gloves.
So that is the summary of Beltway Boxing 2017. Monday, we start our awards with the Rookie Of The Year!
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Two Beltway Boxers were selected among the top Rounds Of The Year. IBF Junior Middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd's sixth round of his title defense against former world champion Austin Trout on October 14th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY came in at number five. This is how ESPN.com's Dan Rafael described the round:
"Hurd, defending his junior middleweight belt for the first time, and former titleholder Trout traded nonstop. They landed head and body shots back and forth, though the heavier hitting Hurd did major damage. He badly hurt Trout with a right hand that nearly dropped him with 30 seconds to go before Trout came back in the final seconds of the action-packed round."
Coming in at number nine was the third round of the January 14th contest between Immanuwel Aleem and Ievgen Khytrov, also held at the Barclays Center. Here's Rafael's description:
"The unbeaten middleweight prospects put on quite a show, especially in the third round in which they were both in trouble. Aleem blasted Khytrov with a left hook that dropped him hard with a minute left. Khytrov was in bad shape but rallied, badly hurting Aleem and nearly stopping him with a series of shots late in the round. Aleem then got in a few blows, but as the round was ending Khytrov backed him into a corner and had him out on his feet."
Both local boxers won those bouts. Hurd would stop Trout in the 10th round to make the first defense of his title while Aleem would knock out Khytrov in the sixth round and win the WBC Silver Middleweight title. The fifth round between heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th in London, England took the top spot.
One Beltway Boxer landed among the Prospects of the Year for 2017. That would be Upper Marlboro, MD super featherweight Lamont Roach, Jr. who came in at number 16. Here is what Rafael said about Roach:
"Roach began boxing at age 9, had an excellent amateur career (including two junior Golden Gloves titles and a national one) and turned pro at 18. Golden Boy has moved him steadily and kept the smooth boxer busy with four fights in 2017. Although not known as a puncher, Roach won two of those fights by first-round KO. He also showed he might become a ticket seller, drawing a good crowd for his first main event in his home region when he headlined on ESPN in November."
Roach (16-0, six KO's) was named the Beltway Rookie of the Year in 2014 and one of the Prospects of the Year in 2016. He currently holds the WBC Youth Silver Super Featherweight title.
ESPN's Prospect of the Year is Ryan Garcia, an undefeated junior lightweight from Victorville, CA (13-0, 12 KO's).
We will have our Beltway Boxing Year-End Awards next week.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
You can hear all the previous podcasts by downloading the free Boxing Along The Beltway Google App For Android or by going to the BATB pages on Spreaker.com and Iheartradio.com.
Listen to "Beltway Boxing News And Notes 12/20/17 -- Recaps of Douglas And Kisner Bouts; First Look Back At 2017" on Spreaker.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
At the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada, Burke, VA middleweight Antoine "Action" Douglas lost by seventh-round knockout to Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan of Cork, Ireland. The bout, which was televised nationally by HBO, saw Douglas get off to a good start landing punches in the first three rounds. However, as the bout wore on, O'Sullivan started to break Douglas down. Douglas seemed to have no defense for the hard shots O'Sullivan landed. Finally, in the seventh round, O'Sullivan landed a series of blows that sent Douglas to the canvas. Douglas would get up before the count but could not continue. The bout ended at 1:03. With the win, O'Sullivan claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title and raised his record to 27-2, 19 KO's. Douglas falls to 22-2-1, 16 KO's.
In Charlenoi, Belgium, Baltimore, MD cruiserweight "Slick" Nick Kisner lost by fourth-round KO to Ryad Merhy of Brussels, Belgium. Kisner, performing in front of a Merhy-partisan crowd at the Spiroudome Arena, performed well and stayed in the contest in the first three rounds. Then in the fourth, Merhy landed a crushing left-handed body shot followed by a left hand to the head to drop Kisner to the canvas. Kisner could not beat the count and the referee stopped the bout at 2:30. Merhy remains undefeated and regains the WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight title. He is now 24-0, 20 KO's. Kisner drops to 19-4-1, six KO's.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Kisner tipped the scales at the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds for his 12-round bout against Ryad Merhy at the Spiroudome Arena in Charleroi, Belgium. No word on the weight for Merhy. The bout is for Merhy's WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight title. The bout will be shown on the 12 Rounds Promotions Facebook Page and the card is slated to begin at 10 AM ET. This is a long card so Kisner's bout won't air until approximately 4 PM ET.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Alexandria Boxing Club Hosts Championship Meet and Greet; Last Round Boxing Club Has Amateur Boxing Card!
On Friday, December 15th, the Alexandria Boxing Club will celebrate its three recent USA National Champions -- Keyshawn Davis, Troy Isley and Amelia Moore -- during a free meet and greet at the Club, which is located in the Charles Houston Recreation Center at 901 Wythe Street in Alexandria, VA. The three champions will talk about their experiences at the recent USA Championships in Salt Lake City, UT. The event is free and open to the public and begins at 6:30 PM.
Then on Saturday, December 16th, the Last Round Boxing Club of Waldorf, MD is having a "Season's Beatings" amateur card at the club, located at 2772 Old Washington Road in Waldorf. The club will be looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys. Advanced tickets are $20 General Admission, $30 Ringside with Meal Combo and $50 VIP with Holiday Platter. All General Admission tickets are $10 extra. The physicals begin at 2 PM and the event gets underway at 6 PM.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Recently, two students -- one in Ohio and one in Colorado -- took their lives after being bullied. About 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The event begins at 2 PM ET.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Four Beltway Amateurs won USA National Championships Saturday night at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT.
Baltimore, MD's Lorenzo Simpson won the Youth 165 pound title with a 5-0 decision over Kahshad Elliot of Plainfield, NJ. Simpson wins his second straight title.
Troy Isley of Alexandria, VA won a 3-2 decision over Javier Martinez of Milwaukee, WI to capture the Elite 165 pound championship. This is Isley's second straight championship and the second time he has defeated Martinez in the finals.
Also, Amelia Moore capped off an incredible 2017 with a 5-0 win over Ravven Brown to win the Elite Female 141 pound title. Moore has won a National Golden Gloves title, a Ringside World Championship, a National PAL title and now a USA National championship all in this year.
Keyshawn Davis, who now lives in Alexandria, VA and who won a National Golden Glove championship this year, captured a USA National title at Elite 132 Pounds by defeating Kevin Montano of Concord, CA by a 5-0 score.
Three locals came away with silver medals. Malik Warren of Catonsville, MD lost by a tough 3-1 score to Harley Mederos of New York City in the Youth 132 pound championship DC's Nasheed Smith lost a 5-0 decision to Alexis Espino of Las Vegas, NV in the Youth 178 pound title bout. Jahmal Harvey of Oxon Hill, MD dropped a close 3-2 decision to Chavez Barrientes of Las Vegas in the Junior 106 pound championship
Saturday, December 09, 2017
Baltimore, MD's Lorenzo Simpson will be in the Youth 165 pound championship as he will take on Kahshad Elliott of Plainfield, NJ.
Nasheed Smith of Washington, DC competes for the 178 pound Youth title when he faces Alexis Espino of Las Vegas, NV.
In the Elite 165 pound championship bout, Troy Isley of Alexandria, VA will meet Javier Martinez of Milwaukee, WI.
Oxon Hill, MD's Jahmal Harvey will be in the Junior 106 pound championship contest against Chavez Barrientes of Las Vegas, NV.
Malik Warren of Catonsville, MD competes in the Youth 132 pound title bout against Harley Mederos of New York City.
Amelia Moore of Greenbelt, MD will be in the Elite Female 141 pound contest versus Ravven Brown of San Antonio, TX.
Also, 2017 National Golden Gloves champion Keyshawn Davis of Norfolk, VA will be in the championships of the Elite 132 pound division facing off against Kevin Montano of Concord, CA.
There will be two sessions today -- one at 7 PM ET and one at 9 PM ET. Harvey will be the only local in the 7 PM session. He will be in bout number two in ring two.
The other Beltway Boxers will compete during the 9 PM session. Simpson, Smith and Isley will compete in ring one -- Simpson will be in the fifth bout, Smith in bout six and Isley in bout 11. Warren, Davis and Moore will compete in ring two -- Warren will be in bout four, Davis in bout 14 and Moore in bout 15.
We tell you this because the bouts will be livestreamed and you can see them for free by going to www.usaboxing.org or to USA Boxing's YouTube site.
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Sykes (1-0) makes a quick jump to six-round contests after winning his pro debut by four-round unanimous decision over Jeffrey Wright on August 12th in Madison, WI. Martinez (7-9-3, two KO's) returns to action for the first time since winning by second-round TKO over Martez Barnes in May of 2015 in Augusta, GA. Martinez also lost by fifth-round TKO to Immanuwel Aleem in November of 2014 in Chester, PA.
Saturday, December 02, 2017
Washington, DC junior featherweight Marcus "Dreamcrusher" Bates scored a sixth-round knockout over Antonio Rodriguez of Mexico. Bates used a left to the body to drop Rodriquez to the canvas. Rodriguez did not beat the count and the bout ended at 2:37 PM. Bates is now 8-0-1, seven KO's. Rodriguez falls to 11-20-1, five KO's. One added note, five of Bates's seven knockouts have come in the final round of the contest.
Owings Mills, MD heavyweight Colby Madison recovered from a first-round knockdown to stop Randy Easton of Sunbury, PA in the second round. Like Bates, Madison stopped Easton with a body shot. Easton got up from the blow but could not continue. The bout was stopped at 2:44. Madison rises to 5-0-1, four KO's while Easton drops to 4-10-2, four KO's.
Friday, December 01, 2017
Kisner (19-3-1, six KO's) comes off an eight-round split decision victory over Lamont Singletary on March 30th in Glen Burnie, MD. Kisner is currently riding a three-bout winning streak that includes a 10-round majority decision victory over Brian Holstein in November of 2016 in Columbus, OH. That win earned Kisner the NABA USA Cruiserweight title. Kisner has never been the 12-round distance.
Merhy (23-0, 19 KO's) is a native of the Ivory Coast and is the reigning WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight champion. The bout will be for Merhy's title. Merhy defended the title on May 20th in Charleroi and won a 12-round unanimous decision over Mitch Williams.
Bates tipped the scales at 122 1/2 pounds for his six-round encounter with Antonio Rodriguez who came in at 121.
Madison weighed in at 240 pounds for his four-round bout against Randy Easton who came in at 232 pounds.
In the main event, Upper Marlboro, MD super featherweight Lamont Roach, Jr. remained undefeated with a 10-round unanimous decision over a very game Rey Perez of Laguna, Philippines. Roach was sharp with his punches in the bout. After a Perez flurry in the second round, Roach beat Perez to the punch for the remainder of the contest. By the late rounds, Roach was able to compete and win exchanges with the tough Perez. All three judges (Braslow, Wallace and Gradowski) scored the bout 99-91 for Roach, who is now 16-0, six KO’s. Perez falls to 21-9, six KO’s.
In a minor upset, cruiserweight Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers of Mt. Pocono, PA won a four-round split decision over Luther “Lights Out” Smith of Bowie, MD. Smith gained the early advantage as he dropped Capers with a right to the body and a left to the head. However, Smith seemed to run out of gas in the remaining rounds and Capers’s output increased. Judges Paul Wallace and John Gradowski scored the bout 38-37 for Capers while Dave Braslow saw it for Smith, 38-37. Capers is now 8-10-3 while Smith falls to 9-2, eight KO’s.
In the nationally-televised co-feature, Avery “A Plus” Sparrow of Philadelphia, PA won a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose “Wonder Boy” Lopez of Carolina, Puerto Rico in a super featherweight contest. Sparrow took Lopez, a former regional champion, out of his game plan early and beat Lopez to the punch throughout the bout. Lopez looked off balance through the entire contest. Braslow had the bout 97-93 while Wallace and Gradowski saw it 96-94. Sparrow’s record is now 9-1, three KO’s. Lopez is now 18-2-1, 13 KO’s.
The walkout bout was the only contest that didn’t go the distance as super lightweight George Rincon of Carrollton, TX stopped Jihad Wise of Philadelphia, PA at the end of the third round. Rincon outhustled his foe throughout the bout, landing crisp shots to the head and body. After three rounds of damage, Wise could not answer the bell for the fourth round. Rincon is now 3-0 and gets his first pro knockout. Wise falls to 3-4, one KO.
In a super featherweight contest, Manuel “Tino” Avila of Fairfield, CA won an eight-round unanimous decision over Diuhl “Elegante” Olguin of Guadalajara, Mexico. Both men were sharp throughout the contest as they exchanged hard shots. Avila’s output was a bit more consistent in the late stages of the contest to earn the win. Judge Braslow saw the bout 77-75 while judges Wallace and Gradowski scored it 78-74 for Avila, who is now 23-1, eight KO’s. Olgun falls to 11-9-2, nine KO’s.
In the opening bout, super middleweights Tomas “The American Eagle” Williams of Lynchburg, VA and Alberto “El Asasenino” Delgado of Roanoke, VA battled to a four-round majority draw. Both men took turns landing shots on each other and neither could truly gain a clear advantage. Judge David Braslow scored the bout for Delgado, 39-37 but was overruled by judges Paul Wallace and John Gradowski, who saw the draw at 38-38. Williams is now 0-0-2 with both draws coming against Delgado, who is now 0-2-3.