Thursday, January 31, 2019

Mares Injures Elbow, Pulls Out Of Title Bout With Davis: Ruiz To Step In!

As mentioned on the February calendar, Baltimore, MD's Gervonta "Tank" Davis will have a new opponent for his WBA Super Featherweight championship title defense on Saturday, February 9th at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA.

Former world champion Abner Mares suffered an elbow injury during a sparring session in training and had to pull out of the contest.  According to reports, Mares had experienced soreness in his elbow during his last two bouts but could not overcome the pain this time.

Hugo "Cuatito" Ruiz of Glendora, CA by way of Mexico, will step in to face Davis on February 9th.  Ruiz (39-4, 33 KO's) is a former WBC Super Bantamweight champion who should be in great shape for this contest.  Ruiz just fought on January 19th and won a 10-round unanimous decision over Alberto Guevara in Las Vegas, NV.  Ruiz had moved up to featherweight for the contest, which was originally scheduled to be a title shot against interim WBA Featherweight titleholder Jhack Tepora.  However, Tepora did not make the weight causing him to lose the title on the scales and that bout was canceled.

The Davis-Ruiz bout will be televised live on Showtime.

Here Is The February Schedule!

February will be very busy as a number of Beltway Boxers will be involved in some prominent bouts plus we start our annual look at who's next.  Here is the February schedule:

Friday, February 1st, Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY --  Largo, MD middleweight Dominic "Lights Out" Wade (18-1, 12 KO's) returns to action for the first time since his loss to Gennady Golovkin in April of 2016 when he takes on veteran Martin Fidel "El Terrible" Rios of Parera, La Pampa, Argentina in an eight-round bout.  Rios (23-18-4, 13 KO's) looks to rebound from an eight-round split decision loss to Juergen Doberstein on August 31st in West Palm Beach, FL.

Also on the card, Severn, MD heavyweight Sherman "The Tank" Artis will be in a four-round contest against Roney Hines of Cleveland, OH.  Artis (3-3) looks to break a two-bout losing streak that includes a second-round TKO loss to Clayton Laurent, Jr. on September 8th in Brooklyn, NY.  Hines (3-0, three KO's) has scored first-round knockouts in all three of his bouts.

Friday, February 8th, Dorton Arena, Raleigh, NC -- Odenton, MD super welterweight Maurice "M3" Winslow III will be in a four-round bout against an opponent to be named.  Winslow (1-0, one KO) stopped Alberto Delgado in the second round on September 22nd in Bowie, MD.

Saturday, February 9th, Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA -- Baltimore, MD's Gervonta "Tank" Davis defends his WBA Super Featherweight championship against late sub Hugo "Cuatito" Ruiz of Glendora, CA by way of Mexico.  Davis (20-0, 19 KO's) makes the first defense of his WBA crown that he won on April 21st in Brooklyn, NY when he knocked out Jesus Cuellar in the third round. Ruiz (39-4, 33 KO's) is a former WBC Super Bantamweight champion who makes a quick return to the ring.  Ruiz won a 10-round unanimous decision over Alberto Guevara on January 19th in Las Vegas, NV.  Ruiz replaces Abner Mares who injured his elbow in training.

Davis's gym mate Lorenzo "Truck" Simpson will also be on the card in a four-round bout against Jonell Christmas of Conway, AR.  Simpson (1-0, one KO) made a successful pro debut knocking out DeAndre West on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Christmas (0-1) made his pro debut on the September 22nd card in Bowie and lost by second-round TKO to Mark Duncan.

Saturday, February 9th, Masonic Temple, Norfolk, VA -- Two Beltway Boxers will be on the Ponytail Promotions/Rising Star Promotions card.  Baltimore, MD lightweight Jahmal Dyer will be in a six-round contest against an opponent to be determined.  Dyer (7-1, five KO's) comes off a first-round TKO victory over Jesse Carradine on October 27th in Fort Washington, MD.  Also, DC welterweight Lamont White will be in a six-round contest against Nahir Albright of Sicklerville, NJ.  White (1-16, one KO) last fought on December 15th and lost a four-round unanimous decision to Rashad Kilpatrick in Vienna, VA.  Albright (4-1, one KO) won a four-round unanimous decision over Glenford Nickey on September 8th in Atlantic City, NJ.

Friday, February 15th, Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane, KS -- A nationally-televised main event battle of undefeated boxers as Forestville, MD welterweight Mykal "The Professor" Fox will be in a 10-round bout against the "Descendant of Tamerlane" Shohjahon Ergashev of Detroit, MI by way of Uzbekistan.  The bout will headline a ShoBox card on Showtime.  Fox (19-0, five KO's) is coming off a second-round TKO over Gonzalo Carlos Dallera on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Ergashev (15-0, 14 KO's) has scored back-to-back first-round knockouts in his last two contests and is a former WBA International Super Lightweight champion.

Saturday, February 16th, Mountaineer Casino Resort, New Cumberland, WVA -- DC middleweight Dusty Hernandez Harrison makes his return in a six-round contest against an opponent to be named.  Harrison (30-0-1, 16 KO's) has not fought since winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Thomas LaManna in September of 2016 in Philadelphia, PA.

Saturday, February 16th, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- The 2019 Washington Golden Gloves tournament gets underway.

Saturday, February 23rd, The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA -- Baltimore welterweight Malik "Iceman" Hawkins will be in an eight-round contest against Gledwin Ortiz of The Bronx, NY.  Hawkins (13-0, nine KO's) comes off a 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Serrano on March 30th at the Fillmore in Philadelphia.  Ortiz (6-2, five KO's) last fought on November 16th and scored a first-round knockout over Kieran Hooks on November 16th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.  Ortiz is 2-0 with two knockouts against Beltway Boxers.  Ortiz scored a third-round KO over Zarifbek Nishanbaev on October 18th in DC and knocked out Jacey Thompson in the first round in Baltimore in July of 2015.

As usual, bouts may change without notice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Late Result From Mexico: Cason Scores First Round Knockout!

On Saturday, January 26th, Baltimore, MD heavyweight Muhsin "Spartan" Cason scored a first-round knockout over Manuel "El Manuelon" Duran of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico at the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, Mexico.

The win was the second straight for the younger brother of former undisputed heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.  Cason is now 4-0, two KO's.  Duran falls to 2-11, two KO's.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Here's Information On Washington Golden Gloves 2019!

We are approaching the 2019 Washington Golden Gloves Tournament.  We will give you details on the dates for the event, starting with the Final Registration, which will be held on Saturday, February 2nd at the Hillcrest Bingo Hall, located at 4104 23rd Parkway in Hillcrest Heights, MD.  The registration will include a physical exam.  Registration begins at 9 AM sharp.

Once again, the Washington Golden Gloves Tournament will be held at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD at 6336 Rosecroft Drive.  The tournament begins on Saturday, February 16th with preliminary competition that will continue on Saturday, February 23rd and on Saturday, March 2nd.

The Tournament Semifinals will be on Saturday, March 9th and Saturday, March 23rd.  That will be followed by the Washington Golden Gloves Championship that will be on Saturday, April 6th.  The Regional Golden Gloves, which matches the winners from DC, Maryland and Delaware against Virginia and North Carolina will take place on Saturday, April 27th.  All Golden Glove tournament events begin at 7:30 PM.  For ticket information, call 301-843-6165.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Beltway Boxers Victorious In Brooklyn!

Three local pros emerged victorious on a card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on January 26th.

Capitol Heights, MD super lightweight Antuanne Russell scored a second-round TKO over Roberto "R15" Almazan of Brownsville, TX.  Russell knocked down Almazan once in both the first and second rounds before the bout was stopped at 59 seconds of the second.  Russell continues his perfect streak as he is 8-0, eight KO's. Almazan falls to 7-9, two KO's.  The bout was shown on FS1.

Landover, MD welterweight Tyrek "I.G.B" Irby won a four-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Figueroa of Hartford, CT.  Irby was able to win by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice to remain undefeated at 6-0, two KO's.  Figueroa is now 2-2, one KO.

Clarksburg, MD middleweight Mark "Sayless" Duncan stopped Daniel Garcia-Flores of Albuquerque, NM by third-round TKO.  The bout was stopped at 1:15 of the third round.  Duncan is 3-0, three KO's while Garcia-Flores is 0-3.

Results From Waldorf, MD!

Juan Marshall of ProAm Fight Talk has these results from the Cynation Sports card at the Waldorf Culture Center in Waldorf, MD.

In the main-event of the CyNation Sports card at the Waldorf Culture Center in Waldorf, MD, Vaughn Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri hands Filip Stankovic his first defeat by unanimous decision.

In this scheduled six-round super middleweight bout, the taller Stankovic was landing good combinations that were set up by his jab and Alexander was able to slide inside to land some good body shots of his own. Alexander's power looked to be more effective as he pressed the action in round three with more great bodywork. Stankovic looked to be behind as he was reaching to land shots with no success in the forth-round. With clear signs of being out powered, Stankovic walked back to his corner after taking more punishment from Alexander in the late rounds. John Gradowski scored it 60-54 while Brent Bovell and David Braslow scored it 59-55.  Stankovic falls to 4-1, one KO) while Alexander improves to 13-2, eight KO's.

Jerry "Slug" Forrest of Newport News, VA wins by third round knockout over Lamont "Too Smooth" Capers of Toryhana, PA. 

In this scheduled eight-round heavyweight bout Jerry Forrest waited for the right time to land a crushing right hand to knockout Lamont Capers before he hit the canvas. Referee Brent Bovell waived off the bout with no hesitation at 2:56 of the third round.   Forrest improves to 22-2, 18 KO's while Lamont Capers is now 9-13-5, one KO.

"The Sexy Albanian" Genc Pllana of Hagerstown, MD defeated Ashton "The Goon" Sykes of Silver Spring, MD by unanimous decision.

In this six-round super middleweight bout, Pllana started the round off with his hands down style that he's been known for. He was throwing some looping right hands trying to connect on Sykes. Sykes made him pay as he landed a hard right hook to send Pllana down to the canvas at the sound of the bell to end round one. Sykes high guard defense protected him from the looping shots as he tried to land counter punches. During the middle rounds both fighters found it hard to find their range.

Pllana made his adjustments in the fifth round and landed a hard right hand to make Sykes take a knee for the eight count. Sykes looked to be in trouble while Pllana kept the coming forward to close the round. Pllana finished out the final round with some good body work and head shots. Judges Kenny Chevalier and Brent Bovell scored it 57-55 and judge John Gradowski had it 58-54.

Pllana remains perfect at 3-0, one KO while Sykes falls to 2-3.

Baltimore, MD's Destiny Day-Owens opens her professional career with a split decision victory over Michaele Nogue of Chesapeake, VA.

In this four-round super lightweight bout of debuting females, Owens and Nogue opened up feeling each other out. Both ladies didn't connect on a lot of the shots they were trying to land, but in round three, things seem to change. The action picked up and the punches looked a bit more faster as they landed looping shots from time to time on each other. Judge David Braslow scored the bout for Nogue 39-37 while judges Brent Bovell scored it 39-37 and John Gradowski 40-36 for Owens.

In a four-round jr. middleweight bout, Jonathan Burrs of Frederick, MD defeated the debuting Justin Sykes of Silver Spring by unanimous decision.

Burrs started the bout as the more active fighter landing shots to the head and body of Sykes. During round two Sykes landed a counter right hand that staggered Burrs. Burrs was able to recover and continue to land some solid jabs as Sykes did his best to counter. In the final round both fighters were trying to land some heavy shots but came up short from connecting.  Burrs is now 2-1.

In the first bout, Baltimore, MD's Mack Allison IV scored a four-round unanimous decision victory over Darel Harris of Sarasota,FL.

In the opening round Allison did a good job coming forward using his jab and going to the body of Harris. Harris started to counter Allison in the second round, but Allison kept coming forward landing shots while cutting off the ring to end the round strong. Allison wasn't as aggressive in the third round, but he came out in the final round throwing some hard shots to the head and body of Harris. Harris landed a few head shots of his own as the two fighters finished round four going blow for blow. Judge Kenny Chevalier scored it 39-37 while judges David Braslow and John Gradowski saw it the same at 40-36.  Allison improves his record to 9-2-1, seven KO's while Harris falls to 1-9-1, one KO.  

Cynation Sports is led by Cory Sanders.  Brian Dillon handled both the matchmaking and ring announcing duties.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Weights From Waldorf!

Here is the scale watch for the Cynation Sports card that will take place on Saturday, January 26th at the Waldorf Culture Center in Waldorf, MD.

(Photos by Daniel Cork)

Filip Stankovic 167.6 vs. Vaughn Alexander 164.4

Genc Pllana 168.4 vs. Ashton Sykes 172.6

Destiny Owens 141.8 vs. Michaele Nogue 137.8

Jonathan Burrs 153.4 vs. Justin Sykes 158.2

Mack Allison IV 134.4 vs. Darel Harris 136.8

Jerry Forrest 228 vs. Lamont Capers 208.6

The card begins at 7 PM ET.  Juan Marshall of Pro Am Fight Talk will be live blogging throughout the evening.

Russell, Irby, Duncan Hit Scales In Brooklyn!

Three Beltway Boxers weighed in for Saturday bouts at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  Antuanne Russell weighed in at 137.2 for his bout against Roberto Almanzan, who tipped the scales at 140 pounds.  The bout is scheduled for either six or eight rounds and will be shown on FS1.

Antonio Russell's scheduled bout has apparently been scratched.

Tyrek Irby came in at 144.4 pounds for his four-round bout against Jonathan Figueroa, who came in at 142.2 pounds.  Also, Mark Duncan came in at 156.2 for his four-rounder against Daniel Flores, who tipped the scales at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

'Sho Nuff' Nelson Featured In Post Magazine Article!

There is a major feature story on 11-time, four-division world champion and two-time Beltway Boxer of the Year Tori "Sho Nuff" Nelson that will appear in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine.  Writer Britt Peterson has done an outstanding job of chronicling Nelson's career as well as her plans for the future.

Here is an advanced look at this great feature:

Irby, Duncan Added To January 26th Brooklyn Card!

Two more Beltway Boxers have been added to the Saturday, January 26th card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Landover, MD welterweight Tyrek "I.G.B." Irby will be in a four-round bout against Jonathan Figueroa of Hartford, CT.  Irby (5-0, two KO's) comes off a four-round unanimous decision over Lamont White on September 22nd in Bowie, MD.  Figueroa (2-1, one KO) looks to bounce back from suffering his first pro loss -- a four-round unanimous decision defeat he suffered back in April of 2017 to Miguel Ortiz in Lincoln, RI.

Clarksburg, MD middleweight Mark "Sayless" Duncan makes his second straight visit to Barclays Center for a four-round encounter with Daniel Garcia-Flores of Albuquerque, NM.  Duncan (2-0, two KO's) scored a first-round TKO over Ray Cervera on December 22.  Garcia-Flores (0-2) dropped a four-round unanimous decision to Emmanuel Guajardo on November 17th in Tucson, AZ.

Irby and Duncan join the Russell Brothers -- Antonio and Antuanne -- on this card which is headlined by Keith Thurman's WBA Welterweight title defense against Josesito Lopez.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Update On First Beltway Pro Card of 2019!

Our first Beltway Boxing pro card of 2019 will take place on Saturday, January 26th at a new location -- the Waldorf Culture Center located at 109 Post Office Road in Waldorf, MD.  This will be a Cynation Sports card that features a number of local prospects and some very interesting matchups.

In a six-round all-Beltway super middleweight contest, "The Sexy Albanian" Genc Pllana of Hagerstown, MD will take on Ashton "The Goon" Sykes of Hanover, MD.  Pllana (2-0, one KO) will face his third straight local boxer.  In his last outing, Pllana won a six-round majority decision over Jason Bell on the last Cynation Sports card on October 27th at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD.  Pllana made his pro debut against Dameron Kirby in October of 2017 and scored a first-round TKO.

Sykes (2-2) comes off a tough six-round TKO loss to Donald Wallace on August 18th at Live! Casino in Hanover, MD in what was the 2018 Beltway Bout Of The Year.  Pllana will be the second straight Beltway opponent for Sykes.

There will be added incentive for Sykes on this card because his older brother, Justin, will be making his pro debut when he takes on Jonathan Burrs of Frederick, MD in a four-round super welterweight battle.  Sykes has very little amateur experience although he did participate in the 2017 Washington Golden Gloves.  Burrs (1-1) fought on the October 27th card at Rosecroft and won a four-round unanimous decision over Bryant Costello.

In another six-round super middleweight contest, Filip Stankovic of Arlington, VA will battle Vaughn "The Animal" Alexander of St. Louis, MO.  Stankovic (4-0, one KO) scored a first-round TKO over Keith Collins on December 15th in Vienna, VA.  Stankovic, in his first six-rounder, will face his most accomplished foe to date when he battles Alexander (12-2, eight KO's), who will be trying to break a two-bout losing streak.  Alexander lost an eight-round split decision to Janibek Alimkhanuly on November 3rd in El Paso, TX. 

In a battle of tough, under-.500 competitors, Washington, DC welterweight Lamont White will battle with St. Louis's Matt Murphy in a six-round contest.  White (1-16, one KO), last fought on December 15th and lost a four-round unanimous decision to Rashad Kilpatrick in Vienna, VA.  Murphy (3-30-4, two KO's) comes off a four-round majority draw with Antonio Magruder on December 1st in DC.

In a six-round heavyweight contest, Jerry "Slug" Forrest of Newport News, VA will battle Lamont "Too Smooth" Capers of Hawley, PA.  Forrest (21-2, 17 KO's) scored a first-round TKO victory over Edgar Perez on December 8th in Norfolk, VA.  Capers (9-13-5, one KO) fought to a six-round draw against Darnell Boone on November 21st in Youngstown, OH.

In other four-round contests, Baltimore super lightweight Mack "Papi" Allison IV will take on Darel Harris of Sarasota, FL.  Allison (8-2-1, seven KO's) looks to bounce back from his six-round unanimous decision loss to Greg Outlaw on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Allison is 1-2-1 in his last four contests.  Harris (1-8-1, one KO) is 0-8-1 in his last nine contests and comes off a four-round unanimous decision loss to Yamil Ortiz on November 17th in Harrisburg, PA.

Baltimore female super lightweight Destiny Day-Owens will make her pro debut on this card taking on the equally-debuting Michaele Nogue of Chesapeake, VA.  Day-Owens made her mark on numerous amateur cards in the Beltway.  Nogue is a member of the United States Coast Guard.

Other bouts are scheduled for this card.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Fox Competes In ShoBox Main Event February 15th In Kansas!

Undefeated Forestville, MD super lightweight Mykal "The Professor" Fox will have perhaps the toughest bout of his career when he battles fellow undefeated "The Descendant of Tamerlane"  Shohjahon Ergashev of Detroit, MI by way of Uzbekistan on Friday, February 15th at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, KS.  The bout will be a main event contest on a ShoBox telecast on Showtime.

Fox (19-0, five KO's) is coming off a second-round TKO over previously undefeated Gonzalo Carlos Dallera on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Ergashev is the second straight undefeated boxer and the 10th straight boxer with an over-.500 record Fox has faced.

Ergashev (15-0, 14 KO's) is a four-time Uzbekistan amateur champion who defeated Uzbekistan Olympic silver medalist Shakhram Giyasov in the amateurs.  Ergashev has back-to-back first-round knockout victories including one over Nazareno Gaston Ruiz on December 14th in Krasnodar, Russia.  This will be Ergashev's second appearance on ShoBox.  Ergashev scored a third-round TKO over previously undefeated Sonny Fredrickson on January 12th in Verona, NY.

Hines Wins Majority Decision In New York!

Washington, DC welterweight Cornell "Hitman" Hines won a four-round majority decision over Farhad "The Puncher" Fatulla of Salt Lake City, UT Friday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

According to, Hines struggled to get into any offensive rhythm but was still able to win on two of the judge's scorecards, 39-37.  One judge saw a draw at 38-38.  The bout was shown on the DAZN stream.

Hines, a Golden Boy Promotions prospect trained by International Boxing Hall of Famer Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson, remains undefeated at 4-0, two KO's.  Fatulla falls to 1-3.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hines Weighs 149.2 For Six-Round Bout In New York!

Washington, DC welterweight Cornell "Hitman" Hines weighed in at 149.2 for his six-round contest against Farhad "The Puncher" Fatulla of Salt Lake City, UT Friday at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Hines (3-0, two KO's) comes off a four-round unanimous decision over Samuel Forjoe on September 30th at the Sphinx Club in DC.  Fatulla (1-2) faces a Beltway Boxer for the second straight time.  Fatulla lost a four-round unanimous decision to Keeshawn Williams on September 14th in Philadelphia, PA.

Reeves Wins Unanimous Decision In Las Vegas!

Baltimore, MD super middleweight Travis "Seveer" Reeves won a 10-round unanimous decision over Lanell Bellows of Las Vegas, NV Thursday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

Reeves was able to knock down Bellows twice during the contest en route to the victory.  Somehow, judge Dave Moretti only saw Reeves winning by one point, 95-94.  Judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Adalaide Byrd scored the contest, 97-91.  Reeves raises his record to 17-3-2, seven KO's.  Bellows falls to 18-4-2, 11 KO's.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Russell Brothers To Participate On Brooklyn Card January 26th!

Two of the Russell Brothers -- Antuanne and Antonio -- will be heading to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY for bouts on Saturday, January 26th.

The bout for super lightweight Antuanne (7-0, seven KO's) will be scheduled for either six or eight rounds and will take place against Roberto "R15" Almazan (7-8, two KO's) of Brownsville, TX.  The bout will be shown during the preliminary portion on the Fox Network and Fox Deportes at 6 PM ET.  Antuanne Russell, one of the BATB Prospects Of The Year for 2018, is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Jose Antonio Esquivel on August 4th in Uniondale, NY. Almazan has won two straight bouts including a six-round unanimous decision win over Daniel Perales on April 12th in Monterrey, Mexico.  Despite fighting out of Texas, Almazan has never competed in the United States.

Super bantamweight Antonio Russell (12-0, 10 KO's) will be in a non-televised eight-round bout against Lucas "Mendieta" Baez (34-17-5, 18 KO's) of Belle Glade, FL by way of Argentina.  Russell last fought on August 24th and scored a first-round knockout of Nick Otieno in Minneapolis, MN.  Baez looks to bounce back from a fifth-round TKO loss to Isaac Lowe on December 1st in Los Angeles in a bout for the vacant WBC International Featherweight championship.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

PBC Names Hurd 'Fighter Of The Year!'

The accolades continue to pour in for undefeated IBF/WBA/IBO 154-Pound champion "Swift" Jarrett Hurd.  The Accokeek, MD native has been named the Premier Boxing Champions Fighter Of The Year for 2018.

Much like BATB's selection of Hurd as one of the best in the Beltway for the third consecutive year, Hurd got the nod from PBC because of his outstanding 12th round split decision win over Erislandy Lara on April 7th in Las Vegas, NV for all three of the titles and for his fourth-round knockout win over Jason Welborn on December 1st in Los Angeles, CA.

Hurd's bout against Lara was voted the Fight Of The Year by ESPN and the Sporting News.

Here is the PBC tribute:

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January Schedule Is Strong With Beltway Talent!

As we head into the second half of January, there are a number of Beltway Boxers who will be in action.  Here is the schedule for the rest of the month.

Thursday, January 17th -- MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV -- Baltimore, MD cruiserweight Travis "Seveer" Reeves will be in a bout against Lanell Bellows of Las Vegas by way of Kansas City, MO.  Reeves (16-3-2, seven KO's) comes off an eight-round unanimous decision win over Devin Butcher on September 22nd in Bowie, MD.  Bellows (18-3-2, 11 KO's) also fought his last bout on September 22nd and lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Christopher Brooker at Sam's Town in Las Vegas.

Friday, January 18th -- Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City -- Washington, DC welterweight Cornell "Hitman" Hines will be in his first six-round contest against an opponent to be determined.  Hines (3-0, two KO's) went the distance for the first time in his last outing, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Samuel Forjoe on September 30th in DC.

Friday, January 25th -- Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD -- The first amateur show of the year for Baltimore Boxing promotions called "The Super Brawl of Boxing."  Local heavyweight Brian Haneschlager is scheduled to return on that card.  We'll have a bigger preview on this card in the coming days.

Saturday, January 26th -- Waldorf Culture Center, Waldorf, MD -- The first Beltway pro show of 2019 will be a Cynation Sports Promotions card and will take place at a new location with a number of prospects including two former Beltway Rookies Of The Year -- Mack Allison IV and Jahmal Dyer -- in separate bouts.  Also slated are "The Sexy Albanian" Genc Pllana, Jonathan Burrs, George Harris, Nigel Fennell, Filip Stankovic, Lamont White and the debuting Destiny Day-Owens.  More on this card in the coming days.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Boxer Of The Year!

We now come to our final award for 2018 -- Boxer Of The Year!  In 2018, we had a number of Beltway Boxers who had great years.  However, two in particular had exceptional years that we could not separate them and had to give this award to both of them.  One boxer, in a very short time, moved into world championship status and opened up opportunities for even bigger bouts down the road.  The other moved into elite status as one of the best and most talked about boxers in the sport and continued his domination of this award as he becomes the first to win it three times.

The 2018 Beltway Boxers Of The Year are:

"The Heavy Hitting Diva" Franchon Crews Dezurn (4-1, one KO), super middleweight, Baltimore, MD


"Swift" Jarrett Hurd (23-0, 16 KO's) junior middleweight, Accokeek, MD

Ever since Crews Dezurn turned pro in November of 2016, she has been fighting for respect.  Despite her many, many amateur achievements, the "Heavy Hitting Diva" from Baltimore was looking for quality opportunities in the pro ranks.  She performed well in her pro debut against two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields but lost by unanimous decision. We weren’t sure that Crews Dezurn would get another opportunity like that again.

Are we happy we were wrong.  After three solid performances against unheralded opposition, including a six-round unanimous decision win over Tiffany Woodard on January 12th in Verona, NY, Crews Dezurn would meet Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo on September 13th in Las Vegas for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title on national television (ESPN).  In the first 10-rounder for Crews Dezurn, she would win a majority decision to earn her first world title in just her fifth pro bout.

Respect may not be completely there for Crews Dezurn, but it’s coming.  She has verbally agreed to a major unification bout in the spring and for the first time, she has been named one of the best pro boxers in the Beltway.

In winning this award for the third consecutive year, Hurd amazingly continued to build on his previous successes.  On April 7th, Hurd would become a three-belt world champion, successfully defending his IBF Super Welterweight title and earning the WBA and IBO belts in a thrilling 12-round split decision over Erislandy Lara in Las Vegas.  Hurd would gut out the win by knocking down Lara with 37 seconds left in the fight.  ESPN and The Sporting News recently chose the bout as its Bout of the Year.  Hurd would defend all three titles on December 1st in Los Angeles and knock out Jason Welborn in the fourth round.

As a result, Hurd would gain a lot of trappings that come with being a world champion -- He was lauded by the Prince George’s County Council, he got to cast his fist at the International Boxing Hall Of Fame, he led a community Back To School Drive, he was named the year’s Outstanding Boxer by the Washington, DC Boxing Hall Of Fame, spoke to a number of schools and was a guest of the Washington Pro Football team.  Hurd’s quality wins in the ring led to quality events outside the ring.  Going into 2019, Hurd is truly among the best in the boxing game.

Side note: Both Crews Dezurn and Hurd would win their titles in 2018 in the same location in Las Vegas, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Gervonta "Tank" Davis (20-0, 19 KO's), super featherweight, Baltimore, MD

Davis only appeared once in 2018 but it was a big performance, especially when Davis’s last outing -- his eighth-round knockout over Francisco Fonseca in August of 2017 -- was very underwhelming and he lost his IBF Super Featherweight title on the scales.  Davis returned to elite status with a third-round decimation of Jesus Cuellar to win the WBA Super version of the Super Featherweight title on April 21st in Brooklyn, NY.  Davis is slated to defend his title on February 9th against Abner Mares in Carson, CA.

Mykal "The Professor" Fox (19-0, five KO's), welterweight, Forestville, MD

Fox was one of the busiest boxers in the area in 2018, competing four times against increasingly tougher competition.  On February 13th, Fox won an eight-round unanimous decision over Ricardo Garcia in Bethlehem, PA.  Then on May 11th in Philadelphia, PA, Fox would win another eight-round unanimous decision over Anthony Mercado.  Fox would compete on national television (CBS Sports Network) in his next outing in a definitive crossroads bout against former WBO Super Lightweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley on August 18th in Hanover, MD.  Fox, who is literally half Corley’s age, would win a 10-round unanimous decision.  Fox would complete his year with a second-round TKO of Gonzalo Carlos Dallera on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Fox has started to push the next gear on his career and looks to have a very exciting 2019.

Alexandru "Spartan" Marin (17-0, 11 KO's), super flyweight, Bethesda, MD

The native of Iasu, Romania would win two regional titles in 2018.  Marin captured the vacant IBO Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title with a blistering second-round TKO over Michael Ruiz, Jr. on April 14th in Norfolk, VA.  Then, in his biggest bout as a pro to date, Marin would overcome a cut over his right eye to win a 10-round split decision over Bruno Escalante to earn the IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight crown on September 8th in Inglewood, CA.  Marin is currently ranked third by the IBF and 12th by the WBO.  2019 could be an even bigger year for the “Spartan.”

(Photo by Daniel Cork)

Demond "D' Best At It" Nicholson (20-3-1, 19 KO's), super middleweight, Laurel, MD

Nicholson had a very challenging, yet very productive 2018 with three big contests.  The year got off to a tough start as Nicholson suffered a seventh-round knockout loss to Jesse Hart on April 28th in Philadelphia, PA.  To his credit, Nicholson regrouped very nicely and on August 18th at Live! Casino in Hanover, MD, Nicholson scored one of the best Beltway knockouts of the year stopping Isaac Rodrigues in the sixth round to win the vacant WBC USNBC Super Middleweight championship, showing a lot of guts along the way.  Nicholson would defend his title with a second-round knockout of Fernando Castaneda on December 8th in Bowie, MD.  Nicholson has worked hard to get back to the verge of contender status and it will be interesting to see his advancement in 2019.

Lamont Roach, Jr. (18-0-1, seven KO's), super featherweight, Upper Marlboro, MD

Roach would compete three times in 2018 and in each bout he was either going after or defending a regional title.  On April 19th in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Roach would battle Orlando Cruz to a 10-round draw for the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight title.  Roach would get another opportunity at that title against Deivi Julio Bassa on July 20th in Cancun, Mexico.  Roach would leave no doubt in that encounter, stopping Bassa in the sixth round to win the title.

Roach would defend his title on December 15th in Madison Square Garden in New York, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Alberto Mercado.  As of December, Roach is ranked fifth in the world by the WBO and on the verge of bigger things in the coming year.

"Mr." Gary Russell, Jr. (29-1, 17 KO's), featherweight, Capitol Heights, MD

Russell made his annual boxing appearance on May 19th and successfully defended his WBC Featherweight championship in a outstanding bout against Joseph Diaz at MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD.  The bout solidified Russell as the best featherweight in the world.  We can only hope that Russell will be more active and move toward unifying the featherweight division.

Previous Beltway Boxers of the Year:

2006: Eric Aiken
2007: Darnell Wilson
2008: Lamont Peterson/Joshua Snyder
2009: Fernando Guerrero
2010: Tim Coleman
2011: Lamont Peterson
2012: Tony Jeter
2013: Phil Jackson Benson/Tori Nelson
2014: Tori Nelson
2015: Antoine Douglas/Gary Russell, Jr.
2016: Gervonta Davis/Jarrett Hurd
2017: Jarrett Hurd

That completes our look at Beltway Boxing 2018!  Thank you to everyone who has supported BATB throughout the years.  We look forward to continued coverage of "The Best Boxing In The World!"

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Card Of The Year!

We now come to the Card Of The Year.  2018 did not have as many high-profile cards as in previous years.  However, one card had a number of bouts that have already been talked about in these awards.  That is why this card was selected as the best card of the year.

The 2018 Beltway Boxing Card Of The Year Took Place On:

August 18th, Live Casino, Hanover, MD -- Demond Nicholson vs. Isaac Rodrigues, Mykal Fox vs. DeMarcus Corley, Donald Wallace vs. Ashton Sykes

This nationally-televised Jeter Promotions card (CBS Sports Network) had a little bit of everything on it.  Demond Nicholson came back strong after his loss to Jesse Hart in April to win the WBC USNBC Super Middleweight championship with a gutsy knockout over Isaac Rodrigues.  The card had the Bout Of The Year -- a classic between Donald Wallace and Ashton Sykes, a solid crossroads bout between Mykal Fox and former world champion DeMarcus Corley as well as another knockout of the year candidate in Francisco Bustos stopping Jauvan John.  Also, Dante Cox, who works at the casino, participated and won on this card.  Despite the lack of high-profile bouts, this card had a lot of quality.

Honorable Mention (In chronological order:)

June 16th, Gardens Ice House, Laurel, MD -- Gerome Quigley vs. Raymond Serrano, Sam Crossed vs. Joshua Jones, Francisco Bustos vs. Jauvan John I

Despite the disappointment of the Quigley-Serrano bout going to a no-contest, this was still a solid Jeter Promotions/GQ Promotions card that was highlighted by the knockout of the year in Crossed stopping Jones.  The first contest between Bustos and John went to a four-round unanimous decision win for Bustos and got some early looks for bout of the year.  

October 27th, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Genc Pllana vs. Jason Bell, Justin Bell vs. DeAndre West, Shynggyskhan Tazhibay vs. Juan Rodriguez.

This Cynation Sports card had a lot of solid individual performances.  Both Pllana and Jason Bell performed well as Pllana would win a six-round majority decision.  Justin Bell, Jason’s twin brother, would score a second-round TKO.  Tazhibay would win his first six-rounder with a unanimous decision over Rodriguez.  Also Jahmal Dyer, Jonathan Burrs and George Harris would get knockout wins.

December 8th, AC Jordan Arena, Bowie, MD -- Demond Nicholson vs. Fernando Castaneda, Greg Outlaw vs. Mack Allison IV, Lorenzo Simpson vs. DeAndre West. 

This Shabazz Promotions card had a lot of Beltway star power to go along with great performances.  Nicholson successfully defended his WBC USNBC title with a second-round knockout.  Outlaw outclassed Allison to win a six-round contest.  Simpson made his pro debut with a first-round TKO.  Also, Tiara Brown stopped former world champion Dahiana Santana in the fourth round and Mykal Fox scored a second-round TKO in his contest.

Previous Beltway Boxing Cards of the Year:

2006 -- December 9, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA -- Jimmy Lange draws with Fontaine Cabell, Dean White defeats Dorin Spivey, JP Flaim of the Junkies loses against Jay Watts.

2007 -- December 7, Pikesville National Guard Armory, Pikesville, MD -- Tim Coleman draws with Martinus Clay, Jessie Nicklow defeats Anthony Little and John Mackey defeats Tony Cygan and August 3, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Pro-Am card -- Horace Grant over Mujaheed Moore, Thomas Snow knocks out Markel Muhammad, Seth Mitchell [his only amateur loss] falls to Abodurin Akinyanju and Dusty Harrison also on the amateur portion.

2008 -- October 18, ABC Sports Arena, Springfield, VA -- John Mackey wins over Jesse Williams, Darrell Martin over Andre Nichols

2009 -- September 25, Shipley Arena, Westminster, MD -- Mark Tucker wins USBO title, Tyrell Samuel over Gustavo Dailey

2010 -- March 20, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD -- Jessie Nicklow over Scott Sigmon, James Stevenson over George Rivera

2011 – December 10, Washington Convention Center, Washington DC -- Lamont Peterson over Amir Khan for IBF/WBA Junior Welterweight title, Seth Mitchell over Timor Ibragimov

2012 -- October 27, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA -- Tony Jeter over Jimmy Lange, Brandon Quarles draws with John Mackey

2013 -- September 7 at Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Phil Jackson Benson vs. Scott Sigmon, Alantez Fox vs. Zain Shah, Mike Reed vs. Rameses Gil

2014 -- July 18 at Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Larry Recio vs. Grayson Blake, Demond Nicholson vs. Jess Noriega, Terron Grant vs. Jose Del Valle

2015 -- July 18, Sphinx Club, Washington, DC -- Marq Johns vs. Karl Garcia-Rios, Patrick Harris vs. Rafael Vasquez, Alantez Fox vs. Guillermo Valdes, Mykal Fox vs. Juan Carlos Castillo

2016 -- November 12, Coppermine Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD -- Travis Reeves vs. Aaron Quattrocchi, Stephon Morris vs. Gregory Clark, Jeffrey McCalla vs. Jose Valderrama, Devin Butcher vs. Eric Govan

2017 -- February 11,  Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD -- Mykal Fox vs. Tre’Sean Wiggins, Luther Smith vs. Darnell Pierce, Gregory Clark vs. Patrick Rivera, Marcus Bates vs. Alec McGee

Next: Our Final Award:  Boxer Of The Year!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Bout Of The Year!

We now come to the 2018 Beltway Boxing Bout Of The Year.  Once again, the bout chosen must take place within the Beltway area so that eliminates the Jarrett Hurd-Erislandy Lara contest that took place in Las Vegas from this award.

However, our choice for 2018 should go down as a Beltway-area classic between two solid local prospects.

The 2018 Beltway Boxing Bout Of The Year is:

(Photo by Mike Greenhill)

Bout of the Year: Winner: Donald Wallace TKO 6 over Ashton Sykes, August 18th, Live Casino, Hanover, MD

This all-Beltway contest was a toe-to-toe slugfest from the opening bell as both men were extremely offensive-minded.  Both men were able to land quality shots throughout the bout. Increasingly, Wallace's punches began to take their toll in the middle rounds.

In the sixth, Wallace stepped up his attack to land crushing shots to Sykes's face.  The punches really took their toll, forcing referee Harvey Dock to stop the contest at 2:50 of the round.  Tremendous bout.

Honorable Mention (in chronological order):

Gary Russell, Jr. UD 12 over Joseph Diaz, Jr. May 19th, MGM National Harbor Casino, Oxon Hill, MD.

Early on, Russell landed extremely quick flurries and was able to use his hand and foot speed to his advantage.

In the third round, Diaz started to score with wicked body shots with his right hand.  Diaz seemed to be in control while Russell was suffering from an injured hand that may have hurt in that round.
As the bout reached the midway point, Russell's output increased as he made adjustments with his positioning and Diaz could not use his right hand body shot as effectively.  Russell landed effective punches that gave the advantage back to him and helped him regain his WBC Featherweight championship.

Diaz ended the bout with a solid 12th round but he did not do enough to gain the victory.  Dave Braslow saw the bout 115-113 while judges Dave Moretti and Nathan Palmer scored the contest 117-111.

Tyrieshia Douglas 10 round majority draw with Helen Joseph, June 29th, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD. 

This bout, for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation Super Flyweight championship, had a little bit of everything. Both boxers had elaborate ring walks -- Joseph, who is from Connecticut by way of Nigeria, wore a unique headdress and was accompanied by live drummers and dancing girls.  Douglas, originally from Washington, DC, would follow with African warriors as she came to the ring.

The bout was halted before it started as the Douglas camp complained of a substance that was on Joseph's body.  Maryland Commission officials made the Joseph corner wipe the substance off their boxer's body before the bout could begin.  Once the bout got underway, Joseph proved to be the aggressor in the contest as she forced Douglas backward and did not allow Douglas to use her vaunted hand speed.  Douglas used good defense to avoid some of Joseph's punches but Joseph did land her share.

Judge Don Risher saw the bout for Joseph, 98-92 but he was overruled by judges Dave Braslow and John Gradowski who scored the draw at 95-95.

Previous Beltway Boxing Bouts of the Year:

2006: Maxell Taylor six-round draw with Derek Ennis, March 9, Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD.

2007: John Mackey six-round unanimous decision over Tony Cygan, December 7, Pikesville, MD

2008: Juan Rodriguez TKO 3 over Benjamin Borteye, November 7, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

2009: Cory Cummings TKO 9 over Demetrius Davis, May 29, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD

2010: Jessie Nicklow 10-round unanimous decision over Scott Sigmon, March 20, Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD/Nicklow 10-round draw with Julius Kennedy, September 17, Du Burns Arena/Sigmon 10-round unanimous decision over Kennedy, December 11, Pikesville National Guard Armory, Pikesville, MD.

2011:  Lamont Peterson 12-round split decision over Amir Khan, December 10, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

2012: Brandon Quarles D6 John Mackey, October 27, George Mason University Patriot Center (now Eagle Bank Arena), Fairfax, VA

2013: Mike Reed KO 6 over Rameses Gil, September 7, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD

2014: Tony Jeter 10 round majority decision over Jimmy Lange, November 15, George Mason University Patriot Center (now Eagle Bank Arena), Fairfax, VA

2015: Jennifer Salinas 10-round unanimous decision over Melissa St. Vil, November 12, Martin’s Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, MD

2016: Jordan White six-round unanimous decision over Jose Elizondo, November 5, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD

2017: Glenn Dezurn eight-round unanimous decision over Leroy Davila, April 14th, MGM National Harbor Casino, Oxon Hill, MD

Next: The Beltway Boxing Card Of The Year!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Knockout Of The Year!

We come to the 2018 Knockout Of The Year.  There were a number of devastating knockouts in 2018 but one in particular was extremely quick in its devastation.

The 2018 Beltway Boxing Knockout Of The Year is:

(Photos by Mike Greenhill)

Sam Crossed KO1 over Joshua Jones, June 16th, Gardens Ice House, Laurel, MD  

In this co-feature bout, the cruiserweight known as “The Vanilla Gorilla” needed just 23 seconds to knock out his opponent.  Crossed landed a devastating right hand to Jones's chin that made Jones slump forward and fall to his knees.  Referee Brent Bovell immediately waived the bout off without a count.  Crossed becomes the first Beltway Boxer to win this award twice. Crossed took this award in 2016.

Honorable Mention (in chronological order):

Demond Nicholson KO 6 over Isaac Rodrigues, August 18th, Live Casino, Hanover, MD

Nicholson’s gutsy knockout victory for the vacant WBC USNBC Super Middleweight title made this selection close.  The bout was a war of attrition with both boxers taking and delivering quality punches.  Nicholson had a mouse under his left eye while Rodrigues suffered a cut near his right eye. In the sixth round, Nicholson pressured Rodrigues with straight right hands before dropping him with a vicious right hand body shot.  Rodrigues could not beat referee Harvey Dock's count and the bout ended at 2:07.

Francisco Bustos KO1 over Jauvan John, August 18th, Live Casino, Hanover, MD

Bustos landed a crushing left hand to the body that turned John around and dropped him to his knees in the Bustos corner. John could not beat referee Kenny Chevalier's 10 count and the bout was over in just 45 seconds.  Bustos improved on the first meeting against John that he won by four-round unanimous decision.

Nathaniel Copeland KO1 over Kwasi Horton, December 15th, Tyson’s Playground, Vienna, VA

In his pro debut, Copeland used a right-left combination to send Horton crashing to the canvas.  Horton's eyes blinked rapidly as he tried to get up.  Referee Billy Johnson stopped the contest in mid-count at 45 seconds.

Previous Beltway Boxing Knockouts of the Year:

2006: Jed Phipps KO1 over David Cleage -- January 20, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD.

2007: Elias Bouloubassis KO1 over Vincent Robbins -- March 10, Pikesville Armory, Pikesville, MD.

2008: Seth Mitchell TKO2 over Alexis Cruz Medina -- May 29, Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD.

2009: Tony Jeter KO1 over Keith Gross -- September 26, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.

2010: Jimmy Lange KO 10 over Joe Wyatt -- November 6, George Mason University Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.

2011: Kevin Womack KO4 over Benjamin Olinga -- November 19, Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, MD

2012: Kevin Rivers KO1 over Bobby Wooten --  November 3, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

2013: Jarrett Hurd KO2 over George Armenta -- December 6, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD

2014: Marq Johns TKO 2 over Luis Hernandez --July 18, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD

2015: Travis Reeves TKO 6 over Samar Barakat --July 9, Tall Cedars Hall, Parkville, MD

2016:  Sam Crossed KO1 over Mike Estus -- August 19, Crystal City Hilton, Crystal City, VA

2017: Luther Smith KO 1 over Darnell Pierce -- February 11, Rosecroft Raceway, Fort Washington, MD.

Next:  The Beltway Boxing Bout Of The Year!

Monday, January 07, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Prospect Of The Year!

Now we come to the Prospect Of The Year for 2018.  After the 2017 selection being an easy one to make, this category returned to being one of the toughest to choose.  For the second time in three years, we could not pick just one because three boxers in particular had outstanding years and made great strides to expand their careers.

The 2018 Beltway Boxing Prospects Of The Year Are:

“The Dark Menace” Tiara Brown, super featherweight, 7-0, five KO’s, Bladensburg, MD

Greg “The Sharpshooter” Outlaw, super lightweight, 7-0, two KO’s, Bowie, MD

 Antuanne "The Last" Russell, super lightweight, 7-0, 7 KO’s, Capitol Heights, MD

After announcing her signing with DiBella Entertainment in May of 2018, Brown would go on to have an outstanding year, scoring three stoppages against veteran opponents.  On June 30th, Brown scored a fifth-round TKO over Brittany Cruz at the Sphinx Club in DC.  Brown would make her DiBella debut on September 22nd and stop Jasmine Clarkson in the fourth round at Bowie State University.  Brown would return to Bowie State’s A.C. Jordan Arena on December 8th and score another fourth-round stoppage against Dahiana Santana.  In the fast-moving world of women’s pro boxing, look for Brown to challenge for a regional or possibly, a world title in 2019.

Outlaw had a solid 2018 as well beginning with a road trip to Atlantic City, NJ on June 2 where he won by second-round TKO over Dan Murray.  Then Outlaw would make his foray into being a headlining boxer by appearing in the main event of the two cards at his alma mater, Bowie State University.  On September 22nd, Outlaw would win a six-round unanimous decision over Rashad Bogar followed by an impressive performance in winning by six-round shutout over Mack Allison IV on December 8th.  Outlaw looks like he is ready to ascend to contender status in the near future.

The competition got a little better for the 2016 United States Olympian and 2017 co-Beltway Boxing Rookie Of The Year as he faced four opponents with winning records.  However, the results were exactly the same as he knocked out all three foes.  On March 3rd, Russell would knock out fellow undefeated boxer Keasen Freeman in the second round in Brooklyn, NY.  Russell would return to the Barclays Center and knock out Andrew Rodgers in the third round on April 21st.  Russell would move into the scheduled eight-rounders on May 19th but would only need one round to knock out Wilmer Rodriguez at MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD.  Russell closed out his year with another first-round stoppage on August 4th against Jose Arturo Esquivel in Uniondale, NY.  Russell, along with his brothers Gary and Antonio, should have interesting 2019 seasons.

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

Antonio "Another" Russell, super bantamweight, 12-0, 10 KO’s, Capitol Heights, MD

Russell competed twice in 2018 and scored two knockouts against veteran opponents.  On May 19th, Russell scored a fifth-round TKO over Jonathan Lecona Ramos at MGM National Harbor.  Russell scored a first-round KO over Nick Otieng on August 24th in Minneapolis, MN in his first scheduled eight-round bout.

Shynggyskhan Tazhibay, welterweight, 8-0, two KO’s, Washington, DC

The native of Kazakhstan continued his winning ways against veteran opponents as he won three bouts in 2018.  On April 21st, Tazhibay won a four-round unanimous decision over Isaac Freeman in Brooklyn, NY.  Then on September 14th, Tazhibay defeated Justin Johnson by four-round unanimous decision in Philadelphia, PA.  Tazhibay would move up to the six-round level and would defeat veteran Juan Rodriguez on October 27th by unanimous decision in Fort Washington, MD.

Previous Beltway Boxing Prospects of the Year:

2006: Tyrell Samuel
2007: Tim Coleman
2008: Bayan Jargal
2009: Mark Tucker
2010: Gary Russell, Jr. and Seth Mitchell
2011:  Maurice Byarm and Venroy July
2012: Thomas Williams, Jr.
2013: Dusty Hernandez Harrison
2014: Mike Reed
2015: Jarrett Hurd
2016: Mykal Fox, Travis Reeves and Lamont Roach, Jr.
2017: Malik Hawkins

Next:  The Beltway Boxing Knockout Of The Year!

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 -- Rookie Of The Year!

Our first award is for Beltway Boxing Rookie Of The Year.   This goes to the boxer who had the best first-year campaign from November of 2017 to November of 2018.  Our winner had a solid year during that time period and he did it all on the road against quality opposition.

The 2018 Beltway Boxing Rookie Of The Year Is...

“The Next Big Thing” Keeshawn Williams, welterweight, 4-0-1, one KO, Washington, DC

Williams started his career late in November of 2017 with a second-round knockout of Christian Salas in Flint, MI.  After a four-round draw against Dennis Okoth on January 20th in Brooklyn, NY, Williams would win a majority decision on May 20th in Cincinnati, OH followed by back-to-back unanimous decision victories in his last two bouts.  Williams would win by four-round shutout against Farhad Fatulla in Philadelphia PA on September 14th followed by another win on October 13th against Ramel Snegur in Omaha, NB.

Williams has taken an unusual route in his first full year, competing against boxers who were young in their career but their records were .500 or better.  Also, Williams has competed strictly on the road, a trend that will hopefully change some in 2019.

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

 Muhsin Cason, cruiserweight, 3-0, one KO, Baltimore, MD

Cason, the younger brother of former undisputed world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, had a solid rookie year.  Cason made his pro debut in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada on May 5th with a four-round unanimous decision over Alexander Rosales Cruz.  Cason would make his Beltway debut on June 29th with a four-round unanimous decision over Charles Johnson at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, MD.  Then on September 22nd, Cason would score his first pro knockout with a second-round stoppage of Donnell Daniels at Bowie State University.  Cason is scheduled to return to Peterborough for another contest in February.

Ian “The Dancer” Cokley, middleweight, 1-0, Fort Washington, MD

Cokley came into boxing with a wonderful story.  At one time, Cokley weighed around 300 pounds.  In a relatively short time, Cokley was able to get down to close to the 160 pound middleweight limit to make his pro debut on August 4th and won a four-round unanimous decision over Carlos Cruz in Sterling, VA.  Cokley showed great boxing skill during the contest and it will be interesting to see his story continue in 2019.

George Harris, heavyweight, 2-0, two KO’s, Silver Spring, MD

Harris made two impressive showings during his rookie campaign. On October 27th, Harris scored a second-round TKO over veteran Damian Reed in Fort Washington, MD followed by a third-round TKO over Lamar Lewis on December 1st in Washington, DC.  Harris looks to show more promise in 2019.

Previous Beltway Boxing Rookies of the Year:

2006: Jessie Nicklow
2007: Bayan Jargal
2008: Fernando Guerrero
2009: Dominic Wade
2010: Nick Kisner
2011: Dusty Hernandez Harrison
2012: Duane Mobley
2013: Mike Reed
2014: Lamont Roach, Jr.
2015: Antonio Russell
2016: Mack Allison IV
2017: Antuanne Russell and Jahmal Dyer

Next: Beltway Boxing Prospect Of The Year!

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Beltway Boxing 2018 --The Year Of The Status Quo!

Welcome to our look back at Beltway Boxing 2018!  Before we start, on behalf of my writing and podcasting partner, Juan Marshall, I want to thank everyone for their support of what we have done throughout the year. 

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

As usual, we start with an overview of the year, which we call “The Year Of The Status Quo.”  For the most part, things stayed the same in 2018 as they did in 2017.  The champions remained champions and the contenders remained contenders, although there was some serious improvement in the contender category by the end of the year.

Accokeek, MD’s “Swift” Jarrett Hurd would make the first big impact in the Beltway Boxing scene for 2018 on April 7th, winning a split decision over Erislandy Lara in Las Vegas, NV to become a multi-belt world super welterweight champion and one of the best boxers in the world.  The bout was one of the best in the boxing world in 2018.  Hurd would defend the titles on December 1st, scoring a fourth-round knockout over Jason Welborn in Los Angeles, CA.

On April 21st, Gervonta “Tank” Davis of Baltimore, MD would win his second world title, capturing the WBA Super Featherweight championship with a third-round decimation of Jesus Cuellar in Brooklyn, NY.

Capitol Heights, MD featherweight “Mr.” Gary Russell, Jr. made his annual appearance and won a unanimous decision over Joseph Diaz, Jr. on May 19th in Oxon Hill, MD to successfully defend his WBC Featherweight title.

The Beltway added a world champion this year as Baltimore’s “Heavy Hitting Diva” Franchon Crews Dezurn won a 10-round majority decision over Maricela Cornejo on September 13th in Las Vegas to capture the WBC Female Super Middleweight championship.

Also, after two tough losses earlier in the year, Tori “Sho Nuff” Nelson would successfully defend her UBF Middleweight championship with a 10-round unanimous decision over Sanna Turunen on December 1st in Washington, DC.

Local boxers would also win a number of regional titles in 2018.  Two of the belts would go to Bethesda, MD super flyweight Alexandru “Spartan” Marin.  The Romanian native would capture the IBO Inter-Continental title with a second-round knockout of Michael Ruiz, Jr. on April 14th in Norfolk, VA followed by the IBF Inter-Continental title with a 10-round split decision over Bruno Escalante on September 8th in Inglewood, CA.

Upper Marlboro, MD super featherweight Lamont Roach, Jr. would battle Orlando Cruz to a 10-round draw in his first attempt at the WBO International title on April 19th in San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, three months later on July 20th, Roach would travel to Cancun, Mexico to win that same title with a sixth-round stoppage of Deivi Julio Bassa.  Roach would defend that title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Alberto Mercado on December 15th in New York City.

The year started roughly for Laurel, MD super middleweight Demond “D’Best At It” Nicholson as he challenged for the NABF Super Middleweight title.  Nicholson was knocked out in the seventh round by Jesse Hart on April 28th in Philadelphia, PA.  Undeterred, Nicholson would bounce back to win the vacant WBC USNBC Super Middleweight crown with a sixth-round knockout of Isaac Rodrigues on August 18th in Hanover, MD.  Nicholson would defend the title with a second-round destruction of Fernando Castaneda on December 8th in Bowie, MD.

Also, Malik "Iceman" Hawkins won the NABA-USA Welterweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Serrano on March 30th in Philadelphia and "Slick" Nick Kisner won the NABA-USA Cruiserweight championship by unanimous decision over Brian Holstein on March 2nd in Columbus, OH.

Locally, Beltway Boxing took a slight tumble in the number of cards. There were 19 cards in 2018.  Maryland fell from 11 cards in 2017 to seven in 2018.  DC had four cards in 2018 compared to five the previous year.  Only Northern Virginia made a slight improvement, moving up one to four cards compared to three in 2017.

While the number of cards decreased, the amount of new venues in the Beltway increased.  Washington unveiled the Entertainment and Sports Arena in December.  Maryland had cards at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Live! Casino in Hanover and two shows at Bowie State University’s AC Jordan Arena.  Virginia went the fitness location route, having cards at the Michael and Son Sportsplex at Dulles in Sterling and Tysons Playground in Vienna.

Beltway Boxers were featured on national TV 16 times in 2018 with Tori Nelson, Jarrett Hurd, Lamont Roach, Jr. and Demond Nicholson each on twice.  Other locals on TV included Gervonta Davis, Mike Reed, Lamont Peterson, Glenn Dezurn, Jr., Franchon Crews Dezurn,
Gary Russell, Jr., Mykal Fox and DeMarcus Corley (against one another), Antonio Russell and Jessie Nicklow.

On the amateur side, much of the news centered around the Alexandria, VA trio of Keyshawn Davis, Troy Isley and Amelia Moore.  All three rose to elite status in 2018 and represented Team USA in many events around the world. 

 Davis, a lightweight, had an outstanding year, winning a gold medal at the Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, a silver at the Chemistry Cup in Halle, Germany and a gold medal at the USA Championships in Salt Lake City, UT.

Isley, a middleweight, would win a silver at the Strandja Tournament and, along with Davis compete in numerous dual meets for Team USA in Massachusetts, Tennessee and the Netherlands.

After a 2017 where she won four major championships, Moore joined the USA Women’s Elite team and made an impact in September by winning a gold medal in her first international tournament, the Boxam tournament in Castellon, Spain.  All three boxers have qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2019.

Another amateur who had an outstanding year was Jahmal Harvey of Oxon Hill, MD who won championships at the Junior Olympics and USA Nationals in 2018.

Unfortunately, we lost a number of Beltway Boxing legends and other personalities in 2018.  We remember:

David Crawford -- Beltway trainer

Frank Gilbert -- Head trainer, Loch Raven Gym

Eugene “Thunder” Hughes -- Owner, Midtown Youth Academy

Dave Jacobs -- Trainer of Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson

John McCain -- Arizona Senator, Presidential Candidate and friend of boxing

Aujee “Quick” Tyler -- Pro Boxer

Scott Wagner -- Promoter of Ballroom Boxing

“Magic” Michael Ward -- Former Beltway Boxer

That's a quick look back at 2018.  Tomorrow, our first award -- Rookie Of The Year!

Friday, January 04, 2019

Noted Promoter DiBella Working On All-Female Card; WBC Champion Crews Dezurn Verbally Agrees To Unification Bout!

Could be some interesting times in women's boxing in 2019, especially if one noted promoter gets his way.

Legendary boxing maven Lou DiBella has been in negotiations to put a very high-profile, all-female card on Showtime in the spring of 2019.  According to DiBella, the card would be held somewhere in the New York Tri-State area and will include at least two, and maybe as many as four world title bouts.

One of the championship bouts that has been verbally agreed to is a unification Super Middleweight champion contest between WBC champion "The Heavy-Hitting Diva" Franchon Crews Dezurn of Baltimore, MD and WBA titleholder Alicia "The Empress" Napoleon of Lindenhurst, NY.

Crews Dezurn (4-1, one KO) won her title in her last outing, a 10-round majority decision over Maricela Cornejo on September 13th in Las Vegas, NV.  Napoleon (10-1, five KO's) won three straight bouts after suffering her only loss, a 10-round unanimous decision to Beltway Boxer Tori Nelson, in December of 2016 in Springfield, VA.  Napoleon would win the WBA Super Middleweight title on March 3rd defeating Femke Hermans by unanimous decision in Brooklyn, NY.  Napoleon successfully defended her title by beating Hannah Rankin by unanimous decision on August 4th in Uniondale, NY.

The other unification title bout would be in the featherweight division as WBO champion Heather Hardy takes on WBA/WBC titleholder Jelena Mrdjenovich.

“I’ve said for a long time that I was going to do an all-women’s card and I feel more strongly than ever that it’s way beyond its time,” DiBella told “There needs to be a card of women, top to bottom, that’s representative of the sport. Claressa Shields is a terrific fighter and her fight with Hanna Gabriels was a terrific fight because you had two world-class women together. There are other terrific fighters out there, no doubt about that. But you need a card that’s match made to bring the best in women’s boxing to the public.”

“Those two matchups can’t go wrong,” said DiBella. “And both sides of each fight have agreed to fight each other if it’s on a televised platform.”

Dibella has a number of female boxers under contract, including Napoleon and Hardy.  This proposed card could also be an opportunity for another DiBella prospect, undefeated Beltway Boxer "The Dark Menace" Tiara Brown of Bladensburg, MD.  Brown (7-0, five KO's) has registered two stoppages since coming under the DiBella banner.

“There are other names like Raquel Miller, Mariana Juarez, Ava Knight, Tiara Brown, Jessica McCaskill, Melissa St. Vil,” DiBella said. “I’m not limiting this to people that I promote. I want to make a fight card that blows people’s minds."

ESPN Names Hurd-Lara Title Clash 'Bout Of The Year!'

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)'s Senior Boxing Writer Dan Rafael has named the WBA/IBF/IBO Super Welterweight title bout between champion "Swift" Jarrett Hurd and former WBA champion "The American Dream" Erislandy Lara the 2018 Bout Of The Year.

The bout, that took place on April 7th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, was an incredibly close contest that Hurd won by split decision.  Hurd secured the win by knocking down Lara with a left hook with 37 seconds left in the 12th and final round.  Hurd won the bout on two scorecards, 114-113 while Lara took one card by the same score.

The 10th round of the contest was also named among the best rounds of 2018.  We will start announcing The BATB Year-End Awards on Saturday, January 5th.

UPDATE:  The Sporting News has also named this bout as the Bout Of The Year.