Monday, January 04, 2010

BATB Begins Year-In-Review!! Part One: The Theme!

Beltway Boxing 2009 --- The Year of the Trilogy!

Normally, when BATB puts together the year in review, we look for one theme that was the standard for the year. However, 2009 was a very unique year that saw three prominent themes.

Therefore, Beltway Boxing 2009 was the year of:

1.The Prospect

The Beltway region seems to have set itself up well for the coming decade. A number of members from the Beltway Rookie Class of 2008 made significant strides this year. Three members -- Fernando Guerrero, James Stevenson and Mark Tucker -- all won regional titles this year and other members such as Seth Mitchell and Cecil McCalla remained undefeated with solid performances.

Meanwhile, 2009 saw 24 locals make pro debuts this year, including amateur standouts Emmanuel Taylor, Dominic Wade, Alex Guerrero, Abodurin Akinyanju and 2008 US Olympian Gary Russell, Jr.

2. The Franchise Boxer

On a BATB Post-Fight Wrap-Up Show in May of 2009 at the George Mason University Patriot Center, legendary trainer Angelo Dundee mentioned how the ills of boxing can be cured.

“If we can get a place like the Center here and put a Jimmy Lange in every little town in the country than boxing will flourish.”

While Lange restarted that trend here in the Beltway in 2005, the idea of the franchise boxer was enhanced in 2009 by Lange, Fernando Guerrero, Scott Sigmon and Mark Tucker. Lange maintained his stronghold in Northern Virginia drawing 3,000 plus to his two championship bouts. Guerrero was a major force along the Eastern Shore of Maryland with two cards in Salisbury. One card was an outdoor event drawing 8,000 to Arthur Perdue Stadium. Sigmon opened boxing in the Lynchburg, VA area headlining two cards, one of which was an internet pay-per-view. Tucker headlined five cards in Carroll County, MD that drew enthusiastic crowds.

3. The actual “Trilogy.”
Beltway Boxing 2009 will also be known as the year of the literal trilogy. This year featured three situations where boxers ended up fighting each other three times. One trilogy had two of its three bouts in 2009 where the other trifectas had boxers battling three times during the calendar year.

Baltimore light heavyweights Henry Mayes and Willie Williams fought two of their three bouts in 2009 and also took their trilogy to three different locations in Maryland. Their first clash was in October of 2008 at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury where the two fought to a six-round draw. The two then fought at Martin’s West in Woodlawn in January. Nothing was settled there as the two battled to an eight-round draw. Mayes and Williams saved their best for their third and final bout in April where Mayes captured the Maryland State Light Heavyweight title with a ninth-round knockout of Williams.

Tyrell Samuel’s trilogy with Gustavo Dailey got off to an inauspicious beginning in July when the Baltimore native and Maryland State Super Featherweight champion lost a six-round split-decision in Westminster to the Philadelphian who was 3-5 at the time. Samuel redeemed himself back in Westminster in September with a solid eight-round unanimous decision. When the rubber match came in November in Baltimore, Samuel was victorious again despite suffering a cut over his right eye that stopped the bout with the scorecards in his favor.

Also, Baltimore junior middleweight Omar Sims and Wilson, NC’s Jamar Freeman made the Shipley Arena in Westminster their personal home for three bouts in 2009. Their first bout in April went to a six-round draw, but Freeman won the next two in June and December by six-round unanimous decisions.

More to come during the week including Knockout of the Year, Card of the Year and Bout of the Year as well as Rookie, Prospect and Boxer of the Year (Fans Choice and Digital's Choice)

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