Article courtesy of Gary "Digital" Williams,
Boxing Along The Beltway
Once again, the Knockout Of The Year selection was the closest of the year. Beltway Boxers provided a plethora of quality knockouts throughout the area. As in previous years, the criteria for this award is:
1. The knockout must have been performed by a Beltway Boxer.
2. The knockout must have taken place in a Beltway location.
This year’s winner was a crushing shot that signaled the start of a turnaround of a boxer’s career.
The Beltway Boxing Knockout Of The Year for 2015 is:
Travis Reeves TKO 6 over Samer Barakat, July 9, Tall Cedars Hall, Parkville, MD
Reeves had to work hard to gain this knockout. The somewhat-awkward Barakat pressured Reeves enough early in the bout to avoid Reeves’s favorite shot, the looping right hand. The problem for Barakat was his inability to provide any challenging offense. This allowed Reeves to continue to figure out how to land his favorite punch.
Late in the fifth round, Reeves finally figured out how to land the overhand right, hurting Barakat with it as the bell rang. Finally in the sixth round, Reeves crumpled Barakat with another brutal overhand right that dropped him in a heap in a neutral corner. The bout was stopped at 1:15. Barakat was carted out of the ring and had to seek treatment at a local hospital. Barakat recovered fully from his injuries.
Here is the knockout:
Honorable Mention (In Chronological Order):
Zarifbek Nishanbaev third-round KO over Norman Allen, June 6, ABC Sports Complex, Springfield, VA
In just his second pro bout, “The Uzbek Warrior” faced off against the veteran “Shadow” Allen. Nishanbaev went on the offensive early and tried to swarm Allen with rights and lefts. Nishanbaev trapped Allen against the ropes repeatedly, trying to land power punches. Nishanbaev sent Allen to the canvas with a straight right hand early in the second round but Allen managed to weather the storm for the rest of the round.
In the third round, Nishanbaev landed a brutal counter right hand that drove Allen to the canvas. The bout was stopped at 44 seconds.
Devin Butcher first-round KO over Walter McCray -- June 20, Martin’s West, Woodlawn, MD
After pressuring his opponent from the opening bell, Butcher stopped McCray with a crushing right hand that sent McCray crashing to the canvas and his mouthpiece flying over toward the BATB location at ringside. The bout was over at 55 seconds.
Luther Smith first-round KO over Schuyler Marshall -- August 22, North Hall At Eastern Market, Washington, DC
Smith has become a very popular boxer in his first year of competition as he scored first-round knockouts in his first three pro contests. His most devastating KO was this one against Marshall in front of a very partisan crowd. Smith landed a brutal left-right combination that sent Marshall toppling backwards to the canvas. Marshall tried to get up but could not do it before the bout was stopped at 39 seconds.
Stephon Morris second-round KO over Cassanova Brooks -- December 12, Coppermine Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD
In his pro debut, Morris used a brutal counter right hand to knock out Cassanova Brooks in the second round. After a relatively-even first round, Morris caught Brooks with the counter hand that made Brooks crumple to the canvas. The bout was over at 28 seconds as Brooks could not beat the count.
Previous BATB 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
Tomorrow: The Beltway Boxing Bout Of The Year!
(Award winner photo created by Ross Molovinsky)