Article courtesy of Gary "Digital" Williams,
Boxing Along The Beltway
There were a number of quality cards in 2015 where young Beltway Boxers were tested and crowds came out in large numbers. One card, in particular, showcased a budding crop of locals in a relatively new location.
The 2015 Beltway Boxing Card Of The Year Took Place On:
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
This Keystone Boxing card, the second at the Sphinx Club, saw an upset in the main event as previously undefeated Marq Johns lost a six-round unanimous decision to Karl Garcia-Rios. Patrick Harris won his first six-round contest in a unanimous decision against Rafael Vasquez. The Fox Brothers put on solid performances as Alantez scored a first-round knockout and Myke put on a great performance in winning a six-round unanimous decision, Renaldo Gaines won a tough six-round majority decision over the always-game Stephon McIntyre. There were also knockout wins for Eric Hernandez, Albi Sadikaj, Devar Ferhadi and the debuting Shynggyskhan Tazhibay.
Honorable Mention (In Chronological Order):
January 17, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC -- Demond Nicholson vs. Rahman Yusubov, Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Stephon McIntyre, Mykal Fox vs. Luis Rodriguez
The first local card of 2015 was a Keystone card that took place in front of a sellout crowd and they witnessed some great performances. Demond Nicholson bounced back from suffering his first pro loss by knocking out Rahman Yusubov in the main event. Kevin Rivers, Jr. stopped Stephon McIntyre in the third round and Myke Fox won his first six-round contest in a unanimous decision over Luis Rodriguez. Gerome Quigley scored a second-round knockout over a game Norman Allen. Marq Johns won an early Bout of the Year candidate with a four-round unanimous decision over Jaxel Marrero and Renaldo Gaines won a four-round unanimous decision over Arthur Parker. Tyrone Wright and Maurice Adams, Jr. lost bouts on this card.
August 22, North Hall At Eastern Market, Washington, DC -- Gerome Quigley vs. Dontre King, Luther Smith vs. Schuyler Marshall, Drayvontay Speed-Rawls vs. Brian Raglin.
This card makes the list because it had some of the best storylines of the year. It was actually a feat to get the Jeter Promotions/RBA Promotions card off at all as the ring arrived to the venue late. The ring crew, to their credit, put the ring together in very short time. Another storyline involved undefeated Gerome Quigley, who voluntarily took a rematch against the only man to go the distance against him, Dontre King. Quigley knocked out King in the rematch in the second round. Luther Smith had one of the quality knockouts of 2015, stopping Schuyler Marshall in the first round. Drayvontay Speed-Rawls also had a first-round knockout over Brian Raglin. Edgar Torres won a four-round unanimous decision over veteran Andre Baker and Stan Williamson scored a third-round TKO over Marquis Benson. The card also saw quality performances from out-of-town boxers O’Shaquie Foster and Lavarn Harvell as well as an exhibition bout featuring Orazio Robinson, who returned to the ring after a long absence.
November 12, Martin’s Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, MD -- Jennifer Salinas vs. Melissa St. Vil, Tyrieshia Douglas vs. Nydia Feliciano, Joshua Davis vs. Justin Lopez
The Ponytail Promotions card took place at the Jonathan Ogden Foundation benefit card. The 2015 Bout of the Year was on this card as Jennifer Salinas defeated Melissa St. Vil. Tyrieshia Douglas won a 10-round unanimous decision over Nydia Feliciano to defend her UBF Bantamweight title. Joshua Davis won a four-round unanimous decision over Justin Lopez. In one of the more interesting stories of the year, Tallahassee, FL boxer Leonardo Kenon traveled 26 hours on a bus to participate on the card on short notice. Kenon knocked out Chris Alexander of Norfolk, VA in the first round.
December 12, Coppermine Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD --Shariff Rahman vs. Alex Asbury, Travis Reeves vs. Anthony Caputo Smith, Stephon Morris vs. Cassanova Brooks
If there was an Event Of The Year, this card would win that award hands down. The Shawstyle Promotions/Shabazz Brothers card took place in front of one of the biggest crowds in recent Du Burns boxing history -- a crowd that included the current mayor of Baltimore, the former mayor of Baltimore and a candidate who wants to be the next mayor of Baltimore.
The boxing was not bad, though. The card included an exhibition bout featuring former undisputed World Heavyweight Champion and Beltway Boxing legend Hasim Rahman, who watched his son Shariff make his pro debut in the main event and gain a first-round TKO over Alex Asbury. Between Rahman and Stephon Morris, who stopped Cassanova Brooks in the second round, the card gave fans an early look at the Beltway rookie class of 2016. Also, Travis Reeves stopped Anthony Caputo Smith in the first round and Malik Hawkins, Devin Butcher and Jerome Featherstone gained victories.
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)
Tomorrow: Our Final Award -- The Beltway Boxing Boxer Of The Year!
(Award winner photo created by Ross Molovinsky)