By J.R. Jowett reporting from ringside: Hopscotching promoter Thaddeus Shaw (Shawstyle Prom’ns) landed in Lutherville Timonium, just north of Baltimore in Baltimore County. A good crowd of about 1400 attended a bang-up show at the Exhibition Hall on the Maryland State Fairgrounds. The marathon card put together by matchmaker Brian Dillon presented all good bouts, but only one upset. Popular “Discombobulating” Jones and Brad “The Auctioneer” Dudley shared announcing duties.
In a women’s eight (two minutes), Baltimore’s Tyreshia Douglas, 109 ½, 11-1 (4), earned a hard fought and fair unanimous decision from Mexico City’s Anahi Torres, 109 ½, 13-11-1 (2). The visitor looked a division smaller than the sturdy southpaw favorite, and had to bore in all night to try to force the action to close range. The slick and skilled local was frequently able to outfight her, or at least hold her own, in the rugged infighting, while dominating clearly with jarring long punches whenever she could step back. After the early trading featured solid body punching by both, Torres gained a close and heatedly contested third round. Douglas adjusted in round four, stepping back and firing while out of Torres’ reach. This set the pattern for the rest of the contest, Torres never giving up and always right there, but Douglas consistently gaining the edge with greater size, range, and versatility. Torres trying desperately to close the gap in round seven led to a violent gonging of noggins, with Anahi stepping back and pawing her forehead. Tyreshia stepped in and rubbed Anahi’s head in sympathy before referee Ken Chevalier intervened to check the damage. Before resuming combat, the two women hugged. The final round saw Torres still boring in non-stop, as the contest wound up in a blaze. There was no doubt as to the winner, but the visitor played to the crowd , who responded with cheers. Brent Bovell and Don Risher scored a shutout, while Paul Wallace had the best card at 78-74.
In the main event 10, for the MD State Cruiser crown, there was little classy boxing but grim and brutal trench warfare between Travis Reeves, 179, Balto., 12-2-2 (6), and Larry Pryor, 183 ½, Walkersville, 9-13 (5). The tall and rangy Pryor could just not keep the smaller, determined and relentless Reeves off of him, and that told the story of the bruising bang-up. Travis hurtled his body at Larry like a boxer would use the jab, coming over the top with clobber rights as he fell inside. There was a lot of mauling and wrestling, but the battle was in dead earnest and never boring. A hook off the jab rocked Pryor in first-round open trading. Travis began dropping the right in round two. Again and again, Pryor shook off these bombs, frequently shaking his head and mugging in defiance. But that wasn’t winning him points, as Reeves dominated nearly every round. In the third, Larry was getting worked over in a corner when a woman fan yelled, “I love both y’all!” He took a moment to look her way and throw a kiss before going back to getting clobbered.
The bruising battle ground into round eight before bursting wide open. As usual, Travis was working Larry over on the ropes when he dug a left hook to the ribs, pulled back, and came back with a booming right over the top. Pryor was seriously hurt for the first time in the fight, stumbling away while getting tagged with right after right. He desperately and gamely tried to stay on his feet under heavy bombardment and never went fully to the canvas. But referee Brent Bovell finally called a knockdown when Pryor sagged briefly along the ropes before gamely forcing himself back to his feet. Battered across the ring and onto the opposite strands, Pryor was finally rescued, over his own protest, when Bovell called a TKO at 0:42.
A heated local showdown was a scheduled six between James Stevenson, 144 ½, Balto., 23-2 (16), and Kevin “The Scarecrow” Womack, 148 ½, Balto., 7-11-3 (5). The free-spirited and free-swinging Womack can be dangerous, as he showed in round one when a right counter in wide open trading rocked Stevenson and sent him back. Shortly after, a left-right combination jolted the favorite again, and it briefly looked like an upset was in order. But the favorite remained composed, and by round two, Womack was on the wane. Kevin revived some in the close third, but James was controlling the fight by then. The spindly underdog began holding desperately in the fourth. But Stevenson had the answer. He crunched Womack to the body with the right, straightening him up so that his chin was in range of the left hook. This pattern continued into the fifth, when a vicious left hook to the ribs doubled Kevin up. In evident pain and with right eye bleeding, Womack was taken to the doctor by referee Bovell, and the bout ruled a TKO at 2:36.
If boxing was scored on body language, Taneal Goyco, 175 ½, Phila., 8-8-1 (3), would get the win over Devin Butcher, 167 ½, Balto., 6-1 (3). In fact, the bout was scored on body language, not to mention fouls, and Goyco did get a split decision win in a controversial six, for the show’s only upset. The two traded wide open at the start, with Goyco getting rocked several times. After the initial fireworks, a good contest settled into a pattern: the rangy local circling away and zinging clean counters, the visitor trudging resolutely after him, trying to catch and mug Devin. Taneal landed relatively few clean blows, but he made them count as he edged closer and finally won the last two rounds. Devin wasn’t helping his own cause by running and looking defeated, even though he was still dropping counters. Finally, Chevalier took a point from Butcher for holding in the final round. After dramatic tension while the scores were being tallied, “Discombob” announced the verdict. All scores were 57-56, but with Wallace scoring for Butcher while Bovell and Risher had Goyco.
James Early, 124 ½, Seat Pleasant, 2-0, used a constantly shifting lefty-to-orthodox style to keep winless Tyshae Ferguson, 123 ½, Danville, VA, winless at 0-6, with a unanimous shutout in a good four. The underdog fought back, landing some clean right counters. But when he tried to put punches together, Early showed a good bob-&-weave defense, not seen much anymore. Ref Chevalier cautioned James for slapping.
Lefty Cody “The Crippler” Crowley, 147 ½, a Canadian out of LV, 7-0 (4), did a workmanlike job to the body of Corey McCants, 152, Douglasville, GA, 2-14-2 (1), in a rugged six. McCants took his medicine like a man as Crowley hammered him in taking down a unanimous shutout win.
Colby Madison, 238, Owings Mills, 2-0, got more than he wanted from flabby but rugged Lonnie Kornegay, 261, Balto., 1-13-3, in a bruising four. Kornegay was the aggressor throughout but landed on arms and shoulders more than scoring blows, while jolting Colby with a left hook in a hard-fought third. The tall, rangy Madison answered back with clean counters enough to deserve the win, but probably didn’t expect so much from a guy with a record like Lonnie’s. Madison won the unanimous verdict, all 39-37.
In a good battle of displaced Kazakhstanis, Ahmet Kayrelti, 148, fighting out of Fairfax, VA, was debuted too tough against Shyngyskhan Tazhibay, 148, Wash., DC, 4-0 (2), in a bristly four. Kayrelti circled wide with an exaggerated, hopping style while the stolid Tazhibay walked him down behind the left hook. Ahmet tried to pull the fight out by going inside and mixing to start the fourth. But after a minute of hectic trading, he was back on his toes and giving ground. Wallace scored 39-37 while Risher and Bovell had a shutout.
Stephon Morris, 172, Balto., 2-0 (2), delighted a sizable contingent of noisy and excited fans while spoiling the debut of Brian Stevens, 173 ½, Jeffersonville, IN, in a scheduled four. The first was hard fought and competitive, with Morris setting the pace but Stevens nailing him with some clean right counters, once rocking Stephon and driving him off the attack. But by round two, the visitor could no longer stand the heat, bleeding from nose and mouth and giving ground. In the third, Morris was in high gear, letting hands go full tilt and dishing out a beating. The game visitor was still punching back, but had lost his pop. When the favorite got on a roll of one punishing shot after another, Chevalier rightly stopped it, at 2:45.