By Derek Gionta, ringside: The prelude to Bernard Hopkins’ record breaking attempt to be the oldest fighter in history to unify world titles featured a number of undercard bouts including some of the brightest prospects from the DC and New York areas. Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Championship Boxing presented the event at the Armory in Washington, D.C. Various bouts were televised on Showtime Extreme.
Local DC Lightweight Lamont Roach Jr., 1-0, defeated Victor Galindo, 1-4 (1), of Puerto Rico in the final bout before the Showtime broadcast. Roach landed the cleaner punches and outboxed Galindo in the opening round. Roach landed some big shots proving a sharp offensive attack while Galindo proved a solid chin. The last two rounds were target practice for Roach, but Galindo stayed on his feet for the duration despite a few close calls. All three judges scored the fight for Lamont Roach Jr., 40-36, the unanimous decision victor.
Welterweight David Grayton, 6-0 (5), of DC, stopped Howard Reece, 2-4 (1), of Miami, in the first round of a scheduled four. Grayton, a southpaw, dropped Reece early in the first round and continued swinging heavy, and nearly catching a wild punch, before ending the bout later in the round. The referee saved Reece from further punishment at the 1:58 mark.
Brooklyn’s Zachary Ochoa, 6-0 (3), stopped Hector Marengo, 6-7-4 (4), of Puerto Rico in the fifth round of a scheduled six in a lightweight bout. Ochoa methodically out worked and broke down Marengo over the first three rounds, while Marengo looked to be in pain approaching his corner before the fourth. An overhand right sent Marengo to the canvas in the fourth. Ochoa went on the attack with a series of combos shortly thereafter which Marengo managed to survive. Ochoa went right back to it, ripping furious combinations to the head and body which resulted in his second knockdown of the fight. His follow-up moments later prompted the Marengo corner to throw in the towel. Joe Cooper called the bout off at 1:32 of the fifth.
In a ten round Welterweight contest "The World Kid" Sadam Ali, 19-0 (12), of Brooklyn, knocked out Michael "Cold Blood" Clark, 44-10-1 (18), of Columbus, OH with a left hook to the head in the opening round. The punch sent Clark to the canvas at the 2:06 mark of as referee Joe Cooper counted him out.
Light heavyweight "Sir" Marcus Browne, 10-0 (7), of Brooklyn, defeated Otis "Triple O.G." Griffin, 24-16-2 (10), of Troy, AL by an eight round unanimous decision in the first bout televised on Showtime Extreme. Browne, a slick southpaw, is a former 2012 US Olympian with a huge upside. The New Yorker, along with trainer Sharif Younan in his corner, put together a steady attack to the head and body of Griffin in the opening round. Griffin had little offense to counter. The second round was nearly identical as Griffin had no answer but to hold and try his best to make it an ugly fight. Browne landed a lead left to the face of Griffin seconds before the close of the fifth round scoring a knockdown. Browne came out firing in the sixth. Griffin landed a solid right hand upstairs after Browne’s early onslaught. Browne looked to pot shot and circle for the final minute as Griffin showed heart but little offensive attack. The closing rounds were similar and predictable. All three judges scored the fight 80-71.
Super Middleweight D’Mitrius Ballard, 5-0 (4), of DC stopped Quincy Miner, 3-5, of St. Louis in an ugly affair. Ballard won the opening round with clean punching against the St. Louis southpaw. Throughout the second round Miner began looking for a way out. After various gestures of taking a shot to the back of the head, Miner leaned in on Ballard, tackling him a few feet from the blue corner. He then showed gestures of a pain to his arm or shoulder. Shortly thereafter Ballard landed a few big shots. Miner eventually fell to the canvas after a slight push from Ballard. He showed no signs of willingness to continue. The fight was then stopped and Ballard given the win by TKO of the second. Time of the stoppage was 2:35.
Middleweight Dominic Wade, 15-0 (11), of Largo, MD knocked out Jacksonville’s Marcus Upshaw, 15-12-2(7), early in the second round after a close feeling-out opening round. A right hand down the pipe dropped Upshaw, who made it back to his feet but on shaky legs. The stoppage came at 2:11.
The opening bout of the evening saw Washington, DC’s Chrisshawn Alexander, 4-1 (4), square off against Jose Valderrama, 4-7 (3), of Puerto Rico in a four round lightweight bout. After two close opening rounds, which looked to be even on the cards, Valderrama floored Alexander twice and nearly had him out on his feet. Alexander survived the third round. The fourth round was back and forth with the more slick Alexander boxing behind a fast jab and Valderrama continuing to pressure and impose his will. The judges’ final verdict gave Valderrama the unanimous decision with three identical scores of 38-36. Secondsout’s scorecard matched.
April 19, 2014