Washington D.C.’s first
boxing card of 2013 featured a host of young area prospects headlined by junior
middleweight Alantez Fox, facing his most critical year as a professional. Fox
earned a unanimous decision over Julius Kennedy in a six-round bout that
showcased both Fox’s potential and deficiencies. Local D.C. fighters scored a
clean sweep in the seven preliminary bouts at Rosecroft Raceway in Oxen Hill,
MD on Saturday night.
Fox turned pro with great expectations
two-and-a-half years ago, managed by Cameron Dunkin and fighting under the now-defunct
TKO Promotions banner. But since then, he has fought only three times a year,
fighting to a draw in his only real test against Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza. So
at 9-0-1 (4), 2013 is a crucial year for Fox to prove he has what it takes to
become a contender. After his six-round unanimous decision over the battle-tested
Kennedy, the jury is still out.
Listed at 6’5”, Fox towered
over the 5’8” Kennedy, who holds a win over Aaron Pryor Jr. and was involved in
great battles with local fighters Scott Sigmon and Jesse Nicklow. Fox used his
height advantage to establish has jab early and score with solid straight right
hands as Fox both outboxed and outworked Kennedy to win the opening stanza.
Kennedy worked to apply more
pressure in round two and use the small ring at Rosecroft Raceway to his
advantage but Fox continued landing the better punches throughout the round. On
several occasions, Fox used his feet to get angles on the shorter Kennedy but
failed to take advantage by either not throwing a punch or landing an
ineffective, amateurish, slapping punch. Still, Fox won the round.
Kennedy, 7-3-1 (3) with one
no-contest, looked to outmuscle Fox in the third round, aggressively pursuing
and throwing looping roundhouse punches that rarely hit their mark but did have
Fox on the defensive. Fox had to work to stay off the ropes in the small ring
and did eat some leather but came out in the fourth and reestablished his jab.
Fox blunted Kennedy’s pressure and caused him to throw even more wild, windmill,
right hands in attempt to break Fox’s momentum.
Fox looked very confident as
the fifth round began and was wisely not letting Kennedy make it an inside
fight. Soon, Kennedy suffered a cut over his right eye and looked at referee
Brent Bovell as if to say the cut was not caused by a fair punch. Given there
was absolutely no clash of heads, Kennedy must have believed Fox used the
inside of his glove to cause the damage but the ref rightly allowed the contest
to continue without penalty to Fox.
Kennedy was bleeding and
clearly frustrated during the final round as Fox’s height and skill advantage
were just too much to overcome as Fox earned the victory by scores of 60-54,
59-55 and 58-56.
Fox recently signed with the
New York promotional firm Boxing 360 and will now have the opportunity to be
more active and make the necessary improvements to take the next step. Fighting
against durable veterans from the New York area is exactly what this young
Kevin Rivers KO2 Giovanni Vasquez
Featherweight Kevin Rivers
is creating quite a buzz among the D.C. boxing community, scoring his fourth
win as a pro in just four months and doing it in exciting fashion. This fight
was never a contest as the game Giovanni Vasquez was completely overmatched
before being knocked out with a left to the midsection at 1:11 of the second
Rivers, 4-0 (3), controlled
the first round, having little trouble landing whatever he threw at Vasquez before
hitting him low and causing a pause in the action. Following the foul, Vasquez,
0-3, responded by aggressively throwing a series of haymakers in Rivers
direction but was unable to connect. Afterward, Rivers again took control of
Rivers had his South
Carolinian opponent in trouble early in round two and used a well-placed left
hand to Vasquez’s stomach to send him down for the 10-count.
Jarrett Hurd UD4 Trenton Titsworth
After starting his pro
career with three knockouts over chitlin-circuit opponents with a combined 1-17
record, it was time that junior middleweight Jarrett Hurd got in some good
rounds. That was accomplished against the very tall, very skinny Trenton
Titsworth of Omaha, Nebraska. Titsworth knows how to survive by avoiding
punches and holding…a lot. Just last year, Titsworth was deducted so many
points in an eight-round contest that he lost by scores of 80-59 on two judges’
cards and 80-58 by the third judge.
Titsworth, 5-15-1 (2), only
lost two points Saturday night for holding as he was shutout 40-34 on all three
cards. Hurd, 4-0 (3), put in a workmanlike performance and connected with some
frequency on the taller Titsworth. Hurd’s only weakness was his overeager
aggressiveness when he did connect hard against his opponent, throwing punches
wildly, but ineffective trying to capitalize.
Overall a solid performance
against an awkward fighter.
Jerry Odom KO1 Anthony Madden
Boxing Pop Quiz: What do you
get when you put a 0-2 fighter from Biloxi, Mississippi in the ring with a 1-0 former
National Golden Gloves Champion from Washington D.C.? If your answer is that you
get a knockout in just one minute, you guessed right.
Bowie, Maryland’s Jerry Odom
blew through Biloxi’s Anthony Madden, finishing him off with a left to the body
that sent the Mississippian to the canvas doubled over as referee Brent Bovell
Odom, a super middleweight,
is clearly a very talented young fighter but easy opponents such as Madden do
absolutely nothing to develop Odom as a pro and merely build his record. As a
solid prospect, Odom deserves better.
Greg Newby UD4 John Micheal Terry
John Micheal Terry is
capable of everything from providing a stern test for a young prospect to
trying to dance with the ring card girls between rounds. This writer has seen
him do both. He’s an opponent who seems to truly enjoy being in the ring and
can be ready fight with as little as six hours notice (yes, I’ve seen him do
that as well).
“John the Baptist” is very
unorthodox and can take a beating while making a young prospect earn his
victory. Saturday night’s prospect was D.C. light heavyweight Greg Newby, 4-0
(3). Newby fought a smart fight, not allowing Terry’s awkwardness to get him
off his game. He took advantage of the opportunities Terry gave him and
remained patient and disciplined, even when Terry was momentarily stunned.
The most entertaining moment
of the contest came in round three when during a clinch, Newby turned Terry
backward and pushed him off with a bump from his backside as referee Kenny
Chevalier separated them. Terry, 4-26-3 (1), responded with his most
fundamentally sound combination of the fight, the type of punches that would
make Terry a much tougher opponent if he used them more often.
For the most part, Terry is
resigned to his role as little more than a glorified sparring partner who seems
to understand his role as opponent. On Saturday night, he did his job and gave
Newby four solid rounds.
Renaldo Gaines KO3 Darrell Martin
Lightweight Renaldo Gaines
was a well-regarded amateur in the D.C. area and had high hopes as a young pro
until dropping a majority decision to then-0-9 David Warren Huffman, who he had
beaten in his pro debut five months earlier. So it is no surprise that Gaines
is being spoon-fed opposition that has no business being in a professional
boxing ring. Saturday night was the perfect example of this as Gaines, 4-1 (1),
easily dismantled the helpless Darrell Martin, 4-14 (1).
Gaines, not known for his
power, wobbled Martin on several occasions as the only offense Martin could
muster was a series of wild, roundhouse, looping punches that Gaines easily
dodged. Martin actually lost his balance and sent himself to the canvas in
round two after one such wild swing.
After hurting Martin at the
end of round two, Gaines wasted no time ending the contest as he sent Martin
reeling to the corner with an overhand left, followed by a combination, forcing
a halt to the action 23 seconds into the third round.
DeAndre Davis TKO2 Coy Lambert
We learned two things in
junior welterweight DeAndre Davis’ professional debut. One is that he has fast
hands and two is that if you put an easy to hit fighter in front of him, he
will hit him - a lot. From the opening bell, it was a Davis onslaught of
punches against the defensively challenged Coy Lambert of South Carolina.
Despite the quantity of
blows from all angles that landed flush on Lambert, Davis really never hurt his
game but hopelessly outclassed opponent. However, the sheer number of blows
that Lambert was taking was enough for his trainer to signal to referee Kenny
Chevalier early in round two that his fighter was done.
Lambert fell to 1-6 (1).
Mario Murray UD4 Lamont Capers
The night started with an
action-packed affair between two scrappy cruiserweights that involved little
defense. Debuting D.C. area native Mario Murray outlasted Lamont Capers, now
1-1, of Hawley, PA. The difference in the fight was simply that Murray was the
Capers was the more active
fighter, winning round one despite Murray landing the best punch of the round
with an overhand right. Capers quickly caught Murray’s attention in the second
with a solid combination to start the action but Murray then settled in,
started working behind his jab and scored the better shots in the round to even
Round three saw Murray
continue to land the more effective punches but it was becoming a sloppy yet
very entertaining fight. Capers was able to land punches in the final round but
his lack of power enabled Murray to win the round with his harder shots and
earn a 39-37 decision on all three judges’ cards.
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