By Gary “Digital” Williams
The ICE Promotions Boxing card slated for Saturday, March 6 at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA is loaded with talent from the Beltway region and a few of the matches have Beltway Boxers facing each other. The main event for the card has already been announced — the 12-round WBC USNBC junior middleweight title bout between champion Jimmy Lange of Great Falls, VA (31-3-2, 21 KOs) and “The White Tiger” Chase Shields of Houston, TX. (29-3-1, 14 KOs) This will be Lange’s ninth consecutive main event at the Patriot Center.
The co-feature will be very interesting as well. Undefeated Arlington, VA lightweight “The Mongolian Mongoose” Bayan Jargal will take on Louie Leija of San Antonio, TX in an eight-round contest. Jargal (14-0-2, 9 KOs) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Guadalupe Diaz on December 11 in Reno, NV but the last time Jargal appeared at the Patriot Center, he had to settle for a draw against Richard Lee Hall on September 26.
Leija (21-14-1, 15 KOs) comes from a boxing family. His cousin, Jesse James Leija, was a two time world champion. Louie Leija has fought a who’s-who of competitors in the lightweight division including Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Ben Tackie, Derrick Gainer and Emmanuel Augustus. However, Leija took a nine-year absence from the sport from 1999-2008 and has not won a bout since 1999 — he is currently on a seven-bout losing streak.
In another eight-round contest, Fort Valley, VA junior welterweight Andrew “The Doo Man” Farmer will take on Laurel, MD’s Ikem “The Warrior” Orji in an eight-round contest. Farmer (13-1, 7 KOs) is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over Ryan Belasco on October 16 at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore. Farmer would also like to change his fortunes at the Patriot Center — the site of his only pro loss. Farmer lost a four-round majority decision to Ken Humphreys on December 9, 2006.
Orji (5-2, 1 KO) lost a six-round split decision to Issac Suarez on May 8 in Philadelphia, PA. Orji has lost two of his last four but his two wins have come in intra-Beltway bouts against Ron Boyd and Ramondo Elliott.
Laurel, MD heavyweight “The Big Ticket” Dwayne McRae returns to action in his first scheduled six-round contest as he takes on Theron Johnson of Chicago, IL. McRae (5-2, 3 KOs) has lost two of his last four, including a four-round majority decision loss to Bernell Stewart on December 20 at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD. Johnson (3-2) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision loss to Tor Hamer on August 26 in New York City.
Undefeated Haymarket, VA welterweight Juan “The Savior” Rodriguez returns to action in a four-round contest against Glenarden, MD’s Damian Butler. Rodriguez (3-0, 3 KOs) is coming off an injury and he hasn’t fought since his last appearance in the Patriot Center, winning a first-round TKO against Dwartney Wortham on May 2. Butler (0-2) lost a four-round unanimous decision to Jesus Caro on October 3 in Lincoln, RI.
Two other All-Beltway bouts round out the card. Dumfries, VA cruiserweight “Cold Blood” Patrick Budd will take on Ellicott City, MD’s “Big Mac Attack” Robert McConnell in a four-round encounter. Budd (2-1, 1 KO) is coming off his first pro loss — a four-round unanimous decision to Charles Hayward on December 4 in Philadelphia, PA. McConnell (4-3, 2 KOs) lost by third-round TKO to Kevin Johnson on April 30 at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, MD.
Also, Lawrence Jones, a junior middleweight fighting out of Reston, VA (2-2, 1 KO) will battle Vincent “The Beast” Batteast of Severn, MD (1-1-1). Jones has not fought since being stopped in the first round by Shawn Estrada on November 29, 2008 in Ontario, CA. Batteast is coming off a four-round unanimous decision over Allen Perkins on December 11 at the Shipley Arena in Westminster, MD.