By Joe Gradowski and Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Former two-time WBC Middleweight champion Keith Holmes of DC returned to action with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Willis “The Prophet” Lockett of Takoma Park, MD Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC. In the co-feature, DC super bantamweight Clarence “Untouchable” Vinson looked surprisingly sharp after an almost two-year layoff by defeating Jacksonville, FL’s Robert “Don’t Lose” DaLuz of Jacksonville, FL by an eight-round majority decision.
Holmes, fighting for the first time in almost two years and amazingly at a weight close to the middleweight limit (after fighting at 168 and 175 pounds over the last four years), looked a little rusty but his experience and defensive skills proved to be the difference in the contest. Lockett was aggressive but not very accurate throughout the contest. Although Holmes had a serious height advantage throughout the fight, some unusual swings by Lockett scored him several hits on the inside as well as the face, though not enough to do any serious damage.
Scorecards had Holmes winning by tallies of 80-71, 79-72 and 77-74. With the win, Holmes now has a record of 41-5, 25 KO’s while Lockett falls to 12-8-5, five KO’s.
Vinson against DaLuz was a rematch of a June 23, 2007 bout at Howard University’s Burr Gymnasium in DC. This was also a better-fought contest than the first one that Vinson won by unanimous decision. Vinson had not fought since the first contest while DaLuz was participating in his 14th bout since the first encounter. Although DaLuz has only won two bouts in that 14-bout stretch, he seemed to be a much improved boxer this time then in the first bout.
Vinson, who sustained a cut next to his left eye due to an accidental headbutt in the second round, became physically aggressive after the end of round three but made it to his corner without any real incident. After eight rounds of war along the ropes, the fight went to the score cards with one judge scoring the bout 76-76 while the other two scoring the fight 78-74. Vinson, a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, is now 17-2, seven KO’s while DaLuz is 12-19-2, two KO’s.
Other bouts on the card saw the return of “The Next Generation” Louis “Heidi” Curtis, Jr. as he fought Gabriel “La Fuerza” Cruz of Oceanside, CA to a four-round majority draw.
Curtis, who hasn’t fought since winning a minimumweight bout in 1998, fought well and tried to trade with the gritty Cruz. Curtis did enough to win the bout on one judge’s scorecard, but the other two saw the bout even. Curtis had his father — 1976 US Olympian Heidi Curtis, Sr. — as well as former lightweight and junior welterweight world title contender Darryll Tyson working his corner. Curtis is now 1-0-1, one KO while Cruz is now 3-2-1, one KO.
Meanwhile, in the Welterweight division, Jamal “The Hitman” Charlo from Houston, TX locked fists with Terrell Davis from DC. This bout began with a number of test jabs from Charlo that grew into devastating swings targeted at Davis’ cheekbone. Davis, who was deducted one point for holding, took a number of direct hits before referee Billy Johnson called a halt to the bout at 2:07 of the second round by technical knock-out.
Charlo remains undefeated in his young career with a record of 4-0, two KO’s. Davis, who returned to the ring after a four-year absence, is now 0-4.
The card was promoted by Universal Madness in association with the organization Cease Fire: Don’t Smoke the Brothers and Sisters. Jack Crider served as matchmaker. The event brought a host of past and present local and national boxing stars including Interim WBO Junior Welterweight champion Lamont Peterson, current world title contender Anthony Peterson, former IBF Featherweight champ Eric “Mighty Mouse” Aiken, former multi-time women’s world champion “The Raging Beauty” Isra Girgrah Wynn, current prospects Ty Barnett and Thomas “KO” Snow, former world title contenders Derrell “Too Sweet” Coley and Lamont “Bay” Pearson and recent adversaries Paul “The Punisher” Williams and Winky Wright.
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