By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Baltimore, MD cruiserweight Venroy “Hardwork” July will never be accused for giving himself an easy opponent on one of his self-promoted cards. Saturday night at the Patapsco Arena in Baltimore on July’s Hardwork Promotions card, the tough opponent, undefeated Quantis “The Grim Reaper” Graves of Beaumont, TX, came very close to spoiling the occasion but had to settle for an eight-round majority draw.
When Graves takes a look at the footage from this bout, he will probably see a number of missed opportunities he had to take control of the contest. Instead, both men engaged in a lot of holding and some headbutting that may have served July a little better in the contest. The phone booth-style nature of the contest neutralized Graves’s offense the rest of the way.
July received the nod on judge Kenny Chevalier’s card at 77-76. However, judges John Gradowski and Don Risher saw the draw at 76-76. July is now 16-1-3, six KOs. Graves remains undefeated at 9-0-2, four KOs.
In the co-feature, Philadelphia, PA middleweight Taneal “Spider” Goyco scored a minor upset by giving hometown boxer Jeremy “The Truth” Trussell his first pro loss and doing it in dominating fashion, scoring a sixth-round knockout.
Goyco’s camp developed an exceptional game plan that their boxer followed to perfection. Goyco’s jab was crisp throughout and kept Trussell off-balance. Goyco also neutralized Trussell’s best punch, the overhand right hand. Trussell did have success using his left hand but he didn’t use it nearly enough.
In the fourth round, Goyco dropped Trussell with a solid right-left combination. From that point on, Trussell was in defensive mode, hoping for an opportunity to turn the fight around.
That opportunity never came. Late in the sixth round, Goyco landed a stunning straight left that stunned Trussell and sent him crashing to the canvas. Trussell tried to get up but couldn’t and the bout was stopped at 2:34.
Trussell suffers his first pro loss and he is now 8-1, six KOs. Goyco evens his record at 6-6-1, three KOs.
Laurel, MD heavyweight “The Big Ticket” Dwayne McRae registered a somewhat controversial TKO at the beginning of the second round over Jonte “Rock Steady” Willis of Tacoma, WA. The first round was pretty even as McRae and Willis traded punches. Willis suffered a bloody nose during those exchanges. Near the end of the round, Willis landed a solid right hand to McRae’s face. McRae pressured Willis into Willis’s own corner and landed shots. Unfortunately for McRae, three of those shots landed as rabbit punches on the back of Willis’s neck.
Between rounds, Willis felt pain in the back of his neck and could not come out for the second round.
Barring a successful future protest by the Willis camp, McRae’s record is now 13-3, seven KOs. Willis is now 9-10-1, three KOs.
In other bouts on the card, highly-touted Laurel, MD middleweight prospect Demond “D Best At It” Nicholson made very short work of David Rohn of Villa Park, IL needing just 51 seconds to score the knockout, landing a brutal right hand to the body. Rohn couldn’t beat referee Brent Bovell’s 10-count. Nicholson remains perfect at 6-0, six KOs. Rohn is now 1-1.
Laurel, MD lightweight Edwin “El Matador” Reyes was dominant in his encounter with the debuting Chris Haney of Chicago, IL stopping him at 2:56 of the first round.
Reyes was on the offensive from the very start and never let up until the contest was stopped. Haney just covered up in the latter stages of the contest.
Reyes is now 3-0, two KOs.
Landover, MD junior middleweight “The Cuban Assassin” Larry Recio delivered a devastating first-round stoppage of veteran Jose Felix of Albuquerque, NM. In the first minute of the round, Recio shot a straight right hand that dropped Felix to the canvas. In the last minute of the round, Recio sent the same punch crashing towards Felix, who crumpled back to the canvas. Referee Kenny Chevalier immediately stopped the bout at 2:49.
Recio scores his fourth straight knockout win and is now 5-0, four KOs. Felix is now 11-14-2, four KOs.
Silver Spring, MD featherweight Alexandru Marin wins a four-round unanimous decision over Alex Hipolito of Lubbock, TX. Marin, a native of Romania, was able to land shots throughout the bout while Hipolito seemed content to look mostly for counter shots which were few and far between.
Judges John Gradowski and Kenny Chevalier scored a shutout for Marin, 40-36 while Don Risher saw the bout, 39-37.
Marin remains undefeated at 3-0, two KOs while Hipolito falls to 2-3, two KOs.
Bowie, MD junior welterweight De’Andre “The Flash” Davis has won a tough four-round majority decision over a game, debuting Christopher Johnson of South Bend, IN.
Davis, a grandson of legendary trainer Adrian Davis, made the bout a little tougher than it should have been. Davis was very accurate in the opening round with his shots. Davis’ biggest problem in the early part of the bout was keeping his mouthpiece in.
That changed in the third round when Johnson, despite a bloody nose and mouth, battled back strong to take some control. The two waged a strong battle in the final round.
Judge Gary Camponeschi scored the bout even at 38-38. John Gradowski and Don Risher saw the bout for Davis at 39-37 and 40-36, respectively.
Davis’s record rises to 2-0, one KO.
In the curtain-raising contest, Baltimore, MD cruiserweight Travis Reeves scored a first-round TKO over Santos Martinez of Adrian, MI at 1:25 of the first round. Reeves was on top of his opponent from the opening bell, landing strong shots to the body and head. A straight right hand by Reeves dropped Martinez to the canvas. Martinez beat referee Gary Camponeschi’s count but was in no condition to continue.
Reeves is now 4-2-2, two KOs. Martinez falls to 2-6-1, two KOs.
Hardwork Promotions promoted the card. The matchmaker was Brian Dillon. The ring announcer was Henry “Discombobulating” Jones.