By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Suitland, MD cruiserweight Venroy “Hardwork” July, a corporate lawyer by day, almost committed an unpardonable crime in boxing — he almost lost on a card he himself promoted.
July’s Hardwork Promotions put on the card at the Frederick Fight Club in Frederick, MD and July was looking to bounce back from suffering his first pro loss by third-round TKO to Elvin Sanchez on February 22 in Washington, DC. July faced Rayford Johnson of Longview, TX in a six-round contest. July got off to a great stop as the Jamaican-born southpaw used a right-left combo to send Johnson to the canvas midway through the first round.
Johnson came back in the second, however and sent a solid straight right hand that blasted July to the canvas. July did recover, however, and was able to take control of the contest. Johnson tried to clinch, mug and talk his way through the bout. At one point, July made Johnson pay for opening his mouth. In the fourth round, July sent a straight left that knocked Johnson’s mouthpiece out of his mouth and almost into the first row. Eventually, July was able to win a unanimous decision by scores of 58-55. 58-54 and 59-54 to raise his record to 14-1-2, six KOs while Johnson falls to 8-10, two KOs.
In the co-feature bout, Romanian super bantamweight Alexandru Marin made a successful pro debut with a second-round TKO over Jacob Ninow of Wheaton, IL. Marin, now fighting out of Silver Spring, MD, was in complete control of the contest as he hammered Ninow clockwise around the ring numerous times throughout the contest. Marin finally ended the contest with a crushing straight left that dropped Ninow to the canvas. The bout was immediately stopped at 2:02 of the second. Ninow is 0-2.
In other bouts on the card, Washington, DC cruiserweight Mario “Bazooka” Flores needed just one minute to knockout fellow DC boxer Rodney Dews. Flores crushed Dews with a right hand that sent Dews crashing to the canvas. Dews could not beat the count of 10. Dews, who was competing for the first time since November of 2000, didn’t even receive sympathy from the house DJ who played Ray Charles’s classic song “Hit the Road, Jack” after the bout was over.
Flores is now 2-1-1, two KOs while Dews’s record falls to 0-2-1.
In another all-local matchup, Reston, VA junior middleweight Lawrence Jones won a four-round majority decision over Norman “The Shadow” Allen of Laurel, MD. Both men have struggled throughout their careers but put on a nice, close contest, a give-and-take battle that could have gone either way and in hindsight, could have gone two more rounds. Judge Brent Bovell saw the draw at 38-38 but judges Steve Rados and Paul Wallace scored the bout for Jones, 39-37. Jones is now 5-6-2, one KO while Allen falls to 6-9, three KOs and has lost eight in a row.
Rockville, MD welterweight Edwin Reyes completed a whirlwind 24 hours by scoring a second-round TKO over Jarrett Robinson of Philadelphia, PA in his pro debut. Reyes hammered Robinson throughout the contest but the game Robinson showed his mettle by staying upright. Finally, Robinson took too much punishment and, although he never went down, the bout was stopped at 2:28 of the second. Robinson is now 0-2.
Reyes’s journey actually began on the Friday before the card. Reyes missed the scheduled weigh-in on Friday because his wife unexpectedly went into labor. She later delivered a baby boy. Reyes weighed in on Saturday morning and then fought that night.
In the curtain-raising contest, Cheverly, MD light heavyweight Eric “Inferno” Govan used a piston-like jab to earn a four-round unanimous decision over veteran Steven Tyner of Canton, OH. Govan won by shutout (40-36) on all cards to raise his record to 2-0. Tyner is 3-11-2, two KOs.
The matchmaker for the card was Chris Middendorf. The ring announcer was Henry “Discombobulating” Jones.