By Gary “Digital” Williams
WIBA (Women’s International Boxing Association) Welterweight champion Tori “Sho Nuff” Nelson of Ashburn, VA will defend her title against one of the more recognizable names in female boxing — former world champion Mia “The Knockout” St. John of Oxnard, CA — on Saturday, May 17 at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, VA.
This will be the second title defense for Nelson, the 2013 Beltway Boxing Co-Boxer of the Year (8-0-3), who won a 10-round unanimous decision over Kali Reis on November 7 in Cockeysville, MD in her first defense. This will be Nelson’s sixth consecutive time competing in a world title bout.
St. John (47-13-2, 18 KO’s) is a well-traveled veteran who, like Nelson, has won numerous world titles. Like Nelson, St. John’s most recent outings have been in world title bouts. St. John’s last win came against the legendary Christy Martin in August of 2012. St. John won a 10-round unanimous decision. St. John initially announced her retirement after the bout, however she has fought two more times since the Martin victory, losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Tiffany Junot in Bakersfield, CA for the WBC Junior Middleweight championship in November 2012 and, in her last outing, St. John was stopped in the third round by WBA/WBC/WBO Welterweight champion Cecelia Brakhus on April 13 in Denmark. This will be the main event on the inaugural card promoted by Ponytail Promotions, the new group headed by Baltimore, MD trainer and manager James Hogan.
In an interesting feature bout on the card, Bowie, MD super middleweight “The King’s Son” Jerry Odom will take on Washington, DC’s Joe Jones III in a six-round contest of undefeated local boxers. Both boxers went the distance for the first time in their pro careers — Odom (11-0, 10 KO’s) won a four-round unanimous decision over Edgar Perez on April 26 at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA while Jones (4-0, three KO’s) captured a four-round unanimous decision over Randy Campbell on February 7 in Weirton, WVA.
What could make this bout really interesting, however, is that Odom and Jones once trained in the same gym — No Xcuse in Temple Hills, MD. In fact, both were at the same weight class (178 Pounds) and at the 2012 Regional Golden Gloves, Odom won the Open championship (and later went on to win a National Golden Gloves title and was named the outstanding boxer of the national tournament) while Jones took the Novice crown. Neither boxer is presently training at No Xcuse.
Other bouts on the card include rookie Ashburn, VA junior welterweight Seth Billups participating in his second pro bout when he takes on Anthony Dave of Canton, OH in a four-round encounter. Billups (1-0, one KO) scored a second-round TKO over Darrell “Bad Azz” Martin on March 15 at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, VA. Dave (0-2) will take on a Beltway Boxer for the third time in as many fights. Dave lost his pro debut to Antonio Magruder on August 10 in DC by first-round TKO and then lost by second-round stoppage to Jerrell “Hell-Rell” Harris on March 28 in Weirton, WVA.
Martin (4-17, one KO), of Baltimore, MD will look to bounce back from his loss to Billups on this card. However, it won’t be easy because he will face undefeated Alexandru Marin of Silver Spring, MD in a four-round super featherweight encounter. Marin (3-0, two KO’s) is coming off a four-round unanimous decision win over Alex Hipolito on April 12 in Baltimore.
DC welterweight Harris (4-0, four KO’s) will also be on this card as he returns to the Beltway for the first time since his pro debut in June of 2013. Harris will take on Brian Meadows of Owensboro, KY (1-5-2, one KO) in a four-round encounter.
The card will mark the return of popular Baltimore, MD heavyweight Jed “The Punisher” Phipps. Phipps (18-8, 11 KO’s) was one of the more-talked about boxers in the Washington DC/Baltimore Area in the early days of this decade. Phipps was the first winner of the Beltway Boxing Knockout of the Year when he brutally stopped David Cleage in January of 2006 in Pikesville, MD. However, Phipps was the victim of some devastating knockouts as well against the likes of Horace Greeley and Ralph West. Phipps returns for the first time since September of 2010 when he faces Ariel “Iron” Espinal of Brooklyn, NY (8-23-3, four KO’s) in a bout slated for four rounds.
Also on the card, undefeated Montgomery Village, MD junior middleweight Gerome Quigley will take on veteran Damon Antoine of Akron, OH in a four-round bout. Quigley (3-0, two KO’s) won a four-round unanimous decision over Dontre King on April 18 in Fort Washington, MD. Antoine (11-52-2, five KO’s) is coming off consecutive losses to Terron Grant in Washington, DC.
Laurel, MD heavyweight “The Big Ticket” Dwayne McRae will face veteran Zeferino Albino of Philadelphia, PA in a six-round bout. McRae (13-3, seven KO’s) is riding a three-bout winning streak while Albino (4-19-3, two KO’s) will try to break a seven-bout losing streak.
Front Royal, VA junior welterweight Andrew “The Doo Man” Farmer will battle with David Warren Huffman of Cincinnati, OH in a four-round contest. Farmer (17-2, seven KO’s) has not fought since winning a six-round split decision over Hector Marengo on August 2 in Newark, DE. Huffman (4-18-1, one KO) will try to bounce back from a first-round knockout loss to Alexandru Marin on November 23 in Baltimore.
Also slated to be on this card are undefeated Burke, VA middleweight Antoine “Action” Douglas (14-0, nine KO’s) and Lavarn “Baby Bowe” Harvell, an undefeated light heavyweight from Atlantic City, NJ (13-0, seven KO’s) who are still looking for opponents.