By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Photos: Mike Greenhill
Not since a fictional Chino killed Tony at the end of West Side Story has someone with that moniker shocked so many people.
Veteran and former world title contender Cosme “Chino” Rivera of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico shocked hundreds of partisan fans at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC Saturday night by scoring a devastating ninth-round knockout over hometown hero and card promoter Ty Barnett. The bout was the main event on Barnett’s Top Flight Promotions card. The win was particularly upsetting to one attendee who attacked Rivera in the ring after the bout was over.
As the bout began, Barnett was in control of the contest, landed good jabs and mixing body shots in. Barnett used strong ring generalship through the early parts of the contest. Rivera came back in the fifth and landed a solid right hand across the face of Barnett that caused blood to flow from Barnett’s mouth.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, Barnett moved in with body shots that were effective. However, Rivera landed another solid right hand that did some damage to the cut mouth of Barnett. In the eighth, Rivera pressed his attack and had his best round of the night until the ninth round. With about a minute remaining in the ninth round. The two men threw simultaneous right hands, Rivera’s blow got to his target first and knocked Rivera stiff and out. Referee Michelle Myers counted to 10 and the bout was over at 2:52.
Then came the chaos. As Barnett was being attended to, an unidentified person dove into the ring and attacked Rivera in his corner. Security and EMT’s managed to pull the person off of him and Rivera was able to walk out of the ring under his own power. After everything calmed down, Barnett was able to also leave the ring without assistance.
With the win, Rivera, who unsuccessfully challenged Zab Judah for the IBF and WBC Junior Welterweight titles and the WBA Super Welterweight title in May of 2005, raised his record to 37-18-3, 25 KO’s while Barnett’s record fell to 22-4-1, 14 KO’s.
In the co-feature contest, undefeated Springdale, MD junior middlweight “The Cuban Assassin” Larry Recio scored a second-round TKO over an extremely game Daniel Gonzalez. Recio hit Gonzalez with every punch in the book but Gonzalez kept coming forward. The problem for Gonzalez was that he had little offense accompanying his movement.
By the second round, the similar pattern forced referee Vic DeWysocki to stop the contest at 2:10. Recio notched his fifth straight knockout victory and lifted his record to 6-0, five KO’s while Gonzalez’s record dropped to 9-32-2, three KO’s.
A large contingent of the crowd came to support DC super featherweight “The Lion of Sri Lanka” Nuwan Jayakodi and he did not disappoint his fans as he won a six-round unanimous decision over David Warren Huffman of Cincinnati, OH.
Fans waved Sri Lankan flags as Jayakodi (a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Huffman battled fiercely throughout the six-round contest. Jayakodi landed more solid shots in the bout, however, Huffman also fought well in one of his better visits to the Beltway region in recent memory, even trashtalking Jayakodi after a spirited exchange that ended the contest.
Jayakodi won by scores of 58-56, 59-55 and 60-55 to lift his record to 3-4-1, two KO’s. Huffman is now 4-20-1, one KO.
In other bouts on the card, DC heavyweight Scott “Duke” Buchanan and Dennis Benson of Norfolk, VA both got off the canvas to battle to a four-round majority draw. Buchanan, fighting in his first contest since November of 2007, dropped Benson with a brutal right hand with about a minute left in the round. Buchanan might have won the bout at that point except he didn’t go immediately to a neutral corner after the knockdown forcing referee Michelle Myers to halt her count.
Benson returned the favor in the second, dropping Buchanan with a short left to the chin. Neither man could gain a definitive advantage the rest of the way.
Judge Wayne Smith scored the bout for Buchanan, 39-36. However, judges Tammye Jenkins and Paul Wallace saw a 37-37 score. Buchanan is now 4-0-1, three KO’s while Benson is now 1-6-1.
In a bout that went ENTIRELY too long, Renan “The Reaper” Ruiz of Brooklyn, NY scored a brutal second-round TKO to Alan Beeman of Providence, RI.
The competitors should have never heard the bell for the second round. Ruiz hammered Beeman with every head shot imaginable. The fact Beeman didn’t fall or take too many steps backward probably allowed the bout to continue.
In the second, however, nothing changed, including referee Vic DeWysocki’s urgency to stop the beating as Ruiz continued to pound on Beeman. Finally, Beeman’s corner asked for the contest to be halted and it was at 2:10. Ruiz is now 4-1, three KO’s while Beeman remains winless at 0-8 with seven losses by knockout.
In a hastily-arranged opening contest, DC light heavyweight Issa Coulibaly and Greg “Hot-Shot” Hackett of Philadelphia, PA waged a competitive contest that ended in a four-round majority draw. Both men accepted the bout hours before they entered the ring.
Hackett got off to a very good start as he landed good body shots and rocked Coulibaly with a right hook in the first round. Coulibaly came back and made the bout very competitive the rest of the way.
Judge Paul Wallace saw the contest for Hackett, 39-37. However, Steve Rados and Lloyd Scaife saw the draw at 38-38.
Coulibaly now has a record of 1-5-1 while Hackett is now 2-15-1.
Top Flight Promotions, headed by Ty Barnett and April Hairston, promoted the show. Brian Dillon served as matchmaker. The ring announcer was Henry “Discombobulating” Jones.