By Gary “Digital” Williams
The Hardwork Promotions “United Nations” Card scheduled for Saturday, September 28 at the Patapsco Arena in Baltimore, MD is complete. Boxing is returning to the Patapsco Arena — located at 3301 Annapolis Road in Baltimore — for the first time since 1998. Headlining the show will be the card’s promoter — Suitland, MD cruiserweight Venroy “Hardwork” July– who will take on veteran Joell Godfrey of East St. Louis, IL in a scheduled eight-round contest. July (14-1-2, six KOs) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Rayford Johnson on June 22 in Frederick, MD. Godfrey (16-9-1, six KOs) last fought on July 26 and won a four-round majority decision over Willie Chisolm. Godfrey has bounced back and forth between cruiserweight and heavyweight throughout his career.
In the co-feature contest, Undefeated James “Keep ‘Em Sleepin’” Stevenson of Baltimore drops to junior welterweight for his six-round encounter with James Hope of Rock Hill, SC. Stevenson (19-0, 12 KOs) scored a second-round TKO over Joshua Robertson on August 3 in Millersville, MD. Hope (7-11-1, four KOs) won a six-round split decision over Scott Burrell on May 18 in Charlotte, NC in his last outing. Burrell was 7-1 going into the contest. Stevenson will try to become the first boxer from Baltimore to win his first 20 bouts since Hasim Rahman accomplished the feat from 1994-1996. Rahman won his first 29 contests before falling to David Tua in December of 1998.
This card also marks the return of one of the more exciting Beltway Boxers in recent memory — Baltimore’s Jessie “The Beast” Nicklow — who will face Timothy “The Boss” Hall, Jr. of Athens, GA in a six-round contest.
Nicklow (22-3-3, eight KOs) was the 2007 Beltway Boxing Rookie of the Year and was part of the Nicklow-(Scott) Sigmon- (Julius) Kennedy trilogy of bouts that was named Beltway Bout of the Year for 2010. Nicklow won a 10-round unanimous decision over Sigmon and had a 10-round draw with Kennedy. Sigmon defeated Kennedy by 10-round unanimous decision in the trilogy. Nicklow also fought on national television in bouts against Fernando Guerrero and, in his last contest, former world champion Jermain Taylor, who stopped Nicklow in the eighth round in December of 2011 in Cabazon, CA.
Hall (7-13, four KOs) hasn’t fought since dropping a six-round unanimous decision to Derrick Samuels in September of 2012 in Tampa, FL.
Also on the card, Laurel, MD heavyweight “The Big Ticket” Dwayne McRae returns for a four-round bout against the afore-mentioned Willie “Blackout” Chisolm of St. Petersburg, FL. McRae (10-3, six KOs, one NC) will try to see some action this time after his last outing against Dennis Benson on May 11 in Millersville ended in a no-contest when both boxers were disqualified for holding.
Chisolm (7-17, four KOs) has fought once since his loss to Godfrey, dropping a four-round unanimous decision to Alfredo Escalera, Jr. on August 31 in Orlando, FL. This will be Chisolm’s fourth trip to Maryland dropping previous decisions to July, Russ Shiflett and Nick Kisner.
DC cruiserweight Mario Flores returns to action in a four-round contest against Santos Martinez of Adrian, MI. Flores (2-1-1, one KO) scored a first-round knockout over Rodney Dews on June 22 in Frederick, MD. Martinez (2-3-1, two KOs) makes his second straight trip to Maryland after battling to a four-round draw with Devon Mosley on July 13 in Fort Washington, MD.
Frederick, MD lightweight Edwin Reyes returns to action in a four-round bout against Greg Faust of Georgia. Reyes (1-0, one KO) made his pro debut on June 22 in Frederick scoring a second-round TKO over Jarrett Robinson. The debut came one day after his wife delivered a child. The last outing for Faust (1-1) came in March of 2012 when he won a four-round unanimous decision over George Hayes in Atlanta, GA.
Baltimore middleweight Jeremy Trussell will be in a four-round contest against Brian Meadows of Owensboro, KY. Trussell (2-0, one KO) is coming off a four-round unanimous decision over Adam Mays on August 23 in Morgantown, WVA. Meadows (0-3-2) returns for the first time since May of 2012 when he lost by second-round TKO to Skender Halili in Franklin Square, NY.
Fort Washington, MD cruiser Albi Sadikaj will face Alando Pugh of Washington, DC in a four-round bout. Sadikaj (1-0, one KO) made his pro debut on August 3 in Millersville and scored a third-round TKO over Damion Reed. Pugh (0-1) lost his pro debut to Keith Gross in June of 2008.
Frederick welterweight Gerome Quigley makes his pro debut on this card facing Allen Williams of Georgia (0-2).
Here is the scale watch:
Venroy July 198.5 vs. Joell Godfrey 194.5
James Stevenson 140.5 vs. James Hope 141
Edwin Reyes 135 vs. Greg Faust 139.5 (will have to weigh in again)
Jessie Nicklow 165.5 vs. Timothy Hall 168
Mario Flores 192 vs. Santos Martinez 193
Dwayne McRae 232.5 vs. Willie Chisolm 231
Gerome Quigley 152 vs. Allen Williams 151.5
Albi Sadikaj 196.5 vs. Alando Pugh 213.5
Jeremy Trussell 155 vs. Brian Meadows 148.5