Photos by Gautham Nagesh for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
WASHINGTON, D.C.—There are certain annual rituals that make living in the cesspool that governs our nation almost tolerable.
For yours truly, Fight Night 2012 at the Washington Hilton is one of them. Thursday night was long set aside for the Fight for Children benefit, and no storm was going to stop the first edition since founder Joe Robert Jr.’s passing. So I joined hundreds of other local gentlemen that dusted off their tuxes, shined their shoes, and fired up their stogies for a night of the Sweet Science.
A solid three-bout card fully sanctioned by the D.C. Commission provided fewer thrills than expected, but solid action. In a departure from recent years, the audience actually stuck around to watch the fights. Arlington junior welterweight Bayan Jargal (above) stopped the badly shopworn Eric Aiken in the main event to earn this year’s Fight for Children belt. The Mongolian Mongoose was simply too big and strong for the undersized Aiken, who should hang up his gloves.
Staff favorite Jerry Forrest (above) had more trouble with Brice Ritani, who proved unexpectedly resilient in the face of Forrest’s heavy punches. Ritani went the distance, testament to his Kiwi toughness. But Forrest swept the cards, and seemed happy with his second career win afterward.
Lime Lite product Greg Newby finally got back in the ring for his second fight in the nightcap, scoring a third-round stoppage of Akron’s Steven Tyner. Newby looked a little rusty at first but eventually began punishing Tyner, forcing the doctor to stop the fight after opening up a nasty cut.
Apart from those three fighters there were no losers on this evening, which raised millions as always for local kids. My personal highlight had to be a show-stopping performance from childhood favorite M.C. Hammer, with the Redskins cheerleaders backing him up.
As always there was a full retinue of former legendary fighters in attendance with Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Spinks, Pernell Whitaker, and Aaron Pryor highlighting this year’s crowd. Whitaker in particular appeared to be partying late into the evening, but considering the setting, can you really blame him?