Photo courtesy of Suzan Classen
by Sarah Deming
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Saturday’s card at Barclays was a bad night for the underdog, and – to quote light welterweight Edgar Santana (above right) – we are all underdogs in one way or another.
In the first of the night’s three mismatches broadcast on Showtime, bone cancer survivor Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (below) almost finished Aussie Jarrod Fletcher in the first round. Fletcher hung on until stopped by a barrage in the fifth.
The reliably odious Jim Gray worked the cancer angle overtime in the post-fight interview, even asking Jacobs what he thought about when he was on his deathbed. What Danny Jacobs thought about on his deathbed is none of our business. Anyway, it’s not a deathbed if you survive.
Photos by Amanda Kwok for Showtime
by Gautham Nagesh
Another day, another blue-chip DMV prospect is snapped up by boxing’s top talent wrangler, the shadowy Al Haymon. This time it’s Baltimore featherweight Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who joins locals Gary Russell Jr., Dominic Wade, Kareem Martin, and Thomas “Top Dawg” Williams Jr. in Haymon’s stable.
We’ve been telling anyone that will listen for years that the 19-year-old Davis might just be the most talented fighter in the Beltway region. An extremely skilled southpaw with a long, decorated amateur career, Davis turned professional last year after winning the National Golden Gloves title at 123 lbs. He has since run off six wins, all by stoppage, though he has yet to fight this year.
Fortunately, signing with Haymon means Gervonta will get every opportunity maximize his immense talent by linking up with the most influential camp in boxing. His next fight is scheduled for March 17 in Boston, on the undercard of a Fox Sports 1 show from Golden Boy. That card has extra interest because it will also feature the pro debut of the reigning Stiff Jab Amateur Boxer of the Year Kareem Martin.
Click through for more on both Martin and Davis:
Lamont & Anthony Peterson photos by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
After Saturday night’s near-sellout at D.C. Armory, it’s clear that Washington has firmly re-established itself as a fight town. Some of my fellow writers were skeptical about the turnout early, but I was confident the arena would fill up. This was Lamont Peterson (left) headlining on Showtime. For the knowledgeable local fan base, nothing more need be said.
Peterson delivered, as his fans knew he would. As Anna ably noted, Peterson has been the tentpole of D.C.’s emerging boxing franchise, and his rise has helped draw all the major boxing networks back to Washington for the first time in many years. It has also provided a platform for the area’s talented youngsters to ply their craft, and inspiration for them to keep pursuing their dreams in the ring. In short, without Lamont, there is no resurgence in D.C. boxing.
Cheering Lamont through his recent string of high-profile fights has been his brother Anthony (below), a decorated lightweight in his own right. Where Lamont is quiet and reserved, Anthony is boisterous and outgoing. He is a constant presence in the local boxing scene, yet has only fought twice since sustaining his only loss by disqualification against Brandon Rios in September 2010.
Photos by Tom Casino for Showtime
by Anna John
WASHINGTON, D.C.—How do you annoy the fecal matter out of Lamont Peterson (left)?
Ask him (for the umpteenth time) if he has recovered from getting knocked out by Lucas Matthysse.
Seriously, don’t do it. Yesterday, when I innocently (Hey! It wasn’t *my* idea…my editor demanded it!) asked him that question, he rolled his eyes sadly before murmuring, “Not again.” He’s sick of telling people that he’s moved past that fight, as he informed Brian Custer of Showtime at today’s weigh-in at the Renaissance Hotel downtown.
“Ain’t nobody worried about that, man. I’m ready to fight tomorrow, man, that’s all we worried about…I’m ready to fight right now, really. So at this point, who cares about what they say? I’mma show you tomorrow what I’m about,” Peterson promised.
Before Peterson stepped up to the mic, his opponent Dierry Jean (below) said he dreamed of taking home a belt. Lamont’s response?
“Key word: dream. We’re all entitled to a dream so he gonna have to show me tomorrow.”
Speaking of Dierry Jean, he stripped down to Diesel knickers while I was distracted by the realization that D.C.’s underwear game is wack.
by Gautham Nagesh
Apologies for the hiatus, dear readers. I spent a whole week in New York for the Asian American Journalists Association 2013 Convention, and then took advantage of a dead week for boxing to take a momentary respite before things ramp up.
We just received confirmation that Stiff Jab is officially credentialed for Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Showtime Pay Per View on September 14th, so we look forward to covering all the action at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I’ll be doing my best to bring you daily reports leading up to the fight, which we expect will be the biggest boxing event in many years.
First, some news concerning the DMV fight scene. Our friend Gary “Digital” Williams brings us the news that Headbangers heavyweight Danny “Smooth” Kelly (above, below) has become the latest local prospect to join the stable of GH3 Promotions, based out of Newark, N.J. Kelly joins unbeaten DMV natives Antoine “Action” Douglas, a middleweight, and super middleweight Jerry “Two Tickets To Paradise” Odom, who are both signed with GH3. The trio are set to appear on a card next Friday, September 13 at Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.
David Grayton photo by Anna John for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
Finding work is never easy when you’re a young boxer, but staying busy is crucial. So you take the fights whenever you can get them.
D.C. prospects David “Day Day” Grayton and Greg Newby both scored first-round knockouts Saturday night at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington on a card promoted by Babie Girl Productions. The excellent Gary “Digital” Williams was in attendance as per usual and has more over at Boxing Along The Beltway. Newby took two minutes and two seconds to stop Ivan Burke at light heavyweight, while Grayton needed just 1:04 to dispatch Tyrone Braswell at junior middleweight.
Greg Newby photo by Gautham Nagesh for StiffJab.com
Photo by Anna John for StiffJab.com
by Trey Pollard
2:11 into his third professional fight, Headbangers heavyweight prospect and DC’s own Danny Kelly (right) wrapped it up against super-sized Schuyler Marshall with a body-head combination. Marshall brought 309 pounds and a game attitude up from South Carolina, but Kelly wasn’t too troubled.
After a few defiant punches from Marshall, Kelly hyped up the Armory crowd by finding ample room to work on Marshall’s ample frame. It was a KO set-up by consistent jabs and body work, finished with a clean right to the head that left Marshall reeling. Powerful, quick, and fit, Kelly is another DC prospect to watch out for.
by Gautham Nagesh
WASHINGTON, D.C.—It started almost 20 years ago in a storage room at Lincoln Multicultural Middle School in Northwest Washington. A friend told Barry Hunter the school had set aside a small space for boxing. Hunter, a carpenter by trade, agreed to pitch in, dug out his old equipment, and headed over to share his lifelong passion: the Sweet Science.
"I didn’t go to stay, I went to help a little bit." said an emotional Hunter on Thursday at Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Ward 8. But once he met the kids and saw their need, he couldn’t walk away.
"The ride I got on, I couldn’t get off."
So Hunter stayed to teach the kids boxing, and more than anything, to show them that someone cared. There have been plenty of ups and downs since, from training world champions and amateur stars, to skipping a national tournament and using the funds raised to pay for a kid’s funeral.
But few days could be better than today, when the District of Columbia finally repaid Barry Hunter by opening the new Dr. Arnold McKnight Boxing Annex. The magnificent 6,600-sq. ft. facility is attached to the Bald Eagle Rec Center, one of the original homes of Hunter’s acclaimed Headbangers Boxing Program, which has produced 100 national amateur championships, two professional world titlists, and saved countless young men and women from the wrong path.
Photo by Anna John
by Gautham Nagesh
Name: David Grayton IV
Trainer: Barry Hunter
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
If you read this blog, then you know we’re about as high on David “Day Day” Grayton as you can be on any boxer that hasn’t fought professionally yet. That changes tomorrow (Saturday) night at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, where Day Day will make his pro debut on a card promoted by Babie Gurl Promotions. We stopped by Headbangers Gym this week to speak to Grayton before his big day.
"I feel great, I just can’t wait to get it over with. I’m real excited," Grayton told Stiff Jab.
Pictured above is Lime Lite Boxing Gym, located in the basement of an apartment building on Otis St. in Columbia Heights. Lime Lite was the first boxing gym I visited in D.C. and it immediately felt like home, so I’ve always tried to keep tabs on their progress, particularly amateur star Malik Jackson. The trainers there do an amazing job in a very humble setting. There isn’t even room for a ring in the L-shaped space, but that hasn’t stopped them from producing champions.
That’s why I’m excited to pass along the news that Gregory Newby, son of Lime Lite co-founder and trainer Tony Simmons, will join Stiff Jab amateur favorites David “Day Day” Grayton and Danny Kelly in making their professional debuts on August 4th at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Washington. All three will debut on a card promoted by Babie Gurl Productions headlined by a rematch between Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan and Dhafir “No Fear” Smith.
Also making their professional debuts will be Tyriesha “Baby Girl” Douglas and heavyweight Jerry Forrest, who defeated Kelly in the 2010 DMV Golden Gloves Regional Championships. Forrest recently linked up with the handlers of heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell, which should give his promising young career a boost.
by Gautham Nagesh
WASHINGTON,D.C.—It will be different this time.
That was the prevailing message from local heavyweight contender Tony “The Tiger” Thompson during Monday’s media workout at Headbangers Gym in Southeast D.C. Thompson did his best to convince a small contingent of local fight writers that he has a shot to upset Wladimir Klitschko and win the heavyweight championship on July 7 in Berne, Switzerland.
Thompson has been here before; the fight comes almost four years to the day after he lost his previous shot against Klitschko by getting caught with a straight right in the 11th round. The stoppage has served as a reminder of just how potent the Ukrainian champ’s right hand can be. Thompson insists the punch is his primary concern going into the rematch.