Photos by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
FAIRFAX, Va.—Pennsylvania junior middleweight contender Harry Joe Yorgey (above right) made short work of Virginia’s Zain “Tiger” Shah at the Patriot Center on October 27th, dominating Shah from the start and stopping him in the first round.
Shah, who entered the bout unbeaten with a record of 5-0-1 (3 KOs), was clearly in over his head against the vastly more experienced Yorgey. Harry went straight after Shah and appeared to ahve him shaken up early, especially after a body shot that the referee deemed low. Shah took his time recovering, but it made little difference. Yorgey came straight after him and struck him down, forcing Shah to take a seat and not rise.
Photos by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
FAIRFAX, Va.—Jimmy Lange (below) has done more for boxing in the D.C. area than just about anyone since Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson hung up his gloves.
Lange may not have the accomplishments of Tony Thompson or the Peterson Brothers, but he has almost single-handedly kept professional boxing relevant in the DMV over the past few years. His Patriot Center cards are an anomaly, suburban boxing shows that regularly draw thousands to watch local fighters. Those shows have given many fans their first chance to attend a fight, dozens of local pros a place to ply their trade, and have even provided a few boxing writers with their first chance to sit on press row.
Most importantly, Jimmy Lange shows are a lot of fun. Lange’s brief stint on The Contender might have made him a name, but it’s his entertaining give-and-take style that keeps the fans coming back for more. Unfortunately, Lange’s taste for slugfests has taken a toll. The results have been on display at the Patriot Center, where shrinking crowds have watched Lange struggle recently with opponents he would have once dismissed.
That worrying trend saw its inflection point on Saturday night, as Stevensville, Md. middleweight Tony “Mo Better” Jeter managed to beat Lange by split decision despite having four points deducted for infractions. Worse than the result for Lange is how Jeter dominated the fight, aside from the fouls and a 2nd-round flash knockdown. Lange’s inability to pull the trigger was on full display, and his trademark late-round rally went missing at the most inopportune time.
by Gautham Nagesh
Greetings, fight fans. Posting has been sparse lately while I took a much-needed vacation, but the the stalwart Dr. Octagon has been keeping things running practically on his own in recent weeks. Things will hopefully be ramping up again starting now, as we have a number of exciting fights coming up in the next few months.
The young man you see above is Washington, D.C. amateur boxer Jerry Odom, who won the National Golden Gloves title this year at 178 lbs. and was named the tournament’s best boxer. Odom will turn professional on October 27th on the undercard of Jimmy Lange vs. Tony Jeter at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Among a crowded field of DMV amateur boxing stars, Odom’s professional prospects are second to none. As a national amateur champion at a higher weight class, he could easily become the area’s top professional draw if he fulfills his massive promise.
by Gautham Nagesh
WASHINGTON, D.C.—It’s been a rough month for boxing in the nation’s capital.
Most of the momentum gained in recent months appears to have been squandered, after a series of unfortunate events connected to December’s Khan-Peterson fight. That night’s big winner Lamont Peterson is facing intense scrutiny and possible suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, which forced the cancellation of the rematch scheduled for Saturday.
In addition, Amir Khan’s promoter Golden Boy has pulled out of a scheduled June 30th card at the Verizon Center, reportedly still smarting after some hometown officiating helped Peterson upset the British 140-lb titlist. Finally, NoVa junior middleweight and crowd favorite Jimmy Lange injured his leg in training, forcing the postponement of the June 23rd card at the Patriot Center headlined by Lange vs Tony Jeter.
That means the only action in town this summer will be at the Convention Center, where local welterweight prospect Dusty Harrison (above) and lightweight Ty Barnett are quickly becoming staples of the DMV fight scene. The pair won lop-sided bouts as headliners on May 12th in front of a packed house; fans will have four more chances to catch the duo in action this year at the same venue under the banner of Keystone Boxing.
Words and Pictures by Trey Pollard
Fairfax, VA – The Jimmy Lange franchise is something that might be hard to understand for fight fans outside of Northern Virginia. If you look at the numbers on paper, you’d be excused for wondering how the Lange brand has become such a local success. After all, how can a guy whose main claim to fame is getting knocked out of the first round of NBC’s The Contender series eight years ago headline 14 straight shows in a sizable college basketball arena — all while facing some suspect opposition?
Saturday night’s event at the Patriot Center in Fairfax provided a rebuttal to those doubters – like me – as Lange topped an action-packed card of well-matched fighters that aren’t superstars, but who know how to whip the crowd into a frenzy. And, as it turns out, the reason why Lange cards are such a success is because they are so damn fun.
by Gautham Nagesh
The cancellation of Berto-Ortiz II leaves this weekend without a marquee fight in the U.S., but DMV fight fans will be treated to another card at George Mason University’s Patriot Center on Saturday night, headlined by local favorite Jimmy Lange.
The former Contender star has consistently drawn 5,000 fans in recent years, making Northern Virginia an unexpected hotbed of the sport despite the absence of any world-class talents. Lange has been importing opponents from Indiana lately, which is never a great sign. But regardless of the opposition, Jimmy always comes to fight.
His bouts consistently feature tremendous action, both give and take, which is why his fans are almost always repeat customers. If you’re a regular person looking for a night at the fights, you could do far worse, but not much better. I’ll be ringside to bring you all the action, with Trey Pollard in tow to capture the action.
Northern Virginia junior middleweight Jimmy Lange will headline another card at George Mason University’s Patriot Center on Saturday, February 11 against an opponent to be determined. The undercard features a local showdown at middleweight between NoVa’s Zain “Tiger” Shah and Tony “Mo Better” Jeter of Stevensville, Md.
Heavyweight may be the only division that matters to casual fans, but we know Cuban featherweight phenom Yuriorkis Gamboa has earned top billing on any evening he enters the ring. That’s why we’re happy to inform you our esteemed editor will be ringside when Gamboa takes on veteran Daniel Ponce de Leon Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. An underwhelming undercard features Luis Cruz, Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso and Terence Crawford.
Gamboa is the overwhelming favorite to win but de Leon looked great losing a controversial decision to Adrien Broner in March and has more than enough tohold his own. The Cuban has always possessed a combination of vulnerability and dominance that make his fights among the most riveting in the sport. A number of intriguing opportunities await Gamboa but he seems perpetually on the verge of losing his unblemished record. We’re picking him to win this weekend and hopefully set up a long-awaited showdown with JuanMa.
HBO will broadcast the Gamboa fight after a replay of Vitali Klitschko vs Tomasz Adamek, which will take place Saturday afternoon in Wroclaw, Poland. We respect Adamek and his ability to pack the Prudential Center in Newark with Polish fans, but the man is basically a puffed-up cruiserweight fighting one of the toughest big men of all-time. Were he fighting little bro Wladimir we may have given the Pole a puncher’s chance, but Dr. Ironfist is a bridge too far.
Klitschko’s towering jab is likely enough to win him the fight, but should Adamek show more courage than the boastful David Haye (not difficult) he may find himself splattered on the canvas well before the scheduled twelfth. Adamek lacked the power to trouble spent giant Kevin McBride and his punches will do even less to the chiseled Ukrainian. The undercard is highlighted by Polish heavy Andrzej Wawrzyk and British cruiserweight Ola Afolabi.
Washington-area fight fans can make their way to George Mason University’s Patriot Center to see NoVa junior middleweight and former Contender star Jimmy Lange takes on Raul Munoz. Lange is an exciting fighter and his ability to regularly sell more than 5,000 tickets proves the DMV is one of the most under-appreciated fight markets in the country. We can only hope Gary Russell Jr.’s handlers are watching and considering bringing their boy home in the near future. Also fighting on the card are Stiff Jab favorites Todd “White Lightning” Wilson and Zain “Tiger” Shah.
Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports Complex will host a Boxing 360 card highlighted by local girl Amanda Serrano challenging Kimberly Connor for the vacant IBF junior lightweight strap. NYC-based Colombian cruiserweight Santander Silgado and Bronx light heavy Joel Castillo are also scheduled to fight.
Friday night’s TV slate is highlighted by a quality ShoBox from Hinckley, Minn. featuring cruiserweight prospect Lateef Kayode and a good scrap between Hector Sanchez and Vincent Arroyo at 143 lbs. Telemundo has Antonio Pitalua vs. Cosme Rivera from Mexico City while Telefutura’s card is headlined by Gabriel Rosado vs. Keenan Collins from Philly.
Finally, ESPN3.com will carry the WBA junior middleweight eliminator on Saturday from Belfast between Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey and Breidis Prescott. Both men are clamoring for a rematch with titlist Amir Khan.
Hectic week folks, sorry for the lack of updates. But tonight we kick things off in a big way: our own Dr. Octagon, M.D. will be ringside at Foxwoods to watch Ring middleweight champ and Stiff Jab favorite Sergio Martinez defend his title against the dangerous Sergiy Dzinziruk. Also on the undercard: Kronk Gym’s Andy Lee against Craig McEwan in a middleweight bout and rising Dominican featherweight prospect Javier Fortuna takes on Derrick Wilson.
Hometown junior middleweight contender Jimmy Lange will make it an even dozen at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. on March 12 when he takes on Jimmy “The Fighting School Teacher” Holmes.
After pulling off a stunning tenth-round knockout against Joe Wyatt in November the Contender alum will once again headline a card of local fighters including Todd “White Lightning” Wilson and Tony “Mo Better” Jeter.
Currently ranked 15th in the world by the WBA, Lange is hoping to earn a world-title shot while continuing to build his thriving NoVa fan base. Meanwhile Holmes, who holds the Indiana state middleweight title, will be fighting outside the state for the first time.
Opponents for Wilson (9-0, 3 KOs) and Jeter (10-2-1, 9 KOs) haven’t been announced yet. Also on the card: a four-round contest between heavyweights Abodurin “Bo” Akinyanju (3-1, 3 KOs) and former UConn defensive end Ron “Heavy Duty” Gamble, in only his second professional fight after scoring a KO against Vashawn Tomlin in November.
My write-up of Saturday night’s fights at the Patriot Center is now up at Queensbury Rules thanks to the excellent Tim Starks. Here’s a taste:
Fans once again crowded the Patriot Center on Saturday night to see local junior middleweight Jimmy Lange put on a show and the Contender alum didn’t disappoint, knocking Joe Wyatt out with just 30 seconds left in the final round to eke out the victory. Lange’s tenth-round flourish was the coda on an action-packed card that featured several DMV-area fighters including William Joppy, Perry Ballard and Todd “White Lightning” Wilson.
Read the rest here. I’ll be posting more on the Lange fight and my impressions of the night in general this week. Also, it looks like I’ll be covering Fight Night at the Washington Hilton, so keep an eye out for that coverage as well.
Jimmy Lange is not big on trash talk.
The Herndon, Va.-based junior middleweight and Contender alum declined to extol his gifts or list his advantages over his opponent during our pre-fight interview last week in advance of Saturday’s contest against Joe Wyatt at George Mason’s Patriot Center in Fairfax.
“I’m not a talker, I let my actions speak for themselves,” Lange said.
Lange does his talking inside the ring, but his face betrayed a steely resolve as well as a keen awareness that another setback like his controversial March loss to journeyman Chase Shields could serious dent his aspirations of a future title shot. If he wants to draw the attention of the sport’s top matchmakers, Lange knows he must impress on November 6th against Wyatt.
The Shields fight is a sore subject; a malfunction with the arena lights caused an unexpected stoppage lasting several minutes in the ninth round when Lange appeared to be gaining control of the fight. Father and manager Johnny contends that while “Jimmy didn’t show up,” the stoppage cost Lange, who was knocked down twice by Shields in the 11th round before ultimately losing a unanimous decision.
“I think it hurt my kid, he was peaking for the fight and I think it helped Chase,” Johnny Lange said, arguing that while critics may dwell on the 11th round, Lange’s comeback to win the 12th on all three scorecards is proof of his character and class.
“That’s the type of fighter Jimmy is, he’s a throwback,” Johnny said. “He’s not afraid of a brawl and at the same time he can still box, he’s a boxer-puncher and he’s a throwback.”