Glen Burnie, MD - Michael's Eighth Avenue played venue host Friday night, January 13th to Jake Smith's Baltimore Pro Boxing event. Promoter Jake Smith runs Baltimore Boxing Club in Fells Point.
The main event featured a super middleweight contest with Baltimore's own Jessie "The Beast" Nicklow vs. Chauncy Fields of Lynchburg, VA. Nicklow sported a respectable 25-8-3 record headed into the bout against the undefeated Fields who at 4-0 would certainly benefit from a strong showing against an experienced opponent.
The undercard included Ernest Hall of Baltimore, MD against Cleveland Hemphill of Temple Hills, MD, Donald Wallace of Baltimore, MD against Tahir Thomas of Salisbury, MD and Roger Caruso of Dundalk, MD against Aaron Anderson of Baltimore.
The evening began with 4 competitive and highly spirited amateur bouts to get the crowd primed and ready for the late evening action. Michael's Eight Avenue functions as a wedding and banquet hall and the ring was posted in the center of four large chandeliers which set up almost exactly in line with the ring posts creating a melodramatic backdrop with the lights, fighters and ringside fans.
When the pro bouts began, the first scheduled match was Ernest Hall vs. Cleveland Hemphill at 130 pounds, both in their pro debuts. Hall made his intentions clear early on with machine-gun like body blows that Hemphill had to find answer for. While Hemphill attempted to pivot away at times, he had no answer for Hall and was floored repeatedly with body shots, early in the first round and again in the second. Hemphill was unable to answer the start of the 3rd and Hall was awarded the TKO win officially at the end of Round 2.
The second fight of the evening stood out as a prime example of what fight fans show up to see. Donald Wallace squared off against Tahir Thomas at 166 pounds in a 6-round bout and neither man was willing to give ground. Wallace was determined to get his punches off first and Thomas was just as committed to returning fire from his peek-a-boo style guard. Initially, Wallace seemed to be the clear aggressor but both fighters routinely traded ownership rights to ring in the early two rounds. In round 3, Thomas decided to chase and routinely walked into overhand lefts and straight rights as Wallace adeptly left combinations and exit smoke as he circled away. But Thomas' pressure paid off, as he found the timing to land a counter right that put Wallace on the canvas. After Wallace was cleared to continue, Thomas pressed the action even more with uppercuts and hooks to the body and head bringing the 3rd round to a close and almost ending the night for Wallace. After 6 hard fought rounds by both competitors, the fight ended with the judges awarding Wallace a unanimous decision, 57-56, 59-55, 57-56.
The Roger Caruso vs. Aaron Anderson match was blur. Anderson came out as the aggressor against Caruso who was throwing wide looping right hands from a southpaw stance to start the exchanges. Boxing math caught up to Caruso fairly quickly as Anderson stepped in with a left hook to the head and ended the fight by KO at 1:34 in the first round.
The main event between Jessie Nicklow and Chauncey Fields put on display the technical skills of Nicklow against a very willing Fields but early in his development as a fighter. Nicklow fought from behind a tight guard and methodical movements and he caught off ring consistently from Fields who preferred to fight on the outside. Nicklow landed lots of lead rights to the body of Fields early in the 8 round affair but it wasn't clear if he was doing damage. Nicklow has some technical skills but appears to lack dominant punching power. In this bout, he was content as a volume puncher, continuing to press forward, piling up points and wearing Fields down. While Nicklow had control of the fight throughout, he would find himself caught off balance at one point in the round 2, when Fields landed a good power shot that sent Nicklow down. No damage was done and Nicklow continued the game plan winning a unanimous decision 79-73 on all the judge's cards.
Baltimore Boxing's next event is March 30th at Michael's 8th Avenue. Tickets can be reserved now at http://www.baltimoreboxing.com/ or calling 410-375-9175.
About the Author:
Darryl Keeton is an avid striking, grappling and wrestling fan living in Upper Marlboro, MD. He holds a black belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do and is also a practitioner of Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.