Fort Washington, MD - Kings Promotions made a return to Rosecroft Raceway Saturday night putting on a highly competitive, 7-bout card in front of a packed house. Undefeated junior welterweight and local Forestville, MD product, Mykal Fox would again headline the card in the main event. Fox came into the night on a 12-0 record. He would face a knock-out artist in challenger in Tre'Sean Wiggins from Newburgh, NY. Leading up to the fight, Wiggins had a record of 7-2 with six knockouts. He'd last fought on April 15, 2016 losing a split decision against Benjamin Whitaker in Verona, NY.
Fox known as, "The Professor" (black trunks with gold trim), has established himself as a technical fighter who is well trained in using his reach advantage to pick apart most of his challengers. Tonight served to be his toughest test and his physical reach advantage likely saved him from taking damage early on in the fight. Fox began the contest from his natural southpaw stance but he seemed to be carrying his right hand particularly low. Wiggins picked up on this fact and attempted to counter Fox's jabs with overhand lefts and left hooks to make Fox pay for the oversight. Wiggins made no attempts to disguise his intentions though and began head-hunting early in the fight and found some success at the times that Fox would remain stationary. Whatever opportunity existed for Wiggins in that area was short lived. By closing period of the 2nd round, Fox had made his adjustments. Wiggins was chasing the same game plan from early in the fight and was looking to catch Fox coming in. He never fought to work his way inside which allowed Fox to box in his comfort zone and stay at his punching range but keep Wiggins just outside of his own. Wiggins would retaliate with flurries at times but the blows would either fall short or glance off the defenses of Fox. The scheduled 8 rounder would go the distance with Fox winning by split decision 76-76, 77-75, 78-74. The bout didn't appear to be that close to me but the experience will definitely contribute to Fox's development as he extends his winning streak to a 13-0 record.
Luther Smith of Bowie, Maryland would also make his return to the ring against Darnell Pierce of Austin, Texas. This would be Smith's second fight at cruiserweight and he seems to have found a home at this weight class that lines up appropriately with his skills and power.
At the outset, Smith (black trunks, red trim) controlled the distance and movement of the fight making Pierce respond to his actions. Pierce's game plan seemed to be to play the counter game. But Smith's head movement and footwork put him ahead on most exchanges. Pierce was often flat-footed in the fight and while he had control of the center of the ring early, he didn't take it. Smith ceded it to him, preferring to dictate his range from the outside. In boxing, when one fighter allows the other to control distance, determine where the fight takes place and is playing catch up in exchanges, fight math usually provides a definitive answer. Smith rose from a crouched, guarded position and delivered a thunderous right hook, ending the night for Pierce. Smith moves to a 7-1 record with six KOs.
Other highlights on the card included Tyrek Irby (black trunks, gold trim), another Forestville, MD fighter against Lamont White (blue trunks, white trim) from nearby Waldorf, MD meeting at the 140 lbs. weight class. White would switch stances in the fight to give Irby different looks and to disrupt his timing but Irby's accuracy and speed proved to be the deciding factor in this fight. Irby fought behind his jab skillfully and would control most of the action in the ring. After the scheduled four rounds, Irby was declared winner by unanimous decision.
Patrick Rivera of Edgewood, MD vs. Greg Clark of Washington D.C. at the super middleweight class got the party started early with the first scheduled bout. Rivera was a World Kickboxing Association champion at the amateur ranks and has recently brought his skills to the boxing ring. After a slow start, there was plenty of give and take by both opponents, as the fight advantage seem to swing from one side to the other during the scheduled 4-round affair. In the end, Clark came away with a split-decision win, 39-37, 39-37. 37-39.
Justin Hurd laid his claim on the evening by stopping Dawond Pickney of Hot Springs, AK at the end of Round 2. Hurd is the younger brother of Jarrett "Swift" Hurd, the undefeated (19-0) title prospect making his way up the ladder of the super welterweight division. Justin Hurd didn't really establish any one punch during the fight. He worked the body of Pickney early using it to set-up overhand rights. But, realizing he had a speed advantage over Pickney, he was content with using feints and footwork to create and attack openings. The outmatched Pickney was hurt with a right hand from Hurd at the end of the second round and could not answer the bell at the beginning of 3rd, as ringside doctors deemed him unfit to continue. The TKO finish takes Hurd to 2-0.
Greg Outlaw Jr. of Bowie, MD faced off against Kashon Hutchinson of Reading, PA at 140lbs. Outlaw started the fight in orthodox stance vs. Hutchinson's southpaw stance. The traditional goal in the battle of open stances is for each fighter to get their lead foot to the outside of their opponent's lead foot which creates an advantage in attack angles. Outlaw seemed to understand this and was winning the footwork game which extended to his early effectiveness in the fight. About half-way through the 4-round bout, Outlaw would switch stances. While he remained busy, he didn't land as many clean shots as he did earlier. Hutchinson fought behind a Philly Shell (a style Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has made famous), exhibiting solid defense but unable to get Outlaw to respect any of his offense. Outlaw was the more aggressive fighter early but I believe the shift in stance allowed Hutchinson to make up ground and pull the fight closer. The judges scored the bout, 38-38, 39-37, 40-36 in favor of Outlaw who starts his early career at 2-0.
Marcus Bates of Washington D.C. scored a late knockout with a straight right against Alec McGee of Reno, NV in the final round of their scheduled 6-rounder. The shot was so clean that the referee, Kenny Chevalier never bothered to start a count, ending the fight immediately. Bates improved to 6-0-1 with now 6 KOs.
Kings Promotions closed out another solid boxing event in the DMV area. If you're interested in coming out to future contests or for more information go to www.kpboxing.com.
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 with additional training in Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.