Saturday night was a remarkable evening for boxing in the Maryland area. The matchmaker for Kings Promotions must have been putting in some extra study time pairing fighters for these evening's card. Nearly every fight on the 8-bout card was a battle of wills and skills with the fighters putting on some fantastic performances for local fans.
Mykal Fox of Forestville, MD headlined the card which was held at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD. Fox entered the evening with an 11-0 record with 3 KOs against Juan Rodriguez of Haymarket, VA who had also had 11 pro fights on his record but with mixed results at 6-5 with 5 KOs.
The two met at the Junior Welterweight weight class in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds.
At 6' 4", Fox usually has a size and reach advantage against his opponents but it's one thing to have it and another to know how to use it. At the opening bell, Rodriguez became the aggressor and immediately put pressure on Fox with inside punches to the body backing him into the ropes of the 16 square feet ring. Fox remained composed and stepped off to spin Rodriguez around delivering his own punishment and catching Rodriguez with a clean left upper cut which produced immediate results, bloodying the nose of Rodriguez in the first minute of the fight. Rodriguez was able to land good right hands from time to time as he struggled to find ways to get inside.
Fox marked the second round with his superior movement. As Rodriguez continued to press the action, Fox would seemingly glide with lateral movement or circling to find angles that appealed to his reach advantage. The first knock down of the fight came in the third round from a straight left that caught Rodriguez attempting to come in on one of the angles established by Fox.
Rodriguez was a game competitor as he rose and continued to move forward attempting to attack the body of Fox but was rewarded with stinging jabs and right crosses that left cuts and welts under both eyes of Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was successful in landing intermittent right hands but was over matched against the technical style of Fox as Rodriguez's right eye went from welts to an open cut that began to affect his performance. The bout was eventually stopped at 2:00 in the 7th round by referee, Kenny Chevalier saving Rodriguez from further damage in a fight that he was clearly behind in. Fox moves to a record of 12-0 with 4 KOs.
In the co-main event, Luther Smith of Bowie, MD squared off against Mike Marshall of Bronx, NY in a 6 round contest. This would be Luther Smith's debut at cruiserweight taking advantage of his natural body frame and moving down from the heavyweight division where he began is career. In his last fight against Mike "Silverback" Balogun, he gave up nearly 25 pounds on the receiving end of a second round knock out.
Marshall found himself in trouble early as he seemingly wanted to play the role of counter puncher but didn't have a lot of answers for Smith's combinations in the first round. Marshall was standing a bit upright early on and allowing his back to find the ropes when Smith connected on more combinations to put Smith down for the first time in the round. Marshall beat the count and was able to answer the call to continue but his hands were hanging chest high as Smith cautiously jabbed his way in from his southpaw stance to continue his assault.
Closing in on the end of the first round, Smith was finding a home for both hands as Marshall couldn't find the timing or the movement to counter the steady barrage of straights and hooks coming to his head. With the 10 second sticks announcing the close of the round, Smith closed the distance on Marshall placing him in the corner and putting his weight behind a flurry of punches that dropped the Bronx native face first onto canvas in 2:55 of the first round ending the bout in a KO.
More photos of the evening can be found at https://www.facebook.com/dmvcombat/. For more information on King's Promotions and future fights go to http://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 Taekwondo and is also a practitioner of Combat Jujutsu, Boxing and Muay Thai.