by David P. Greisman and Cliff Rold, live from ringside
DC Armory, Washington, D.C. - Undefeated 23-year old Middleweight Dominic Wade (14-0, 10 KO), 163, of Largo, Maryland, came off the floor in the first round to earn a six-round unanimous decision and ruin the birthday of 28-year old Dashon Johnson (15-14-3, 5 KO), 163 ½, of Riverside, California. The referee was William Johnson.
The contest got off to an explosive start, Wade down and hurt seconds in off a left hook. Johnson’s advantage didn’t last long. Wade shook off the cobwebs and went to work late in the first round with some hard shots to the body. Johnson was looking for another big left in the second but Wade had the shot defended and worked a steady beat of jabs and body blows.
In round four, Johnson aggravated Wade with a foul pair of right hands coming out of a clinch. Johnson was warned for the offense and Wade turned anger to aggression, opening up for some of his best-sustained offense of the night.
Near the ropes, Johnson went down early in the fifth but it was ruled a slip. Johnson was able to find single hard overhand rights but the left hook stayed defended as Wade outworked and outlanded him. The same was true of the sixth round, as Wade seemed to box well enough to secure the verdict.
The judges agreed at scores of 57-56, 58-55, and 59-55.
26-year old three-time US Olympian Rau’shee Warren (18-0, 3 KO), 118 ½, of Cincinnati, Ohio, scored a knockdown in the eighth and final round but was forced to settle for another decision in the bantamweight division, shutting out 25-year old German Meraz (33-27-1, 20 KO), 119, of Agua Prieta, Mexico. The referee was David Braslow.
Warren pressed the action from the start of the first, catching Meraz with a notable southpaw lead right hook near the ropes as the round wore on. The action picked up a hair early in the second, Warren doing the bulk of the landing. In the third, it was the superior speed of Warren at work, his right jab setting up loaded left crosses with Meraz only occasionally firing back.
A dull fourth round saw very little offense from either man, Meraz doing his best work in a late clinch and Warren picking away for points throughout. Warren drew blood from the left ear of Meraz in round five to give a picture of drama even as the monotony of the actual in-ring action rolled on. The next two round proceeded in similar fashion.
The eighth and final round got off to a much better start, the crowd quickly enlivened when a Warren right hook sent Meraz to the deck. Meraz bounced right up and nodded he could go as the official tolled the mandatory eight. Seeing a chance for a rare knockout in his career, Warren turned up the offense while Meraz alternated between circling the ring and tying up. Warren received a warning for pushing off with the forearm during a Meraz-incited clinch and Warren missed a couple haymakers before the bell.
No knockout was to be had but victory was secure at scores of 80-72 and 80-71 twice.
22-year old Lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (9-0, 8 KO), 134, of Cincinnati, Ohio, had never had a fight go past the third round in his career. 35-year old Nigerian former title challenger Daniel Attah (28-18-1, 11 KO), 134 ½, of Washington, DC, took him the distance for the first time, lasting all eight rounds though doing little else for the bulk of the bout. The referee was Michelle Myers.
The 5’11 Easter had an impressive four inches on the veteran and used all of them establish his jab and elude return fire. Easter played the stalker and it began to pay off in round three. Trapping Attah on the ropes, he went to work on the head and body. A short right hand exploded to the target and Attah was down.
Attah tried to hold on but couldn’t keep a hold on the younger man. Shaken loose, he was open for more right hands. Easter trapped Attah in the corner where he dropped him earlier in the round at the close of the third but Attah kept his feet and made it to the corner.
Easter was all over Attah again to start the fourth and through the next two rounds appeared to turn the inoffensive Attah into heavy bag work. Attah fired a couple of token hard right hands after taking a big right on the ropes in the sixth, but Easter quickly put him back on the defensive.
Easter was still gunning for the stop in round seven but the survival ability of Attah left him staring at a possible distance fight for the first time. A right hand sent Attah to the floor in the eighth to keep his knockout streak viable but Attah beat the count and used his feet to make it to the bell, even landing a left in the closing seconds. It was one of Attah’s few landed blows.
The final scores were academic at a unanimous 80-70 for Easter.
28-year old 2012 US Olympian and now professional Lightweight Jamel Herring (7-0, 4 KO), 135, of Coram, New York, kept his unbeaten mark with a six-round split decision over a valiant but outmatched 27-year old Antonio Sanchez (5-2-2, 3 KO), 138, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The referee was David Braslow.
Herring, a southpaw, used his jab well from the start and worked hard to the body as opening round progressed. The shorter Sanchez tried to get his own jab going but often fell short. In the second, Sanchez used the short jab to at least get close and target right hands to the belly. Herring maintained the distance he wanted and kept control.
Sanchez worked harder in the third and managed to get inside, Herring meeting him in the trenches and firing back. The fight followed a similar trajectory in the next two rounds for Sanchez but Herring was more exact, picking his spots and using his feet as well as his hands.
Sanchez slipped to the canvas early in the sixth and final round and ate a hard left to the stomach shortly after. At mid-ring, Herring connected with a head-whipping left uppercut that had both men posing for a moment afterwards. Herring slipped away from a closing flurry in the final seconds and turned to bow to the crowd at the closing bell.
Sanchez’s effort from the third round on didn’t go unrewarded by one judge who came up with a too generous 58-56 for Sanchez. It was overruled by twin shutout nods of 60-54 for Herring
- A bout between super middleweights D'Mitrius Ballard and Marlon Farr ended abruptly just as the third round was set to begin, with the fight being stopped due to an injury Farr suffered to his left hand.
It was Ballard who landed the occasional eye-catching shots during the first two rounds of this four-round bout. All three judges had him ahead at the time, 20-18.
The 20-year-old from Temple Hills, Md. moves to 4-0 (3 KOs). Farr, 37, of Zephyr Hills, Fla., falls to 3-4 (0 KOs).
- The fight didn’t start well for welterweight Semajay Thomas — he went down early and hard — but he got up and battled back to take a unanimous decision over Kevin Womack.
The knockdown came in the opening moments of the first round, when Womack countered an approaching Thomas with a right hand and Thomas crumpled to the canvas. Thomas rose and went into a higher gear, missing many shots but forcing Womack to box while moving backward.
Thomas’ volume and speed proved to be too much for Womack, a taller fighter who kept his chin high and within range of Thomas’ lunging left hooks. Womack tried to fend Thomas off, to no avail.
All three scorecards were 38-37 for Thomas, meaning the judges gave him three rounds and gave Womack one.
Thomas, 20, of Chicago, improves to 2-0 (0 KOs). Womack, 25, of Baltimore, falls to 4-3-1 (2 KOs).
- The show’s opening bout brought a successful pro debut for welterweight Javonte Clark, who beat the heck out of Lee R. Kreisher until the referee stopped the fight with 21 seconds left in the third round of their four-round bout.
Clark scored a knockdown with his first landed punches, a southpaw jab followed by a left cross. Kreisher rose, only to be pummeled around the ring for what must have seemed to him like the longest round.
Clark was more patient in the second round, yet he continued to pick Kreisher apart, particularly with hard body shots. As the third round neared its end, he sensed that Kreisher was close to being done and poured on the punishment.
Clark, of Cincinnati, is now 1-0 (1 KO). Kreisher, of Dover, Ohio, is now 3-6-1 (2 KOs).
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]