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Fox Decisions Kennedy in 2013 Opening D.C. Card

By Alec Kohut at ringside


Washington D.C.’s first boxing card of 2013 featured a host of young area prospects headlined by junior middleweight Alantez Fox, facing his most critical year as a professional. Fox earned a unanimous decision over Julius Kennedy in a six-round bout that showcased both Fox’s potential and deficiencies. Local D.C. fighters scored a clean sweep in the seven preliminary bouts at Rosecroft Raceway in Oxen Hill, MD on Saturday night.


Fox turned pro with great expectations two-and-a-half years ago, managed by Cameron Dunkin and fighting under the now-defunct TKO Promotions banner. But since then, he has fought only three times a year, fighting to a draw in his only real test against Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza. So at 9-0-1 (4), 2013 is a crucial year for Fox to prove he has what it takes to become a contender. After his six-round unanimous decision over the battle-tested Kennedy, the jury is still out.
 
Listed at 6’5”, Fox towered over the 5’8” Kennedy, who holds a win over Aaron Pryor Jr. and was involved in great battles with local fighters Scott Sigmon and Jesse Nicklow. Fox used his height advantage to establish has jab early and score with solid straight right hands as Fox both outboxed and outworked Kennedy to win the opening stanza.
 
Kennedy worked to apply more pressure in round two and use the small ring at Rosecroft Raceway to his advantage but Fox continued landing the better punches throughout the round. On several occasions, Fox used his feet to get angles on the shorter Kennedy but failed to take advantage by either not throwing a punch or landing an ineffective, amateurish, slapping punch. Still, Fox won the round.
 
Kennedy, 7-3-1 (3) with one no-contest, looked to outmuscle Fox in the third round, aggressively pursuing and throwing looping roundhouse punches that rarely hit their mark but did have Fox on the defensive. Fox had to work to stay off the ropes in the small ring and did eat some leather but came out in the fourth and reestablished his jab. Fox blunted Kennedy’s pressure and caused him to throw even more wild, windmill, right hands in attempt to break Fox’s momentum.
 
Fox looked very confident as the fifth round began and was wisely not letting Kennedy make it an inside fight. Soon, Kennedy suffered a cut over his right eye and looked at referee Brent Bovell as if to say the cut was not caused by a fair punch. Given there was absolutely no clash of heads, Kennedy must have believed Fox used the inside of his glove to cause the damage but the ref rightly allowed the contest to continue without penalty to Fox.
 
Kennedy was bleeding and clearly frustrated during the final round as Fox’s height and skill advantage were just too much to overcome as Fox earned the victory by scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56.
 
Fox recently signed with the New York promotional firm Boxing 360 and will now have the opportunity to be more active and make the necessary improvements to take the next step. Fighting against durable veterans from the New York area is exactly what this young fighter needs.
 

Kevin Rivers KO2 Giovanni Vasquez

 
Featherweight Kevin Rivers is creating quite a buzz among the D.C. boxing community, scoring his fourth win as a pro in just four months and doing it in exciting fashion. This fight was never a contest as the game Giovanni Vasquez was completely overmatched before being knocked out with a left to the midsection at 1:11 of the second round.
 
Rivers, 4-0 (3), controlled the first round, having little trouble landing whatever he threw at Vasquez before hitting him low and causing a pause in the action. Following the foul, Vasquez, 0-3, responded by aggressively throwing a series of haymakers in Rivers direction but was unable to connect. Afterward, Rivers again took control of the fight.
 
Rivers had his South Carolinian opponent in trouble early in round two and used a well-placed left hand to Vasquez’s stomach to send him down for the 10-count.
 

Jarrett Hurd UD4 Trenton Titsworth

 
After starting his pro career with three knockouts over chitlin-circuit opponents with a combined 1-17 record, it was time that junior middleweight Jarrett Hurd got in some good rounds. That was accomplished against the very tall, very skinny Trenton Titsworth of Omaha, Nebraska. Titsworth knows how to survive by avoiding punches and holding…a lot. Just last year, Titsworth was deducted so many points in an eight-round contest that he lost by scores of 80-59 on two judges’ cards and 80-58 by the third judge.
 
Titsworth, 5-15-1 (2), only lost two points Saturday night for holding as he was shutout 40-34 on all three cards. Hurd, 4-0 (3), put in a workmanlike performance and connected with some frequency on the taller Titsworth. Hurd’s only weakness was his overeager aggressiveness when he did connect hard against his opponent, throwing punches wildly, but ineffective trying to capitalize.
 
Overall a solid performance against an awkward fighter.
 

Jerry Odom KO1 Anthony Madden

 
Boxing Pop Quiz: What do you get when you put a 0-2 fighter from Biloxi, Mississippi in the ring with a 1-0 former National Golden Gloves Champion from Washington D.C.? If your answer is that you get a knockout in just one minute, you guessed right.
 
Bowie, Maryland’s Jerry Odom blew through Biloxi’s Anthony Madden, finishing him off with a left to the body that sent the Mississippian to the canvas doubled over as referee Brent Bovell counted 10.
 
Odom, a super middleweight, is clearly a very talented young fighter but easy opponents such as Madden do absolutely nothing to develop Odom as a pro and merely build his record. As a solid prospect, Odom deserves better.
 

Greg Newby UD4 John Micheal Terry

 
John Micheal Terry is capable of everything from providing a stern test for a young prospect to trying to dance with the ring card girls between rounds. This writer has seen him do both. He’s an opponent who seems to truly enjoy being in the ring and can be ready fight with as little as six hours notice (yes, I’ve seen him do that as well).
 
“John the Baptist” is very unorthodox and can take a beating while making a young prospect earn his victory. Saturday night’s prospect was D.C. light heavyweight Greg Newby, 4-0 (3). Newby fought a smart fight, not allowing Terry’s awkwardness to get him off his game. He took advantage of the opportunities Terry gave him and remained patient and disciplined, even when Terry was momentarily stunned.
 
The most entertaining moment of the contest came in round three when during a clinch, Newby turned Terry backward and pushed him off with a bump from his backside as referee Kenny Chevalier separated them. Terry, 4-26-3 (1), responded with his most fundamentally sound combination of the fight, the type of punches that would make Terry a much tougher opponent if he used them more often.
 
For the most part, Terry is resigned to his role as little more than a glorified sparring partner who seems to understand his role as opponent. On Saturday night, he did his job and gave Newby four solid rounds.
 

Renaldo Gaines KO3 Darrell Martin

 
Lightweight Renaldo Gaines was a well-regarded amateur in the D.C. area and had high hopes as a young pro until dropping a majority decision to then-0-9 David Warren Huffman, who he had beaten in his pro debut five months earlier. So it is no surprise that Gaines is being spoon-fed opposition that has no business being in a professional boxing ring. Saturday night was the perfect example of this as Gaines, 4-1 (1), easily dismantled the helpless Darrell Martin, 4-14 (1).
 
Gaines, not known for his power, wobbled Martin on several occasions as the only offense Martin could muster was a series of wild, roundhouse, looping punches that Gaines easily dodged. Martin actually lost his balance and sent himself to the canvas in round two after one such wild swing.
 
After hurting Martin at the end of round two, Gaines wasted no time ending the contest as he sent Martin reeling to the corner with an overhand left, followed by a combination, forcing a halt to the action 23 seconds into the third round.
 

DeAndre Davis TKO2 Coy Lambert

 
We learned two things in junior welterweight DeAndre Davis’ professional debut. One is that he has fast hands and two is that if you put an easy to hit fighter in front of him, he will hit him - a lot. From the opening bell, it was a Davis onslaught of punches against the defensively challenged Coy Lambert of South Carolina.
 
Despite the quantity of blows from all angles that landed flush on Lambert, Davis really never hurt his game but hopelessly outclassed opponent. However, the sheer number of blows that Lambert was taking was enough for his trainer to signal to referee Kenny Chevalier early in round two that his fighter was done.
 
Lambert fell to 1-6 (1).
 

Mario Murray UD4 Lamont Capers

 
The night started with an action-packed affair between two scrappy cruiserweights that involved little defense. Debuting D.C. area native Mario Murray outlasted Lamont Capers, now 1-1, of Hawley, PA. The difference in the fight was simply that Murray was the harder puncher.
 
Capers was the more active fighter, winning round one despite Murray landing the best punch of the round with an overhand right. Capers quickly caught Murray’s attention in the second with a solid combination to start the action but Murray then settled in, started working behind his jab and scored the better shots in the round to even the scorecard.
 
Round three saw Murray continue to land the more effective punches but it was becoming a sloppy yet very entertaining fight. Capers was able to land punches in the final round but his lack of power enabled Murray to win the round with his harder shots and earn a 39-37 decision on all three judges’ cards.
 
Questions or comments can be directed to aleckohut@hotmail.com. You can also follow Alec on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alecmaxboxing and visit him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alec.kohut.
 
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