July 11, 2015

KO Digest Ringside Report — Beltway Boxing in Parkville, Maryland Results

Barakat belted out on the boxing Beltway
TALL CEDARS HALLA perfectly fine little club show almost ended in disaster Thursday night when Travis Reeves, Baltimore, Md., 194 ½, (10-2-2, 4 KOs) knocked out Samer Barakat, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 193, (5-2, 3 KOs) in the sixth round of a main-event eight-rounder. Barakat, a powerful but very crude slugger, fell partially out of the ring, unconscious from a right-hand shot in a neutral corner and began to breathe heavily. He was taken overnight to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma hospital and passed his cat scan and was released Friday morning, according to a spokesman with the Maryland State Athletic Commission. It was the kind of knockout that should make a fighter – and boxing commissions – think long and hard about retirement.

In March, Barakat lost his first fight, to Eric Martel Bahoeli, of Quebec City, and in that bout he was dropped and dazed in the first and then floored again. He scored a knockdown in the second and was dropped himself again in the third on the way to a loss by decision in a four-round bout.

Reeves controlled most of the action against Barakat and scored a third-round knockdown. Barakat is a roundhouse puncher who wades in with his gloves down. With any separation between himself and any decent opponent, he is an accident waiting to happen. Despite the obvious openings, however, Reeves could not finish him off. By the fifth round, the fight was devolving and getting sloppy, which played into the stronger Barakat’s hands, but the sixth-round landed him on a stretcher, ending the night.

Kevin “The Scarecrow” Womack, Baltimore, Md., 154, looked like the best 7-5-3 (5 KOs) fighter in the world in stopping Tyson Harrison, Greensboro, N.C., 155 ½ , (2-3) by TKO at 1:56 of the first round in a scheduled six. Womack, 5-foot-11, scored a knockdown with the very first punch of the fight, a stiff jab, and it was stunning to see. As soon as the fight resumed, he was on Harrison with a blur of young Thomas Hearns-like combinations. Referee Ken Chevalier finally waved it over with Harrison overwhelmed by punches in his own corner. Womack went to center ring, landed a perfect back flip that left him facing his opponent’s corner and he walked over to wish him well.
It was the kind of awesome performance that makes you want to see a fighter again.

Womack fought at 152 pounds in the Gold Gloves but he dropped down into the 140s early in his pro career, which began in 2011. After winning his first four bouts, he went 0-5-2 in his next seven. Now, he’s 3-0-2 in his past five, drawing with Jesse Cook (14-1), inhaling Nathaniel Rivas (5-1) and now the win over Harrison. He’s fought four times since May 8, and he is fast and exciting.

Undercard Results:

Damont Giddins, Salisbury, Md., 147, (2-1, 2 KOs) admired himself for three rounds before rallying to score a TKO 1:40 in the fourth and final round over Travis McClaren, Danville, Va., 147, (1-7, 1 KO). McClaren dropped Giddins with a hard right uppercut in the second round and looked like, although far less strong or talented, he might hustle his way to a decision win. Giddins pulled himself together in the fourth and scored a devastating knockdown with a right that saw McClaren land on the side of his head. In no condition to continue and barely responsive, McClaren was allowed to continue by Chevalier and he got blasted out against the ropes. 

Totally unnecessary punishment. 

Benson (R) decisions Black
Dennis Benson, Hampton, Va., 227 (3-5-2, 1 KO) scored a split-decision win over Carlos Black, Washington, D.C., 224 ½, (1-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder. We saw it 39-37 for the winner in a spirited and somewhat crude encounter of in-shape big men. 

Shakeel Phinn, Brossard, Quebec, Canada, 174, (2-1, 1 KO) turned out to be the good fighter down from Canada as he scored a sharp unanimous decision win over Danny Waters, Rockville, Md., 169 ½, (0-1) in a fast-paced four-rounder. Waters had a lot of success in the muay thai ranks and was trying conventional boxing as a pro for the first time. He fought well but the sharp, well-schooled and busy Phinn was just too much. 

Nicholas Rodriguez, Somerset, Ky., 127 ½ , (0-2-1) and Arthur Parker, IV, Lancaster, Pa., 131 ½, (1-13-2) fought to a split draw in the quiet opener, for which the first bell rang at 8:34 PM. 

Images & Words by John Scheinman for KO Digest