By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Washington, DC welterweight Jonathan “Bad Badger” Baxter scored a fourth-round TKO over Joseph “Trouble” Figueroa of the Bronx, NY in the main event of the TAC Promotions/Putney Promotions card at the Merrick Recreation Center in DC.
Badger hammered Figueroa all throughout the contest with head and body shots. Figueroa resembled a punching bag with feet, throwing very little back offensively in return. Baxter made Figueroa drop to one knee with a right to the body in the third round. Early in the fourth, Figueroa fell to his knees again, although it seemed to be more from a tangle than from a Baxter punch. However, referee Sharon Sands had seen enough and waived the bout off at 35 seconds of the round. Badger, who competed in his hometown for the first time as a pro, is now 9-1, eight KO’s. Figueroa, who was knocked out for the first time in more than seven years, falls to 11-63-5, three KO’s.
The co-feature saw Glenarden, MD super lightweight Drayvontay Speed Rawls bounce back from his first pro loss and win a four-round unanimous decision over Robert “Hitman” Hill of Gulfport, MS. Speed Rawls used his punching speed to his advantage in the early part of the bout. Hill challenged at times but Speed Rawls was able to outpunch his foe throughout the bout. Speed Rawls won by shutout (40-36) on all three scorecards. Speed Rawls is now 9-1-1, six KO’s. Hill drops to 7-35-1, two KO’s.
DC welterweight Cornell “Hitman” Hines scored a first-round TKO over Clifford “The Magician” McPherson of Cleveland, OH. Near the halfway point of the bout, Hines landed a solid right hand that dropped McPherson. The effect of the punch seemed to damage McPherson’s shoulder to the point that he could not continue. The bout was stopped at 1:31. Hines is 2-0, with both wins coming by first-round knockout. McPherson falls to 2-34-1, one KO.
Another DC welterweight, Dionte “Mr. Untouchable” Burts, made his pro debut a successful one with a first-round TKO over Molique Artis of Wilson, NC. Burts landed a double left hand and dropped Artis early in the first then followed it up with another left hand to put him down for the second time. The boxers tangled later in the round and Artis fell again after which he decided not to continue. The bout was stopped at 2:09. Artis falls to 0-5. Both Hines and Burts are trained by three-time world champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson.
In women’s action, “The Dark Menace” Tiara Brown of Bladensburg, MD won an easy four-round unanimous decision over Natalie King of Wilson, NC in a rematch of a bout that Brown won in March. Much like the first bout, Brown laid a beating on King, landing every kind of punch from every kind of angle. Much like the first bout, King refused to go down. Brown would win by shutout to raise her record to 4-0, two KO’s while King remains winless at 0-8. Brown, by the way, is also a Washington, DC police officer. The city’s police chief, Peter Newsham, was in attendance at the card.
Yonkers, NY middleweight Bryant “Spartan” Pappas won a second-round TKO over Jason “Micro Tyson” McClure of Paris, AR. The bout, a rematch from a 2010 contest Pappas won by fourth-round TKO in Paris, resembled a sparring session in the first round as both men seemed to pitty-pat their punches against one another. Finally, in the second round Pappas put more mustard on his punches and went exclusively to McClure’s body to put him down and end the contest at 1:54. Pappas is now 17-2-1 with all 17 wins by knockout. McClure drops to 1-10.
The curtain-raising contest saw light heavyweight Alan Lawrence of Newark, NJ stop Henry Mercer of Rocky Mount, NC at the beginning of the third round. Lawrence landed a series of body shots on Mercer throughout the contest. Eventually, the body shots proved to be too much for Mercer and he could not answer the bell for the third round. Lawrence is now 3-0, three KO’s while Mercer falls to 2-14, one KO.