They weren't the official main events on the card, but the majority of boxing aficionados at the Renaissance Hotel in Northwest, were there to see three amateur champions make their long-awaited pro debuts. The fighters didn't disappoint as they made short work of their opponents and scored first-round knockouts on Saturday, August 4.
D.C. flyweight Tyrieshia "Baby Girl" Douglas, who once ranked second in the country as an amateur and also an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Boxing team, defeated newcomer Ashley "First Lady" Langston of Wilson, N.C., 1:41 into the first round.
Spoken word artist, Beautiful Believer, escorted Douglas to the ring and that's all the help she needed. Douglas landed a flurry of right-hand punches against Langston, one so powerful that it drew first blood and stunned her amateur opponent. The haymaker blow forced referee Sharon Sands to call the fight.
The evening's second bout pitted D.C. welterweight David "Day-Day" Grayton, a 2010 National Golden Gloves champion, against Gregory Joyner [0-4] of Wilson, N.C., who hoped to grab his first victory. But, it wasn't his night. Grayton pummeled Joyner from the time the bell sounded until referee Michelle Myers stopped the bout with 1:16 left in the opening round.
Danny "Smooth" Kelly, of Washington, D.C. and Orion Bolds of Canton, Ohio, laced up their gloves for heavyweight-boxing action for the third fight of the night.
It only took Kelly 2:01 to deliver a single debilitating body shot that left Bolds crumpled face down on the ring's red canvas during the first round of the fight. Kelly began his pro career after winning multiple regional Golden Gloves titles and continues to excel at the amateur level.
But, it was the debut of Newport News, Va. heavyweight Jerry "Slug" Forrest that stole the show.
Forrest recorded the shortest debut on the card to go along with one of the best post-bout celebrations the area has seen in a long time. He needed just 41 seconds to connect on enough right-hand punches and stunned Keon Graham of Canton, Ohio, who suffered his third loss of his amateur career. After the win, the 235-pound Forrest honored fellow Virginian and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, by performing a series of back flips and cartwheels to celebrate his victory.
The card's other bouts, included White Plains, Md., lightweight Terron "Kid" Grant [3-0, 2 KO] who remained undefeated with a 41-second drubbing of Deiverious Sanders [0-4] of Zeblin, Ga. Grant landed enough solid body shots to make Sanders fall face first on the canvas.
D.C. female heavyweight Kaelon Hollon [3-0] won her second consecutive fight against Kasondra Hardnett [1-4] of Philadelphia, Pa. Hollon won a majority decision over Hardnett in March at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest. Hollon established the jab early and used strategic side-to-side movements against the slower and less agile Hardnett to win a four-round unanimous decision.
Donnell "The Real Touch of Sleep" Holmes [34-2-2, 29 KO] of Ivanhoe, N.C., defeated Maurice "The South Soldier" Winslow [3-17-1, 3 KO] of Wilson, N.C., in a six-round unanimous decision.
Cassandra White, founder of promotional company Babie Girl Productions, presented the card that made history as two female referees – Michelle Myers and Sharon Sands – worked the entire card. The D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission said, it was the first time in the history of the sport that a card featured all-female referees.