Southern Maryland SMOKE 5 brought some heat Saturday to the Willows Rec Center located in Lexington Park for one final South Atlantic Association, USA boxing card before the doors officially close.

NYE’s Gym provided the boxing ring for the evening, a much-appreciated gesture from the Lancaster gym owners. Lakeisha Smith brought the house down with her version of the National Anthem and Fernando Maldonado was once again the ring announcer for the evening. Ring card ladies, the ‘Southern Maryland Sexy’s” participated.

There was a 10-count for professional boxer and gym owner from Baltimore, Ernest Hall who was gunned down in a mass shooting in early March. There has been an arrest in the case. A teenager was allegedly responsible for the murder. Hall spent his time working with youth in his gym to prepare them for the challenges of life. Funds were collected and donations can still be made in Hall’s honor.

With four developmental bouts and amateur boxers working to perfect their craft, head coach of the Knowledge Boxing Center, Daryl Hinmon said it was a total team effort.

“As everyone knows, our show was the final event for the Willows Recreation Center,” Hinmon stated via Meta. “We are looking for facilities to host our events, so if you know of any, please feel free to reach out.

“I want to thank our coaches, coach John and coach Reggie for working with our athletes to get them ready; for our sponsors. Without sponsors there wouldn’t be a show. Our volunteers have given 100 percent team effort so thank you.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with Trish and the staff here at Willows Rec Center so we wish them nothing but the best. To our fans, thank you for always supporting us and our athletes. We’re back in the gym working and looking forward to Southern Maryland SMOKE 6.”

The team will be shifting gears to now support Erniece ‘Scrap’ Dawson who will be competing in the 2023 Golden Gloves of America National Tournament which began Monday at Harrahs Casino in Chester, PA. The amateur’s tournament is celebrating its 100 year anniversary.

On Saturday just off of Bradley Blvd., Devante Alexander wasn’t so “Quiet” as he stormed in the ring up against Johnny Paredes of Round 15 Boxing (Prince George’s County) in a 132-pound match up. Alexander said he spent the first round feeling things out, but soon turned up the heat  in the second round.

“He was quick, but in the second round I noticed he was getting weak, stunned,” Alexander said. “It’s been a great experience fighting here. This is my last amateur fight. I’ll be turning professional in either June or July.”

Great Mills student and 2023 Golden Gloves Champion, Yasir ‘Lionheart’ Ruffin took charge of his bout early on. He remains undefeated at 7-0 with the recent win over Eric Gutierrez of Old School Boxing in the 125-pound match up.

“I’ve been training hard,” Ruffin said. “I wasn’t really nervous coming in today, but it was tough at first because he was technical which made it tricky but then when he took a knee … I wanted to dominate in the third round.”

Ruffin said it was nice to have his high school Principal from Great Mills, Beejay Dothard in support at the fight and the fact that the younger kids look to him to be a role model now means a lot to him.

The last match-up of the evening was Kahleel Stone (Knowledge Boxing) who took on Jacob Thomas of Ground Control Boxing in his first fight since 2019.

Stone had the support of his mother and many family members around the ring in support of his come-back to boxing.

Stone and Thomas both put on a good fight, well-matched and both looked skilled and technical. Stone had some power behind his punch and Thomas matched his speed. Stone recovered quickly after throwing his hands.

Stone said he’s glad to be back in the ring and thanked his coaches for working hard with him.

“He [Thomas] came to fight today,” Stone said. “I felt confident coming in. I’ve been putting in a lot of work. It’s a lot of pressure though, waiting until it’s your turn to fight. I had to stay loose and ready to go. My goal is to stay victorious and represent St. Mary’s County well, stay balanced, hone in on my craft, listen to my coaches, bring honor and overall win a championship.”

South Atlantic Association

  • USA Boxing: Sanction Holder: Daryl Hinmon, Knowledge Boxing Center, Great Mills, MD
  • DEV Jesse Williams III (Knowledge Boxing) vs. Gianni Grande (Old School Boxing) 85 lbs.
  • DEV Evan Donohue (Knowledge Boxing) vs. Landon Mickens (TKO Athletics) 85 lbs.
  • DEV Shanta Jones (Knowledge Boxing) vs. Christine Wilkinson (Lion’s Den) 165 lbs.
  • DEV Tyrell Frederick (Knowledge Boxing) vs. Malcolm Kearns (Knowledge Boxing) 156 lbs.
  • Jamari Rollins (Unattached) def. Hezekiah West (Old School) 100 lbs.
  • Thomas Nguyen (Old School Boxing) def. Ivan Ramos (Elite Boxing) 125 lbs.
  • Bryce Blye (Diamonds in the Ruff) def. Frank Lopez (O’Connor Boxing) 125 lbs.
  • Devante Alexander (Knowledge Boxing) def. Johnny Paredes (Round 15 Boxing) 132 lbs.
  • Yasir Ruffin (Knowledge Boxing) def. Eric Gutierrez (Old School Boxing) 125 lbs.
  • Allen Robinson (Lion’s Den) def. E. Oluwabunmi Ubuane (Upton Boxing) 203+ lbs.
  • Maurice Payne (Diamonds in the Ruff) def. Christian Vargas (O’Connor Boxing) 176 lbs.
  • Isaiah Buck (Knowledge Boxing) def. Travis McCauley (NYE’s Boxing) 147 lbs.
  • Kahleel Stone (Knowledge Boxing) def. Jacob Thomas (Ground Control) 147 lbs.
  • Chief Official: Adrian Mitchell, Physician: Dr. John Wills

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