On April 19, Washington, DC will host it’s 4th world championship boxing match in the past 3 years. Some may wonder why the Nations Capital is considered a boxing site for such fights. Old timers will sight the great tradition of world champions from this town. Names such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Johnson, Sharmba Mitchell, William Joppy, Keith Holmes, Simon Brown and Maurice blocker have all been announced in the ring as the” new” champion of the world by all of the famous ring announcers. Leonard and Johnson have been elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Currently, Lamont Peterson is a world champion.
Showtime CEO, Richard Schaefer, simply says, “DC is one of our favorite cities to promote fights. The fans here are enthusiastic and supportive of their home town fighters and well as the fight game it self. Along with L A, New York, Atlantic City and San Antonio, DC is right up there with those cities and we will continue to come here to put on great fights”. A lot of the credit has to go to the DC Boxing Commission and it’s Chairman Byron “Scottie” Irving. Irving, 50, is a soft spoken native of Washington, DC with an amateur boxing record of 16-4 and a steady foot print in the sports scene of his home town. He attributes it to,”Hard work by the Commission as a hold…Mr Grant, Mr. Cook and others work so hard. Also, our stable of fighters and gyms like Head Bangers and the Kenilworth gym help in keeping us on top”. Golden Boy and Showtime must feel the same way, because they keep coming back. “I have a good relationship with Golden Boy and Showtime. I spoke with them earlier and told them we are 1600 tickets sold from a sell out for the Hopkins fights this weekend. We also discussed a fight for this summer at the Verizon Center where we hope to get 16 or 18 thousand fans”.
Irving is an easy going guy and it is not hard to see why national promoters and the big cable networks flock to his city to put on major championship bouts. DC Hall of Fame ring announcer, Henry Jones is not one to be fooled and likes what Chairman Irving is doing with the boxing scene in DC. “Following in the big foot steps of the late, great Chairman Arnold McKnight, I can say he is living up to expectations. We have had more championship fights here in the last 3 years than we have had in many years and it’s largely because of him. As an amateur boxer himself, he knows what it takes and he is putting funds into the amateur programs and he shows a love for the children of the city. Don’t be fooled by Scottie’s mild manners. He is no push over. These national promoters know what kind of commission he is running.”
Irving wants to get something on the record. “I want nothing more than to work with our local promoters. That is my primary goal. That is why we are equipping our schools with the supplies they need to get the proper training of this great sport.” Please subscribe and follow the DC Boxing Commission.