Tony Ojo of Reston won a controversial split decision last night to take the Middle Atlantic superwelterweight boxing crown at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency.
Ojo outpointed Dean Moore of Atlanta in the 12-round main event, the last of a five-bout card.
"It was outright train robbery," said Don White, Moore's manager. "We might have made a mistake, we came in looking for the knockout knowing things like this happen. But when our guy was outboxing Ojo round after round, we told him to keep going.
"We'll put in a formal request to the Virginia commissioner's office and they'll give us a hearing. Ojo is a tough fighter, but we beat him."
Despite a decided height and reach disadvantage, Moore, a compact 157-pounder, connected early and often with a precise left jab.
Ojo, after fanning on several overhand rights, finally hurt Moore in the second round with an overhand right just above the right eye.
In round five, Moore hit Ojo with five straight left jabs, stunning the fighter from the Olympia Boxing Center in Falls Church.
In the middle rounds, Ojo began concentrating on body shots. Moore was the flashier boxer, often snapping back Ojo's head with short punches. Ojo answered with workmanlike jabs to the midsection.
In the last three rounds, both fighters appeared tired -- neither had ever fought a 12-round bout. Moore began to attack more frequently while Ojo countered with a strong right hand.
When the decision was announced -- Ojo won, 115-113, and 117-114 while the third judge gave the bout to Moore, 117-115 -- the crowd of 772, despite rooting for Ojo throughout, booed lustily.
"I threw the most telling punches," said Ojo, who has a 16-4 record. "There's no doubt at all that I won the fight. He might have won two rounds, but that's it."
In a junior middleweight bout, a listless effort by both fighters produced a unanimous decision for Ken Shannon of Hampton, Va., over Wilfredo Fernandez of Madrid.
Darnell Sessions of Baltimore won his professional debut in a unanimous four-round junior welterweight decision over Washington's James Queen.
Keely Thompson won a technical knockout over Stanley Bryant in a superfeatherweight bout when Bryant could not answer the bell for the third round. Both fighters are from Washington.
In the evening's professional kick-boxing event, Chuck Bittle of Washington won a unanimous five-round decision over Roger Dabiney of Richmond.