His trunks emblazoned with the word "precious," District lightweight Keeley Thompson was that and more, earning a 12-round split decision over Kent Hardy and the vacant Intercontinental Boxing Council title last night at Coolidge High School.
Thompson (24-3, 17 KOs) in fact threw precious few punches through much of the middle rounds, then connected with a devastating right hook that sent Hardy (19-3) toppling to the canvas just as the bell signaled to end the seventh. He could not dispose of Hardy, as both fighters engaged in a true slugfest in the eighth.
Thompson then scored enough points in the final rounds to earn the victory.
Thompson kept his opponent up against the ropes through most of the first two rounds, and proved elusive whenever Hardy tried to retaliate.
Thompson's defensive strategy was simple: Hardy couldn't hurt what he couldn't catch, so the Southern States champion danced around to avoid punches.
The IBC was founded last March by 93-year-old Marty Cohen, former World Boxing Council vice president. Cohen protested the attempt by promoter Don King, the World Boxing Association and WBC to take the heavyweight title from Buster Douglas, who'd won it by upsetting Mike Tyson in Tokyo.
In the co-feature bout, D.C. welterweight Derrell Coley (2-0) scored a second-round technical knockout over Chi Lars, 18, of Newport News, Va. Coley connected early and often with combinations, backing Lars (4-3) into a corner through most of the fight before referee Sylvester Stevens stopped it at 1:20.
Several local fighters won their professional debuts on the undercard. Washington light heavyweight David Izeqwire scored a third-round technical knockout over Newport News, Va., resident Thomas Lays.
D.C. middleweight Sylvester Tibbs knocked down crosstown rival Andre Hill 15 seconds into the bout on the way to a unanimous decision. Junior welterweight Vincent Thompson of Washington (no relation to Keeley) decisioned Rodney Coles. Also, Hagerstown junior welterweight Luke Cooper (3-1) earned a split decision over the District's Elwyn Kemp (2-2).