Sharmba Mitchell's steady climb in the boxing world continued last night, as the nationally ranked District lightweight emerged shaken but still unbeaten with a 10-round unanimous decision over New York's Kevin Marston.
"He beat me; he's a good fighter," Marston (12-3) said. "It went quicker than I thought it would. But I'm a fighter and he was better tonight."
Mitchell (21-0, 10 knockouts) was tentative, especially in the eighth and ninth rounds, as he repeatedly stunned Marston but failed to move in for a knockdown.
But Mitchell responded to the cheers of the frenzied crowd at Lanham's Le Fountaine Bleu in the final round to scrape out the victory.
Marston was strongest in rounds two and three, landing potent lefts. But Mitchell, 20, regained the offensive in the middle rounds, his most impressive combination coming in round five when he opened a cut over Marston's right eye and send him reeling against the ropes.
Mitchell, ranked ninth by the World Boxing Council, started the bout with solid defensive boxing, bobbing and weaving to avoid Marston's blows while seemingly trapped in a corner. Mitchell then created more tension by landing a punch after the bell ended round one.
Heading the undercard, District light heavyweight Tim Hillie was supposed to face only token opposition from Panamanian Nestor Flores. Instead he received the scare of his life.
Flores started the bout a journeyman but quickly became Hillie's worst nightmare -- a punching bag that punched back. By following his corner's advice and dispatching his blows muy rapido, Flores startled the pro-Hillie crowd with his unexpected staying power.
But Hillie (11-0) somehow survived a bout where even his best punches only glanced off Flores to earn a six-round unanimous decision and keep his budding career intact.
Welterweights Calvin Moody and Demetrius Davis wrestled and danced, pawed and clawed, and occasionally boxed during their six-round bout. Davis, a clear favorite entering the ring, could not subdue the stubborn Moody, but he awakened enough in the final round to emerge with a unanimous decision.
Lanham middleweight Andrew Council, in his second professional bout, at once displayed fierceness and an inability to put unheralded Darryl Brooks away. in the third round.
Welterweight Reginald Little of Hillcrest Heights won a majority decision over Alexandria's Anthony Ross.