The Ballroom Boxing shows at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie have turned into a prime proving ground for up-and-coming fighters. The talent is often raw, but the matchups frequently provide stern tests for those with bright futures.

A case in point last night was Brooklyn 158-pounder Sechew Powell, a 23-year-old prospect of promoter Lou DiBella who turned professional in August after four Golden Gloves titles. DiBella has been proceeding cautiously with Powell and last night the same could be said of the fighter's style before he knocked out Sandro Haro in the fifth round to improve to 7-0.

The result could have come much earlier, but Powell wanted to make certain Haro (7-7) was spent before he moved in to finish him.

"I wanted to feel him out a little bit before I moved in for the kill," said Powell, who last fought two weeks ago and plans to fight once per month the rest of the year. "My corner didn't rush me, and I didn't want to rush myself."

Trainer Angel Rivera, who has shepherded Powell's career since he was 11, said his emphasis on defense throughout his career may have made him too conservative. After knocking down Haro twice in the third round, Powell laid off until an opening developed in the fifth.

"He's a little too patient," Rivera said. "I'm trying to get him to open up a little bit more."

Powell is a long-armed, southpaw boxer-puncher. His handlers believe he has good enough hand-speed to make an excellent defensive fighter down the line. Haro, a plugger from Tlaxcala, Mexico, offered little resistance after his first combinations missed the mark.

"[Powell] hates getting hit," Rivera said. "We spend a lot of time working on defense."

Powell acknowledged as much. "I want to get out of this sometime down the line with all my teeth," he said.

Also on the card, DiBella prospect Anuedi Santos stopped Arlington 175-pounder David Dawson in the fourth round. Santos (7-0) landed a half-dozen shots to Dawson's head and had begun another combination when the fight was called, prematurely in the mind of Dawson (13-7) and the crowd.

Baltimore heavyweight Jed Phipps (6-0) defeated Clarence Goins (6-8-2) with a third-round technical knockout. Jacob Rodriguez (3-1) stopped Marvin Robinson (3-1) in the third round.