By the first round, Laila Ali was showered with "Ali, Ali" chants from the MCI Center crowd, an honor she shared with her famous father all night.
By the second round, her outclassed super middleweight opponent, Erin Toughill, was bleeding from the nose, as bodily fluids stained her sports bra red.
Toughill, a former martial artist, rallied briefly in the third round, but before that two-minute session was over Ali had backed her into the corner, showering her with a storm of 20 punches, and finally referee Joseph Cooper recognized what a crowd of 15,472 had already seen: Ali had still not met her match.
The daughter, who finally was rewarded with a technical knockout with one second left in that third round, improved to 21-0 with 18 knockouts and retained her WBC and WIBA titles. The final flurry completely spun Toughill (6-2-1) around as blood continued to flow.
"She was cowering in the corner. Damn, I tore her up," Ali said. "People are not used to seeing me hit my opponent like that."
And she did it with her father making a rare appearance ringside; he later entered the ring to hearty applause, which crescendoed with every tender gesture he made toward his daughter.
"It was wonderful," the daughter said. "It adds to my fire to be fighting in front of my father."
Muhammad Ali was more succinct, "She's bad."
For Sharmba Mitchell, it wasn't the ending he wanted before a home crowd -- "I was robbed," he said.
It wasn't the ending the crowd wanted either; they booed while Mitchell clutched his left eye and kicked the turnbuckle after suffering an unintentional head butt from Chris Smith, and again when the referee stopped the fight and put the decision in the judges' hands.
Still, the result -- a unanimous decision -- confirmed Mitchell as a credible player in boxing's sexy welterweight division, and the Takoma Park product then announced his intentions to the MCI Center crowd, challenging WBC-IBF-WBA welterweight champion Zab Judah.
"I'm gonna give this man I just fought another chance, and then I'm coming for you, trust me," Mitchell said to Judah, using the ring microphone.
The end came 16 seconds into the fifth of 12 scheduled rounds. Smith, a New York fighter who fell to 19-2-1, missed with a left and then prefaced a right by lunging with his head. His skull caught Mitchell (56-4) beneath the left eye; Mitchell immediately backed up, clutched his eye and began shimmying around the ring in pain.
"We came together, our heads clashed and it felt like my eye exploded," Mitchell said. "I got caught with a head butt, end of story."
The judges then ruled unanimously for Mitchell -- 48-47, 49-46 and 50-45 -- which did not appease Smith, who gave up his NABA welterweight title.
"This was a championship fight and [the cut] was underneath the eye," he complained. "I didn't want to lose my title with a cut."
Mitchell, a southpaw clad in gold and black tasseled shorts with matching socks and shoes, got the better of Smith in the first round, landing several flurries and one solid uppercut. But by the third round Smith was matching Mitchell's activity, once leaning on Mitchell and trapping him against the ropes. In the fourth round, a Smith right jab staggered Mitchell, although he continued to smile confidently throughout the round.
District-based junior welterweight Anthony Peterson battered lightly regarded Wayne Fletcher in an earlier fight that was stopped 2 minutes 26 seconds into the sixth and final scheduled round. Peterson improved to 6-0 with four knockouts, while Fletcher fell to 4-12-1.
In other action, District junior lightweight Tyrone Barnett won his professional debut, a unanimous four-round decision over Mike Salyers. Joseph Van Daniker of Laurel was disqualified in the fourth round of his meeting with District junior welterweight Ronald Boyd for a variety of infractions including a head butt, low blow and a kick. Hussein H. Hussein, an Australian flyweight who endured a variety of racist taunts, improved to 28-2 with a 10-round unanimous decision over Evaristo Primero.