The fact that the Washington, D.C. area is home to some of boxing’s top fighters has never been called into question. From William Joppy to Winky Wright to Sharmba Mitchell, the District is home to some talented fighters.

Local residents got an opportunity to find that out for themselves and catch a glimpse of the area’s up-and-coming talent April 23 at the “Bustin’ Loose” boxing event presented by Hard Times Promotions at the D.C. Star nightclub. Seven local fighters were on hand for the eight-bout event, which saw the area’s representatives finish 6-0-1.

With chants of “D.C.” roaring throughout the building, District heavyweight Maurice Byarm closed the night’s main event with a fifth-round TKO. Byarm (11-0, eight KOs) sent New Jersey native Willie Palms to the canvas with a punishing body blow, forcing a stop to the fight when Palms threw in the towel.

“He was tough,” an elated Byarm said of his opponent after the fight. “They line them up, I knock them down.”

The confident Byarm didn’t need another knockout to enhance his rising stock, but the win certainly boosted his resume. The son of Lionel Byarm, a Philadelphia boxer who fought former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield on the 1984 US Olympic card, smiled and even danced with fans after the fight, celebrating his latest victory. Byarm’s fan base continues to grow, as the local crowd supported the clear fan favorite loudly and proudly.

“I think a lot of people just like to see a heavyweight come in and show that he has put in work outside the ring,” Byarm said. “It was only a one-day fight but that one day shows we did over the last five weeks.”

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO