**FILE** Courtesy of boxing.com

D.C. welterweight Jonathan “Bad Badger” Baxter scored a fourth-round TKO over Joseph “Trouble” Figueroa of New York City in the main event of the TAC Promotions/Putney Promotions card at the Merrick Recreation Center in D.C.

Badger hammered Figueroa all throughout the contest with head and body shots. Figueroa resembled a punching bag with feet, throwing very little back offensively.

Baxter dropped Figueroa to one knee in the third with a right to the body. Early in the fourth, Figueroa fell to his knees again, although it seemed to be more from a tangle than from a Baxter punch. However, referee Sharon Sands had seen enough and waived the bout off at 35 seconds of the round.

Badger, who competed in his hometown for the first time as a pro, is now 9-1 with eight KOs. Figueroa, who was knocked out for the first time in more than seven years, falls to 11-63-5 with three KOs.

The co-feature saw Glenarden, Md., super lightweight Drayvontay Speed Rawls bounce back from his first pro loss with a four-round unanimous decision over journeyman Robert “Hitman” Hill of Gulfport, Miss.

Speed Rawls used his punching speed to his advantage in the early part of the bout. Hill challenged at times but Speed Rawls was able to outpunch his foe throughout the bout.

Speed Rawls, who won by shutout (40-36) on all three scorecards, is now 9-1-1 with six KOs. Hill drops to 7-35-1 with two KOs.

Elsewhere on the card, D.C. welterweight Cornell “Hitman” Hines scored a first-round TKO over Clifford “The Magician” McPherson of Cleveland. Near the midway point of the bout, Hines landed a solid right hand that dropped McPherson, and the effect of the punch seemed to damage McPherson’s shoulder to the point that he could not continue. The bout was stopped at 1:31.

Hines is 2-0, with both wins coming by first-round knockout. McPherson falls to 2-34-1 with one KO.

Another D.C. welterweight, Dionte “Mr. Untouchable” Burts, made his pro debut a successful one with a first-round TKO over Molique Artis of Wilson, N.C. Burts landed a double left hand and dropped Artis early in the first then followed it up with another left hand to put him down for the second time.

The boxers tangled later in the round and Artis fell again, after which he decided not to continue. The bout was stopped at 2:09.

Artis falls to 0-5.

Both Hines and Burts are trained by three-time world champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson.

In women’s action, “The Dark Menace” Tiara Brown of Bladensburg, Md., won an easy four-round unanimous decision over Natalie King of Wilson, N.C., in a rematch of a bout that Brown won in March. Much like the first bout, Brown laid a beating on King, landing every kind of punch from every kind of angle. And much like the first bout, King refused to go down, but it wasn’t a close contest, as Brown would win by shutout to raise her record to 4-0, two KOs. King remains winless at 0-8.

Brown, who is also a DC police officer, fought in front of city police chief, Peter Newsham, who was in attendance.

Yonkers, N.Y., middleweight Bryant “Spartan” Pappas won a second-round TKO over Jason “Micro Tyson” McClure of Paris, AR. The bout, a rematch from a 2010 contest Pappas won by fourth-round TKO in Paris, resembled a sparring session in the first round, as both men seemed to pitty-pat their punches against one another. Finally, in the second round Pappas put more mustard on his punches and went exclusively to McClure’s body to put him down and end the contest at 1:54.

Pappas is now 17-2-1, with all 17 wins by knockout. McClure drops to 1-10.

The curtain-raising contest saw light heavyweight Alan Lawrence of Newark, N.J., stop Henry Mercer of Rocky Mount, N.C., at the beginning of the third round.

Lawrence landed a series of body shots on Mercer throughout the contest. Eventually, the body shots proved to be too much for Mercer and he could not answer the bell for the third round.

Lawrence is now 3-0 with three KOs while Mercer falls to 2-14 with one KO.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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