Saturday night’s show by industrious Pennsylvania-based promoter Renee Aiken that was to be held at the D.C. Star Nightclub in Northeast, Washington, D.C., was abruptly canceled by police in connection to a stabbing incident that occurred at the venue on Friday, according to sources familiar with the situation.
“Police came at approximately 6:45 and put signs on the doors to the affect that starting at 7 p.m, that the club was going to be closed,” said one man who was on the scene, but who requested anonymity. “And then, they proceeded to escort everybody out who was already in the arena.”
Respected reporter Gary “Digital” Williams, of Boxing Along The Beltway, said that he was set to cover the fight from ringside, but said that he was informed about the reason for the show’s cancellation by Captain Jeff Brown, an official with the Metropolitan Police Department.
“I spoke to one of the police officers, in fact, one of the captains, who said that there had been a series of incidents that had taken place throughout the last couple of weeks at the club. He said that it had escalated into something that took place last night,” said Williams.
“… because of that, the club had to be shut down for 96 hours while everything was reviewed by the ABC liquor license folks.”
On his website, Williams quoted Brown as saying: “If we had known earlier, we would have gotten the word out a lot sooner.”
Williams said he showed up early to call the fight and was surprised that the arena was not ready to host a show.
“Apparently, no one was notified. Apparently, the police did not know that they were having a boxing card tonight,” said Williams. “That could tie in to why the ring was not set up at 5:30 when I got there. I mean, the show was scheduled for 6:30.”
Aiken, of Diva Rizen promotions, could not be reached. It is unclear whether or not the card will be rescheduled.
The main event was to feature comebacking, 36-year-old former IBF cruiserweight titleholder O’Neil Bell (26-4-1, 26 KOs), of Atlanta, opposite 35-year-old Harvey Jolly (12-17-1, 6 KOs) of Adrian, Mich.
Bell won the IBF’s vacant belt with a unanimous decision over Dale Brown in May of 2005, defended it with an 11th-round knockout of Sebastian Rothmann in August of that year, and then added the WBC and WBA crowns with a 10th-round knockout of Jean Marc Mormeck in January of 2006.
Fourteen months after defeating Mormeck, however, Bell suffered his first of three straight losses when Mormeck dethroned him by unanimous decision in March of 2007.
The 39-year-old Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) has won three straight heavyweight bouts since being dethroned as WBA and WBC cruiserweight beltholder in November of 2007 by David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs), whom Mormeck floored earlier in the bout.
Mormeck is scheduled to face 35-year-old WBO, WBA, IBF and RING heavyweight beltholder Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) on Dec. 10 at the ESPRIT arena in Dusseldorf, Germany, in an attempt to end the titleholder’s 14-fight winning streak that includes 11 stoppages.
Also among those scheduled to appear on the D.C. Star Night Club card were 31-year-old super middleweight Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan (20-2, 13 KOs) of Capitol Heights, Md., and 24-year-old Jessie Nicklow (22-2-3, 8 KOs) of Baltimore in separate bouts.
Buchanan was to face 34-year-old Ariel Epinal (8-19-3, 4 KOs) of Brooklyn, and Nicklow, 39-year-old Frank Armstrong (4-18-3, 3 KOs) of Winston Salem, N.C.
“This is the second time that this card has been rescheduled for the same place,” said Williams. “The first time it was scheduled for August, but that’s when Hurricane Irene hit.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org