Tuesday, 3 November 2015

DC's Kenny Baysmore.. The nearly man..





Washington Dc's Kenny Baysmore looked like he had the potential to go all the way as a pro, he had amateur pedigree and had won the 1979 national golden gloves at bantamweight. Two years later Kenny would turn professional.
For three years Baysmore would stay unbeaten and by 1983 he would be voted Ring Magazines prospect of the year, an accolade reserved for prospective future standouts. In 1984 for his 18th fight he would beat Freddy Chumpitaz for the USBA  super featherweight title, a year later in 1985 he would win a 12 round split decision over tough Myron Taylor in defense of his title.  Kenny was now 20 / 0 with 18 knockouts, and matched into the toughest fight of his career, a USBA title defense against the former WBA super featherweight champion Roger Mayweather.  Roger had only lost 2 of his 22 fights, and it was an acid test for the promising Baysmore..  Mayweather was too much for the USBA champion, and served Baysmore his first loss, by third round knockout in Texas..  Roger would go on to fight the great Julio Cesar Chavez for the WBC title in a highly publicized affair, while Kenny had to reassess the direction of his career. The first loss, especially by knockout hurt Baysmore's confidence and it was important for him to get back on the horse as soon as he could..  A full year later he would regain his USBA title by outpointing Anthony English in Atlantic city..  After two more successful defenses of his title it was again time to step up..  This time against tough Harold Knight in his opponents back yard of Atlantic city..  Knight was unbeaten in 14 fights, but had took a couple of years out between 1985 and 87..   Kenny got off to a good start against Knight, using good lateral movement, but in round six he stood too long in front of the New Jersey man and got stunned, by round 7 Baysmore had not recovered and suffered his second defeat, again by knockout.  A year later Knight would unsuccessfully challenge Rocky Lockridge for his IBF title, in what would be his last fight. Kenny Baysmore would return three months later, but would find it tough gain momentum with his career, by 1990 after his next six fights Baysmore would win 2, lose 2 and draw 2, all to inferior opposition.  Kenny needed a break from boxing and would take a 2 year hiatus from the game. 1992 saw a refreshed Baysmore beat Floyd Favors and Cliff Hicks both by second round stoppage..  Baysmore then took on promising US based Russian Sergey Artimiev, Artimiev was 16 / 1 and held an amateur victory over Shane Mosley. The fight was a last ditch fight to propel his Baysmore's career. The Artimiev fight was ill fated, Baysmore would suffer three knockdowns en route to a 5th round TKO..   Artimiev looked destined for huge honors until he almost died following his 1993, 10th round knockout loss to Carl Griffiths..  Baysmore's final night in the spotlight was an appearance on the Bowe v Ferguson undercard in DC against Sharmba Mitchell. Mitchell 29 / 0 and a huge puncher knocked Baysmore out in one round..   Kenny would box 7 more times until 2001, losing each time by knockout..  Kenny Baysmore was better than his 28 / 13 / 2  (24 KOs) record but was never able to step up to world level as a major player..
A two time USBA champion and a national golden gloves champion, Baysmore was a highly popular DC fighter who should have achieved so much more..