The Banner Promotions/Greg Cohen Promotions card that will take place on Friday, April 14 at the MGM National Harbor Casino in Oxon Hill, MD is coming together.
There will be a strong Baltimore contingent of boxers on the card and two of them will be a part of the Showtime Shobox telecast. Undefeated welterweight Malik "Iceman" Hawkins will have the toughest test of his young career when he battles equally undefeated Juan "El Nino" Ruiz of Tijuana, Mexico in an eight-round co-feature bout. Hawkins (10-0, seven KO's) is coming off a six-round unanimous decision win over Antonio Chaves Fernandez on November 11 in Sloan, IA. Ruiz (18-0, 11 KO's) is originally from Venezuela and won his last bout by first-round TKO over Fernando Carcamo on November 26 in Las Vegas, NV.
Undefeated Baltimore featherweight Glenn Dezurn will make his national television debut competing in his first scheduled eight-rounder against an opponent to be determined. Dezurn (8-0, six KO's) last fought on December 15 and scored a second-round TKO over Devon Jones in Charenton, LA. Dezurn has knocked out his last three opponents and will be looking to get the second straight win for the family. Dezurn's wife, Franchon Crews-Dezurn, needed just 29 seconds to get her first pro win on March 25 in Washington, DC.
The pro debut of heavyweight Hasim Rahman, Jr. will take place on the non-televised undercard. Rahman, Jr. will face Brian Imes of Kansas City, MO in a four-round encounter. Imes (1-4, one KO) will try to bounce back from dropping a four-round split decision to Andrew Todhunter on May 20 in Tulsa, OK.
This will be a family affair as Rahman, Jr.'s older brother Sharif "C3" Rahman has been added to the card. Sharif Rahman, a super middleweight, has not fought since making his pro debut in December of 2015 in Baltimore. Rahman scored a first-round TKO against Alex Asbury in that contest.
The main event on this card will be a 12-round contest for the interim WBA Light Heavyweight title. The champion is Dmitry Bivol of Vsevolzhsk, Russia who will battle Samuel Clarkson of Cedar Hill, TX. Bivol (9-0, seven KO's) will make the second defense of his title that he won on May 21 in Moscow. Bivol won a unanimous decision over Felix Valera. On February 23, Bivol defended the title with a fourth-round stoppage of Robert Berridge in Nizhny Tagil, Russia.
Clarkson (19-3, 12 KO's) is riding a nine-bout winning streak that includes two wins over Beltway Boxers. In his last outing, Clarkson scored a first-round TKO over Larry Pryor on December 9 in Dallas, TX. Clarkson's biggest win came in a third-round stoppage of Jerry Odom on a nationally-televised card in July of 2015 in Bethlehem, PA.