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Russian Pesterovsky wins by TKO


A Russian heavyweight, Alex Moskiev, was the featured fighter in last night's seven-bout boxing card at Martin's West, VTC but countryman Valery Pesterovsky stole the show early.

The little-known super-middleweight, who entered with an 0-2 record, was penalized a point for a low blow in the first round. But the stocky Russian stormed back to floor Laurel's Joe Blyther with a body blow in the second round, and overhand rights in the third and fourth rounds, before connecting with a right to the midsection and a straight left for a technical knockout at 2:44 of the fourth.

"I didn't feel like it was a low blow in the first round, and I just followed my instructions, staying on the body before coming up to the top," said Pesterovsky, a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident who has lived in the United States for five years.

In other bouts:

* Lloyd "Jabba" Bryant (7-0) of Jamaica, who lives in Capitol Heights, survived a first-round knockdown to win by TKO in the fifth round over Ben Singleton (7-14) of Charlotte, N.C.

Bryant, who took 53 seconds to finish an opponent in Philadelphia two weeks ago, fell face-first after Singleton's left hook midway through the first round. But Singleton, who said he was never hurt, allowed Bryant -- the busier fighter throughout -- to corner him and rain shots off his arms and body before the referee stopped the fight 44 seconds into the fifth round.

* Junior middleweight Kenny Blackston (4-3) of Baltimore lost a four-round decision -- 38-37 on all three judges' cards -- to Ray Goddard (2-7-3) of Washington.

Blackston had forced the wide-punching Goddard backward with short, crisp punches for the first two rounds but was floored in the third by a short left hook, getting up at the count of nine.

* Lightweight Brian "Cherokee" Rodgers (11-4) won a four-round majority decision over Theon Holland (4-1).

* Baltimore junior middleweight Greg Smith (4-2-1), cut over the right eye by a head butt, won a split decision over Pio Mendoza (0-1-1).

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