In their native country of Azerbaijan, they're national heroes, household names. They've even been invited to private affairs by their president. Outside of Baltimore, let alone America, the boxing Baku brothers, Emil and Rufat, don't feel respected.
Last night, as part of a seven-bout card at the Cancun Cantina near Glen Burnie, one sibling pugilist, Emil, 23, continued his knockout success in a ring nestled on a sand-covered surface and flanked on three sides by palm trees. The other, Rufat, 19, broke even.
Emil, a 6-foot-1 welterweight, improved to 8-0 (all knockouts) with his fifth-round knockout of Julio Jiminez (3-3, three KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. Shortly after dropping Jiminez with an overhand right to his left jaw, Emil hammered Jiminez to the ropes, pummeling him until referee Ken Chevalier halted the scheduled six-rounder at 2: 10 of the fifth.
"I hit him to the body, and when he dropped his hands, the punch was there," said Emil, who, like his brother, has been a Pikesville resident for two years. "I took my time looking for the shot, and I take my hat off to him for getting up."
Rufat, 19, a 6-4 super-middleweight, is 11-1-1 (six KOs) after a four-round majority draw against Chesapeake, Va.'s Shun Lewis two KOs). Two judges scored the fight at 38-38, and a third, Chevalier, had it 39-37 for Rufat, who appeared to control the action against his shorter rival by moving in behind a stiff jab, hard right hand and a nice body attack.
"I thought I won the fight, but I'm disappointed in my performance," Rufat said. "Maybe I should have thrown a few more punches and the result would be different."
Winning four-round unanimous decisions were junior welterweight Mike McFail (1-0) over fellow Baltimore native Harold Norton (2-2); welterweight Lawrence Brooks (1-1) of Capitol Heights over Charleston South Carolina's Anthony Walker (0-1); and Baltimore junior bantamweight Mike Thomas (2-0-1) over South Carolina's Jerry Smith (0-1).
Garth Hedger (3-2-1, two KOs), of Bowie, won a unanimous six-round decision over Gary Tompkins (5-2) of Virginia Beach, Va.
In the main event, Gaithersburg's lightweight Bryan Cook (11-0, six KOs) won a unanimous decision against Joe LaFontant (3-10-1, 1 KO) of Washington.
Pub Date: 8/08/97