HANOVER – Professional boxing is hard enough by itself, but to fight against an opponent and to battle personal health issues is a double whammy.
Laurel boxer Demond Nicholson fought hard on both fronts. He discovered he had severe kidney failure earlier as he was preparing to fight for an undercard fight EagleBank Arena on May 11.
“I thought I was training too hard and my body gave out,” Nicholson said.
Five months later, Nicholson (22-3-1) returned to the ring and won via unanimous decision over tough Devaun Lee from Queens, New York at Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover promoted by Jeter Promotions.
It was an excellent comeback for the Laurel fighter, who was briefly suspended by the Maryland State Boxing Commission until his health improved. Nicholson 26, and his family took full aim on how to tackle the health scare head-on.
“We did not care about boxing at that point. Even though we were on the brink of some exciting things,” Wilbert Nicholson, Demond’s father, said. “At the worst point, my son was hurting so bad, I did not want to wait for an ambulance, we put him in the car and rushed him to the hospital. He was so weak, he wanted to sleep, and I told him to stay awake. Going to sleep could have kept him sleeping forever. I was scared out of mind.”
Nicholson’s trainer Calvin Ford said he felt “dumbfounded” by the developments. He had no idea how serious Demond Nicholson‘s condition was. He was totally on board with putting boxing on the back burner and doing what he could to assist in any way.
“I looked to his father for guidance,” Ford said. “Whatever he said is what we were going to do.”
During the fight, Lee (10-7-1) looked to be out on his feet in the first round but survived to the bell. For the rest of the night, the New York native gave Nicholson one of the toughest fights in his career. However, all 3 judges scored the fight, 79-73, in favor of the returning Nicholson.
“He was a real tough guy. I thought I had him out in the first round, but I did not jump on him as I should have,” said Nicholson. “I showed a lot of rust tonight. I did not use my jab as I was instructed, but I am satisfied with the win and I am fully back from my sickness.”
In other local action Friday, Blaze Filder from Arnold fought to a draw in his pro debut against the debuting Antonio Dunton-El. Jay Stancil III from Laurel won a unanimous decision over Rensley Washington III in their pro debuts.
Owings Mills native Brandon Chambers improved to 2-0-1 with a unanimous decision over Christopher Haney. Germantown resident Ebrima Jawara won his third pro fight over James Early from Seat Pleasant while featherweight fighter Malik Loften scored a TKO win over Omar Etheridge.
Suitland native Danny Kelly returned after a three-year layoff to also score a TKO victory over Nick Kisner from Baltimore. Kelly knocked Kisner down three times during the bout before the referee stopped the action in the third round. Following the fight, Kisner announced his retirement.