FAIRFAX, VA (September 17, 2005) – In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,122 fans, Great Falls boxer and star of the NBC reality television Series, “The Contender,” Jimmy Lange (26-2-1, 18 KOs), overpowered rival Perry Ballard (17-1, 13 KOs) of Martinsburg, West Virginia to win the World Boxing Empire (WBE) 154-lb. title by TKO at 2:40 of the 4th round this past Saturday at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University.

“Coming back to Virginia and having the crowd support me like they always do, this was great,” Lange said after his first area contest in 16 months. “They were fantastic.”

Lange used strong, quick jabs and his decisive height and reach advantage to deliver devastating body blows that kept Ballard off-balance throughout the fight. Ballard fell to the mat three times before the referee stopped the fight in the 4th round.

Though there was animosity and tension between the combatants in the weeks leading up to their bout, they left on different terms. “Tonight, [Lange] gained my respect as a consummate professional, someone who will continue to succeed and hopefully someone who will bring in a new class of fighters, more respectability and boxers with more fortitude that we don't see today,” said Ballard, who suffered his first professional loss and indicated that he would continue fighting but at 147 pounds.

In the co-main event, Cheltenham, MD native Lamont Pearson (22-3-1, 12 KOs) used powerful body blows to knock out Shamir Reyes (18-4-2, 7 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY at 2:52 of the 6th round to capture the vacant United States Boxing Association junior lightweight crown.

“Once I stated touching him to the body, I knew it was a matter of time,” said Pearson, now a two-time USBA champion. Pearson won his second consecutive fight since returning from two broken hands.

George Mason University alumnus “Money” Mike Sawyer, who was slated to make his professional debut on his former college campus, collapsed Saturday afternoon and was rushed to a Fairfax hospital. He was treated for dehydration. After consulting with doctors and trainers, his scheduled fight with Chris Govan was cancelled.

In undercard action, Jesse Orta (5-5-1, 4 KOs) of Dallas, TX surprised Manassas product Orazio “The Razor” Robinson (5-2-2, 4 KOs) with a quick first-round knockout.  Baltimore's Tim Coleman improved to 3-0 with a third-round knockout of Washington, DC's Spencer Harsley (1-4, 1 KO).

Alexandria's Kay Koroma (1-0) opened the evening with an impressive professional debut, dominating all rounds in a four-round unanimous decision over Terrell Davis (0-4) of Washington, DC.