LINCOLN, R.I. – Boxing’s ageless “Road Warrior” added another highlight-reel knockout to his resume Friday night at Twin River Casino.
Fighting for the first time in Rhode Island, no surprise given his penchant for spanning the globe throughout his career, former two-time world champion Glen Johnson (54-18-2, 37 KOs) stopped the game Jaime Velazquez (11-6-2) in the fourth round of their scheduled eight-round main event light heavyweight bout at “Home Sweet Home,” presented by Classic Entertainment & Sports. Providence’s Toka Kahn-Clary also won in impressive fashion by technical knockout in the scheduled six-round co-feature.
Velazquez, the Pawtucket, R.I., native making his first appearance in 15 years, gave Johnson three strong rounds before the “Road Warrior” poured it on the fourth. Johnson hurt Velazquez early with a body shot and began teeing off as the round wore on, at one point nearly sending Velazquez through the ropes. Velazquez did his best to stay on his feet before a huge overhand right by Johnson sent him teetering into the ropes and prompting Velazquez’s trainer, Roland Estrada, to throw in the towel at the 1 minute, 59 second mark.
Johnson, who rose to fame in 2003 and 2004 when he captured the world light heavyweight title and knocked out Roy Jones Jr., now has 37 wins by knockout.
Fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2012, Kahn-Clary (10-0, 7 KOs) gave his loyal fans of glimpse of what they’ve been missing, dominating the overmatched Carlos Fulgencio (19-13-1) of Miami in just under two rounds.
After spending most of the first round picking his spots, Kahn-Clary turned it on in the second round, sending Fulgencio to the canvas three times in a matter of seconds, forcing referee Ricky Gonzalez to stop the bout at the 1:10 mark. Fulgencio got up quickly from the first two knockdowns, but the third one, courtesy of a hard, right hook from Kahn-Clary, nearly sent Fulgencio through the ropes.
Looking to bounce back from just his second career loss in July, exciting middleweight Thomas Falowo (11-2) took out his frustration on Columbian veteran Jaison Palomeque (14-9-1), earning a bizarre win by disqualification at the 1:57 mark of the third round. Falowo unloaded on Palomeque early with his usual barrage of punches. Palomeque tried to stand toe-to-toe with Falowo and eventually paid the price as Falowo caught him with a short right cross that sent him tumbling to the canvas at the end of the second round.
Falowo had Palomeque hurt against the ropes midway through the third when Palomeque threw a quick kick in an apparent attempt to put some distance between he and Falowo. Referee Joey Lupino stepped in and immediately disqualified Palomeque, giving Falowo his first victory since May.
Making his Rhode Island debut, Louisiana cruiserweight Alvin Varmall Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) put on quite the show against his taller opponent, Andre Ward (1-2-4) of Washington, D.C., stopping Ward in the closing seconds of the third round. As time began to wind down, Varmall Jr. wobbled Ward with a hard, overhand right and then sent Ward crashing to the canvas with a double left hook combination, ending the fight with just one second remaining in the round.
In a regional battle between two tough middleweights, Providence’s KJ Harrison-Lombardi (5-0-1) remained unbeaten with a 40-36, 40-36, 39-37 win over the gritty Antonio Fernandes (4-15-2) of Brockton, Mass. With most of the action taking place in the center of the ring, Harrison-Lombardi was the aggressor throughout the fight, landing the cleaner, more efficient punches. As always, Fernandes hung in and fought his way off the ropes several times, but Harrison-Lombardi won decisively, his third win since October.