Duke Ragan’s pro debut went about as well as his handlers could’ve hoped Saturday night.
The 22-year-old Ragan displayed the power he promised he possesses by knocking out Luis Alvarado in the first round of a scheduled four-round featherweight fight on the Eleider Alvarez-Joe Smith Jr. undercard at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The Cincinnati native nailed Alvarado with a picture-perfect right hand that sent Alvarado to the canvas with 18 seconds to go in the opening round.
Alvarado (1-2), of Pasco, Washington, rolled over and reached his feet quickly. The disoriented Alvarado clearly was hurt, however, turned away from referee Jay Nady and forced Nady to stop the bout.
Ragan was a decorated amateur who had hoped to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed until next summer. He went 151-19 in the amateur ranks, but Ragan recently signed co-promotional contracts with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and Antonio Leonard Promotions, and a managerial agreement with James Prince.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.