NEWARK, New Jersey – It took Karl Dargan two-plus rounds to get into an offensive groove Saturday night.
Once that happened, however, the Philadelphia native gave what was left of the crowd at Prudential Center a memorable knockout. Dargan dropped Ivan Delgado twice during the third round before referee Harvey Dock stopped a scheduled eight-round junior welterweight fight FS1 aired after heavyweight Jonnie Rice upset Michael Coffie in the main event.
Dock halted the action 1:09 into the third round, immediately after Delgado went down awkwardly for the second time. Dargan (20-1, 10 KOs) fought for the first time in two years and recorded his first knockout since 2014.
The 36-year-old Dargan got off to a slow start, but he blasted Delgado with a right uppercut that knocked him flat on his back. Los Angeles’ Delgado (13-4-2, 6 KOs) got to his feet, but he appeared dazed as he responded to Dock’s commands.
Delgado valiantly tried to fight out of the trouble. Dargan landed several clean right hands, though, before his last right hand sent Delgado to the canvas a second time and their bout ended.
After Dargan’s win, unbeaten heavyweight prospect Norman Neely went the distance for just the second time as a pro and defeated Juan Torres by unanimous decision in a six-rounder FS1 aired.
Neely (9-0, 7 KOs), of Paterson, New Jersey, won all six rounds on the scorecards of judges James Kinney (60-54), John McKaie (60-54) and John Signorile (60-52). Torres, of Cypress, Texas, fell to 6-4-1 (3 KOs).
Neely rocked Torres with a right hand in the final minute of their bout, but Torres held him tight and recovered. Neely landed a short, right hand inside during the middle minute of the fifth round.
There wasn’t much action for most of the fourth round, until Neely unloaded a barrage of power punches that nearly finished off Torres. A game Torres took several hard shots before the bell sounded to end that round.
Torres wrestled Neely into the ropes early in the third round. A straight right by Neely backed up Torres later in the third round.
Neely connected with another right hand just before the third round concluded.
Neely wobbled Torres with a right hand early in the second round. Torres took a break soon thereafter because Neely hit him low, which drew a warning from Claudio.
Neely clipped Torres with a left hook toward the end of the second round as well.
Neely spent much of a physical first round trying to fend off an aggressive Torres, which often led to clinches.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.