By Francisco Salazar
Middleweight contender Rob Brant knocked out veteran Colby Courter in the opening round at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota on Friday night.
Brant, who resides in nearby Saint Paul, dropped Courter three times before the fight was stopped at 2:55 of the opening round.
Brant (23-1, 16 knockouts) was fighting for the first time since his unanimous decision loss to Juergen Braehmer on Oct. 27 in quarterfinal action of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) super middleweight tournament.
The 27-year-old Brant is ranked number four by the WBA.
Courter (12-12, 9 KOs), who hails from Saint Joseph, Missouri, has lost his last four bouts and five of his last six.
Junior lightweight Ramiro Hernandez remained unbeaten, winning an eight round unanimous decision over Nate Rubin.
Scores were 80-72, 79-73, and 78-74 in favor of Hernandez, who improves to 11-0, 8 KOs. Rubin, drops to 5-2-1. 2 KOs.
Middleweight prospect Cem Kilic (10-0, 6 KOs) dropped Taronze Washington (17-26, 9 KOs) twice en route to a second round knockout victory. Time of the knockout was 2:38.
"I am 10-0 now, and I cant ell you how excited I am to get the early knockout in front of my adopted American fans," said Kilic. "Taronze was a tough opponent, but I trained too hard for this fight not to get the early knockout. 2018 is my year, and I am putting the middleweight division on notice. I trust my manager to get the opportunity to showcase my talent to the entire world."
"Friday was a big step for Cem Kilic. He demonstrated that at age 23 against a very tought opponent, who had fought three world champions as well as a plethora of big name contenders, that Cem was able to take him out in 2 rounds."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing