Top Rank Results from Atlantic City: Tapia, Hart, and Toka Kahn Clary Blow Out Their Opponents
By: William Holmes, words, Edmund Mallqui-Burgos, pictures
Top Rank promoted two cards tonight, one in Carson, California for HBO and one in Atlantic City for Univision Deportes. Several fighters with a high ceiling for potential fought tonight, including Jesse Hart, Toka Kahn Clary, and “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia.
The first bout of the night was between the undefeated Damon Allen (3-0) and Tony Walker (5-2-1) in the lightweight division. Walker was by far the toughest test of Allen’s career and he passed it with flying colors. Allen started off the first round with some solid body work but Walker was doing a decent job at countering Allen with punches over the top of his guard.
Allen, however, improved as the fight wore on and was more aggressive than Walker. He got his punches off first and his left hook was landing consistently. His jab was landing nearly at will in the third round and he had Walker staggered on the fourth round with two solid left hooks to Walker’s
chin. The final scores were 40-36 on all three scorecards.
The next bout was between Jesse “Hard Work” Hart (9-0) and Terrance Wilson (6-7) in the super middleweight division. Jesse Hart is a can’t miss prospect and if you arrive late to his fight you’ll likely miss it. Wilson was badly outmatched and knocked down three times before the referee mercifull ended the fight. Hart scored his tenth win and ninth stoppage at 1:57 of the first round.
Toka Kahn Clary (7-0) is another can’t miss prospect and he took on Victor Sanchez (5-6-2) in the supe featherweight division. Both fighters were southpaws and came right out to the middle of the ring.
Clary’s hand speed advantage was painfully obvious from the start as his stunningly accurate combinations were bouncing off the head of Sanchez from the start.
By the second round, Sanchez’s face was already badly bruised and he continued to receive a brutal beating from Clary. It was a feat for Sanchez to even stay on his feet as it appeared that Clary was landing at will. Before the start of the fifth round the ringside physician checked on Sanchez but allowed him to continue fighting. Clary’s dominance continued and the ring side physician walked onto the steps to advise the referee to stop the fight. The end came at 1:21 of the fifth round.
Kevin Benson (1-1) and Julian Rodriguez (0-0) met next in the super lightweight division. Julian Rodriguez comes from a successful amateur background and he had a large group of vocal fans in attendance. Benson ate an overhand right in the first round and went immediately to the floor. Two more punches may have landed while Benson’s knees were on the mat but Benson failed to answer the count. Rodriguez barely broke a sweat. The end came at 0:51 of the first round.
Ray Velez (3-3) and David Gonzales (2-0) met in a four round scheduled bout in the super lightweight division. This bout featured a lot of clinching and grabbing, but Gonzales likely won the first two rounds as his straight right hand connected cleanly to the chin of Velez a few times. Velez however shocked Gonzales with a straight right hand in the third round that left Gonzales’ legs rubbery. Velez should have been awarded a knockdown since Gonzales’ knees touched the mat as he tried to hold on and recover but the referee missed it.
The fourth round was also close but Gonzales might have won it with a late two-punch combination. The final scores were 39-37, 39-37, and 39-37 for David Gonzales.
The main event was between “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia (19-0) and 42 year old Elco Garcia (27-8) in the super welterweight division. The Atlantic City crowd was clearly strongly behind “Jersey Boy” Glen Tapia.
Tapia came out in the first round looking calm, composed, and patient. He was landing his straight right early on and began to focus on the body by the third round. His combinations were connecting with increasing violence as the rounds progressed but Garcia somehow was able to stay on his feet and survive Tapia’s onslaughts.
Tapia really began to unload on his punches in the fifth round and was pulverizing Garcia around the ring. Garcia was attempting to fight back but the beginning of the end came when Tapia landed thre brutal right hands in a row in the fifth round, before his mouthpiece came out. Tapia put his mouthpiece back in and unloaded several more vicious combinations before Garcia finally went to the ground. Garcia slowly got up but the referee rightly waved off the fight at 2:59 of the fifth round.
The last fight of the night was between Joshua Robertson (5-2-1) and local fan favorite Thomas LaManna (12-0) in the middleweight division. LaManna cruised to an easy decision victory against a clearly overmatched Joshua Robertson. The final scores were 60-54 on all three cards.