CBS Sports Network results: Toka Kahn Clary stops John Moralde
Fighting in front of his hometown and headlining his first show on national television, Toka Kahn Clary masterfully broke down John Moralde for seven full rounds to earn a stoppage win. The featherweight contest was the main event of a Real Deal Sports and Entertainment card from the Strand Ballroom and Theater in Providence, Rhode Island, televised live on CBS Sports Network, on Friday night.
“I’m not a one-dimensional fighter,” Kahn Clary told CBS Sports Network color analyst Steve Farhood, after the victory. “My trainer, my team, we work on all different styles. The first round, I was trying to feel (Moralde) out and see what he’s got. I felt that when I kept walking him down. I hit him with a few body shots and you could hear him breathing hard, so I stuck with that tactic. Eventually we broke him down.”
Kahn Clary, 24-1 (17), couldn’t have described the fight any better. Moralde, a 23-year-old Filipino making his U.S. debut, was aggressive right from the gate and, after a first round, in which he brought the fight to Kahn Clary, the fight looked to be competitive. After a second round in which an accidental head clash gave him a nick near his left eye, Kahn Clary seemed bothered by it and, although his counterpunching was sharp, they were seldom enough to let close rounds slip away.
There was a complete shift of momentum in the final minute of the third round, in which Kahn Clary found Moralde’s exposed body. Whether from Kahn Clary’s right jab or power left hand, Moralde’s midsection got punished going forward and, soon enough, Kahn Clary fully established himself as the aggressor. Of course, he mixed in head shots, as his opponent bottled himself up with his back to the ropes. Kahn Clary took more chances, once it was clear that Moralde was throwing listless arm punches. Moralde, 19-1 (10), was spent and, after the seventh round of another short-winded three minutes, his corner waved it off.
“I’m extremely happy to be here,” Kahn Clary excitedly told his home fans, “where all my friends and family showed me support, since day one. My school teachers in here, my childhood friends are in here; everybody is in the building tonight. We’re gonna keep working hard – we ain’t stopping here. We’re with a better team, better promoter, and they’re gonna go all the way with us!”
Kahn Clary, 25, who was previously promoted by Top Rank, has logged in two straight stoppage against unbeaten fighters and is 3-0, since signing with Real Deal Sports and Entertainment earlier this year. The Liberian immigrant was overjoyed to finally fight in his hometown of Providence, where he fought last in 2012 in his professional debut. Kahn Clary has experienced a lot since then and, in winning a WBC regional featherweight trinket on this night, he puts himself closer to a title shot.
“I’m ready to fight anybody from 126 to 130,” Kahn Clary proclaimed. “I got a strong team behind me – my man (Real Deal founder) Evander Holyfield. I’m ready for anybody.”
Fabio “Stone Crusher” Turchi successfully made his United States debut, in the co-feature, by beating the fight out of Demetrius Banks for four full rounds until the fight was stopped. The cruiserweight contest was scheduled for eight.
Fighting out of Florence, Italy, Turchi, 13-0 (10), commanded the middle of a small ring and, with his assertiveness, gave Banks little to no time to think. The southpaw stayed busy but, at the same time, showed good fundamentals in his short shots. Often times, Banks found himself with his back against the ropes and Turchi’s inside work helped him take advantage with body and head shots.
Banks, 9-4 (4), who fought to a decision loss, to Adam Balski, two weeks ago in Poland, tired himself quickly, while trying to find a safe place in the ring. Sometimes a lead right hand would sneak in but Turchi never seemed bothered with taking a shot in order to give one. A short left hand in the third round stunned Banks for the first time in the fight and, after an unsuccessful fourth, he told the referee he wasn’t ready to come out for the fifth.
In the opening bout of the CBS Sports Network card, Irvin Gonzalez earned a third round knockout win over Marlon Olea to remain undefeated. The featherweight contest was scheduled for six.
Gonzalez, 8-0 (7), who fights out of his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, had a distinct size advantage over Olea and took advantage of it with a good sense of spacing. Olea tried his best move around the ring but he seemed to always be at the end of Gonzalez’s jab and follow-up right hand.
Olea, 13-2 (12), was still active with his punching, however, and it made for a decent TV fight with plenty of heated exchanges until the fateful third round. A Gonzalez right hand settled Olea into a corner, from which he couldn’t escape, and a body shot left followed another right. The Colombian took a voluntary knee for the knockdown and he remained on that knee, as the referee reached 10, and Gonzalez walked away with a knockout win in his television debut.