Wayne Johnsen Turns out the Lights at KEA’s Brawls at the Birchwood

12.11.06 - By Christopher Roche - Whippany, NJ (Ringside)-On a night when our nation’s Marines were blowing out the candles in celebration of the birth of their Corps., Wayne “Lights Out” Johnsen caused a blackout. KEA’s latest show was a smashing success, and it was capped off in dramatic fashion. In front of a near capacity crowd, at the opulent Birchwood Manor, Johnsen needed only 33 seconds to dispatch formerly undefeated Josh “The Hammer” Hammock of Portsmouth, Arkansas..

After the opening bell, the supermiddleweights circled the ring, as if to feel each other out. Then Johnsen stepped in and buzzed a textbook right hand to the chin of Hammock, and the fight was immediately stopped. Hammock landed flat on his back, and he sprawled out as if hit by a freight train. Johnsen’s deep and growing fan base, nicknamed the “Wayniacs”, barely had a chance to loosen up their lungs and cheer for their local hero. Lyndhurst’s Johnsen fought as if he was late for an appointment. This fight was the fastest knockout I have seen in a New Jersey main event since Bobby Cycz knocked out David Sears the day after Christmas twenty years ago, at the South Mountain Arena in West Orange. That fight took 61 seconds. Coincidentally, Cycz was sitting ringside for this one sided massacre. Johnsen was credited with a TKO, and he raised his record to 14-1 (9 KO). Hammock fell to 7-1 (5 KO).

In the feature event of the undercard, superwelterweight Henry Crawford pitched a shutout against Christopher Henry of St. Lucia. Paterson’s Crawford also scored a 10-8 sixth round where he registered a flash knockdown of Henry. Crawford showed excellent speed and power and displayed an impressive left hook. However, Henry was very tough, and he refused to be knocked out. Crawford displayed impressive patience and settled for a sixth round unanimous decision. Crawford advanced to 13-0-1 (5 KO), and Henry fell to 22-15 (16 KO).

In an intriguing heavyweight match, Neptune’s Kevin Johnson decisioned 350 lb former Philadelphia Golden Glove champ Mike Rose. Rose looked like a cross between Butterbean and George Foreman, but he managed to last for six decent rounds, while winning a couple on the Judge’s cards. Rose showed solid defensive skills and used his enormous girth to lean on Johnson. However, Johnson stuck to his game plan and boxed the larger opponent to a unanimous decision. Johnson moved up to 12-0-1 (5 KO), and Rose fell to 3-1.

Another bout on the undercard featured West New York, NJ lightweight Antonio Espinoza against Felisiberto Fernandes in a four rounder. Espinoza boxed out of a southpaw stance, and he used his superior skill and athleticism to score a unanimous decision. Espinoza is a fighter who could open some eyes in the future, and he pushed his record to 5-0 (1 KO). Fernandes dropped to 5-6 (2 KO).

In other lightweight action, Brooklyn’s Nicky DeMarco knocked out Alex Matos in the second round. DeMarco doubled his totals by moving to 2-0 (2 KO), and Matos suffered his third straight defeat in three career tries.

The first bout of the evening was a bit of an upset for the local crowd. In a superbantamweight match, Jersey City’s JV Tuazon suffered a third round TKO at the hands of Anolan Rigal. Tuazon dropped to 0-1-1 and Rigal moved to 1-0-1 (1 KO).

Article posted on 12.11.2006

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