Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr.
Cruiserweight Brian Howard (14-2, 11 K0s) relocated to Philadelphia last year to re-energize his boxing career. He did just that late Saturday night, electrifying the crowd with a stunning first-round knockout of the usually durable Garrett Wilson (18-16-1, 9 K0s) at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
Howard dropped Wilson with a thunderous right hand early in the first round as the two cruiserweights came out slugging. Wilson beat the referee’s count, and though wobbly, seemed as if he would make it to the bell before Howard put him down again 2 minutes, 31 seconds into the first. This time the referee immediately called a stop.
The 38-year Howard, now living in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia, is originally from Florida and had been fighting out of Georgia.
Wilson, fighting out of South Philadelphia, was knocked out for just the second time in his career.
Jerome Conquest, the pride of the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia, was triumphant in his return to the ring after a year away due to injury. Conquest (10-3, 1 K0) controlled the action against Elmira’s Vinnie Denierio, winning the fight 60-54 on one judge’s scorecard and 59-55 on the other two to capture the USBF North American Lightweight championship.
Conquest, 33, had been out of action since tearing an achilles tendon training for a bout against last spring. Conquest bounced back from a tough first-round knockout loss to Tyrone Lucky at Parx last March.
In undercard action:
Unbeaten super middleweight Omar Kabary Salem of Brooklyn easily moved to 8-0 by mauling Jacob Fox for his fourth K0. Salem dropped Fox early in the first round and then finished him on his feet at 2:27 of the first.
Junior welterweight Daiyann Butt of Haverford gave Philadelphia’s Tryee Arnold a rough welcome to the pro ranks, stopping him at 2:22 of Round 4. Butt earned his first knockout and moved to 3-0.
Middleweight Sammy Berman looked impressive in his first fight in nearly five years. The southpaw fighting out of Roxborough dominated Lasawn Alcocks of North Philadelphia to earn a unanimous decision. Berman, still just 22, improved to 2-0.
Tyhler Williams of Philadelphia looked sharp and impressive in his pro debut, stopping veteran Nyrome Lynch, also of Philadelphia, 1:45 into the second round.
In the opener, Ismael Villareal of Bronx NY, dropped LaShawn Alcocks of Queens NY, en route to a third-round stoppage, bringing his record to 5-0 with 2 K0s.