In only one year fighting as a professional, unbeaten Providence super featherweight prospect Toka “T Nice” Kahn-Clary’s (6-0, 5 KOs), has left a patch of destruction in his wake, crisscrossing the country on his journey.
Last Friday night in his first scheduled six-round bout, the 21-year-old native of Liberia annihilated newly crowned Texas State lightweight champion Pedro Pablo Torres (7-6-2, 5 KOs), dropping him three times en route to another impressive victory by second-round technical knockout, on the non-televised portion of the Top Rank-promoted ESPN Friday Night Fights card at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas.
In seven pro fights, including a “no contest” due to a cut he suffered, Kahn-Clary has dropped his opponents a total of 16 times, peaked by six knockdowns in his last two fights.
“Good conditioning is part of it,” he spoke about his increased power, “but (head trainer) Peter (Manfredo, Sr.) has worked hard with me on sitting on my punches. You don’t want your opponent walking through your punches, so you need to punch effectively to keep him back. I didn’t think I’d knock this guy (Torres) out but, when I touched him in the first round, I knew I could take him out and that’s what I did in the second.
“I feel like I’m improving. I get good sparring at Manfredo’s Gym and also with Luis Rosa in New Haven. I have to thank him and his family for being so helpful. Making weight is never a problem for me. I’m always on weight because I think it’s my responsibility as a professional and not making weight would embarrass me and my coach. I’ve had a lot of fights and that’s good, but I’d fight every week if I could. I want my name to be recognized and the only way to do that is to fight often in different places and keep winning impressively. I want to be recognized as a top fighter for me, my trainer and family.”
Torres had been stopped only once in 14 previous fights and Kahn-Clary’s promoter, Top Rank, matched Torres against Kahn-Clary to give Toka rounds. “They were as surprised as anybody that Toka stopped him so early because they thought the fight would go six rounds,” Manfredo explained. “We’re going to need rounds (Kahn-Clary has fought only 14 rounds as a pro) as he faces tougher opponents. He’s only gone four rounds once and that was after waiting 7 ½ hours in the dressing room in a swing bout.
“Toka hit this kid so solid with a shot in the second round that I was surprised he go up to continue. Toka then jumped on him right away and ended it. He’s an accurate puncher with good speed who has good weight distribution. He’s really adjusted to the professional style, too. He stopped some guys in the amateurs but that’s all about scoring points. Now, he’s hitting guys on the chin with smaller gloves. Toka’s been working on keeping his feet under him. He’s so quick and accurate that all he has to do is let his hands go. He’s been throwing harder combinations in his past few fights and everything’s been set-up by his jab.”
Kahn-Clary, who captured a gold medal at the 2010 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament, fights out of the new Manfredo Boxing Sports Fitness gym in Narragansett, Rhode Island.