Last month in Louisville, Kentucky, featherweight prospect Toka “T Nice” Kahn-Clary (22-1, 15 KOs) stole the show fighting in his promotional debut for Hall-of-Famer Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Sports & Management, putting on a boxing clinic to earn a one-sided eight-round decision over determined Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna (11-3, 6 KOs).
The Liberia-born Toka-Kahn, fighting out of Providence, RI, fought on national television for the first time, live on CBS Sports Network Real Deal Championship Boxing series co-feature, at Freedom Hall as part of six-week “I Am Ali” festival, honoring the late, great Muhammad Ali in his hometown.
Luna came out strong, never let up and forced Kahn-Clary to fight effectively backing up, something that most boxers are unable to do. Toka dropped Luna in the seventh round en route to a near shutout victory with judges’ scores of 80-72, 80-72, 79-73.
“He must have seen me get caught early in my only loss (vs. Jhon Gemino) and he tried to do that too from the opening bell,” Kahn-Clary said. “He was in great shape and very determined. I buckled him once and dropped him, but he bounced right up and kept coming forward. He applied a lot of pressure and I couldn’t back him up. I felt good and was in great shape. I got hit with a few good shots but composed myself and just boxed I showed I could take shots and keep boxing. I put my opponent down after a flurry with an uppercut, right up the middle, doing the big damage. I wanted to impress Evander, letting him know I belong in his stable, and that I want and deserve a title-fight.”
Kahn-Clary’s adviser, Seth DeRobbio, announced that Toka will return to the ring in September, also back in Louisville, fighting for an undetermined title in a 10-round bout.
“This was a perfect fight for Toka,” he remarked. “He had to fight backpedaling, which is very difficult to do successfully.
“His will was tested but he put on a complete boxing clinic against a very tough opponent, who came out in a blaze and kept coming forward. They had a furious exchange with about 30 seconds remaining in the seventh round. Toka dropped him in final six-seconds of the seventh round. Luna beat the count but was really saved by the bell. Another 20 seconds left in that round, or if it was a 10-round fight, Toka very well may have stopped him. He threw beautiful 5-6 punch combinations.
“It was a great fight for Toka. His previous two fights he knew his opponents were outclassed going into the fight and that he was supposed to knock them out. This fight was against a much better opponent. Toka took a few good shots but he was in top shape. The fans in Louisville really loved watching him fight. We’ll be back there in September fighting for a title to be determined.”