PAWTUCKET â€” Outside the ring, Thomas Falowo is known as a quiet, respectful person, but inside the ring, heâ€™s made plenty of noise in his 16 months as a middleweight boxer.
The Pawtucket resident has stormed out to a commanding 5-0 record that includes knockouts in his first four fights, and on Thursday night, he will shoot for his sixth victory when he appears on the undercard of the â€śHome Invasionâ€ť show, presented by Jimmy Burchfieldâ€™s Classic Entertainment & Sports, at the Twin River Event Center.
Falowo will step into the ring for the first six-round fight of his pro career when he takes on a tough customer in Bronx, N.Y. native Troy Artis (3-2-1, 2 KOs), who is four months removed from a third-round TKO of previously-unbeaten Israel Duffus in Atlantic City, N.J.
â€śI donâ€™t really know much about him,â€ť Falowo said after a recent workout at Manfredoâ€™s Gym on Conant Street. â€śI saw a clip of him on YouTube, just to kind of see what he looks like and size him up a little bit. I know heâ€™s a tough guy because he wanted to fight six (rounds), so I know heâ€™s going to come in good shape.â€ť
A convincing victory in front of a large local crowd would only boost the rising stock in Falowo, who decided to turn pro in the fall of 2010 after a successful amateur career that saw him appear in over 60 fights and take second earlier that year in the New England Golden Gloves and USA Boxing New England tournaments.
â€śIâ€™m feeling good,â€ť added Falowo, who is 22 and a Blackstone Academy graduate who also took part in football and track and field at Shea High. â€śWhen it all comes down to it, itâ€™s all fighting. and Iâ€™m enjoying myself. Itâ€™s fun. I love the life, I love the crowd, and I love fighting, And the trainingâ€™s fun too. Itâ€™s hard work, but itâ€™s fun.â€ť
Falowo began his career with a bang on Nov, 12, 2010 at Twin River when he recorded a second-round TKO of Odias Dumezil of Winter Haven, Fla., and less than three months later, he put away New Haven, Conn.â€™s Greg McCoy at Mohegan Sun Arena with a fourth-round stoppage.
â€śIn that fight, Iâ€™m not going to lie, I was a little nervous,â€ť Falowo said about his fight with McCoy. â€śHe came out automatically trying to take my head off, but I came back and rocked him.â€ť
Last year also saw Falowo score a third-round TKO of Cincinnatiâ€™s Zack Thomas at Foxwoods Resort Casino and a dominant second-round knockout of another Ohio fighter, Russ Niggemayer, at Mohegan Sun.
In Falowoâ€™s last fight, a four-round unanimous-decision victory of Queens, N.Y. product Borngod Washington on Oct. 7 at Twin River, Falowo ruled the fight from start to finish, won the fight on all the judgesâ€™ cards by 40-36 scores, and did everything but send Washington to the canvas.
â€śI was hitting him with some good shots,â€ť said Falowo, who also works full-time as a pharmacy technician at CVS Customer Care Center in Woonsocket. â€śI was surprised that he didnâ€™t go down, but he was a tough guy and he actually hit me flush. But it felt good to actually get in there and mix it up a little bit and get that experience.â€ť
The main event of Thursdayâ€™s show will feature another Pawtucket fighter, Eddie â€śThe Puerto Rican Sensationâ€ť Soto, who will fight in his third straight main-event bout and make his debut as a 145-pound welterweight after posting a 12-3 (4 KOs) record as a 135-pound lightweight.
Soto will take on Jason â€śSchoolboyâ€ť Pires of New Bedford, Mass. (22-4-1, 9 KOs) in a six-round battle. Pires, who like Soto, will be searching for his first win since 2009, is a New Bedford police officer, as well as a member of New Bedfordâ€™s SWAT Team.
In the co-feature, super middleweight fan favorite and former URI football standout Vladine Biosse (11-1-1, 6 KOs) of Providence will contest George Armenta (14-7, 11 KOs) from Silver Spring, Md. in a six-round bout.
Two other Rhode Island fighters, middleweight prospect Alex Amparo (2-0, 1 KO) of Providence and 40-year-old super middleweight Benny Costantino (7-0, 4 KOs) of West Warwick, will place their perfect records on the line on the undercard.
Tickets for the show, which officially launches the 2012 Twin River Thursday Night Fight Series, are $35, $50, $75, and $125 (VIP) and can be purchased by contacting CES at 724-2253/2254, going online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, or visiting the Players Club booth at Twin River or any TicketMaster location.
The doors open at 6 p.m., and the first bout is scheduled for 7. The casino has waived its 18-plus rule for the show, and anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and enter through the West entrance.