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This time, Pawtucket fighter Falowo leaves nothing to chance

July 20, 2012

Pawtucket fighter and Manfredo’s Gym middleweight Thomas Falowo was victorious in his bout Thursday night at Twin River. PHOTO BY ERNEST A. BROWN.

LINCOLN — Thomas Falowo didn’t give the judges a chance to decide this fight. The Manfredo’s Gym middleweight rocked his opponent from the opening bell to the end of the fourth round, and for his efforts, he was rewarded with a fourth-round TKO.
The Pawtucket fighter returned to his winning ways on Thursday night at the Twin River Event Center by battering Rahman Yusubov of Dallas, Texas in their six-round fight on the undercard of Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc.’s “Built to Last” show at the Twin River Event Center.
After a dominant fourth-round showing that saw a vicious combination by Falowo nearly drop Yusubov to the canvas with a minute to go, Yusubov’s corner, sensing that enough was enough, got the referee’s attention and mercifully surrendered the fight.
“I felt great,” said Falowo, who raised his record to 7-0-1 with his fifth knockout. “I was in great shape and I didn’t feel winded at any point at all during the fight. I knew he was tough, so I had to put the pressure on him to try to get him out there.”
Yusubov (8-9, 6 KOs), a native of Azerbaijan, was indeed a tough customer as he tried to snap a nasty six-fight losing streak that included losses to boxers who owned a combined record of 100-9-4.
But aside from receiving two shots over the top of his head and a minor body shot from Yusubov, Falowo controlled the fight from beginning to end and got tougher as the fight progressed. He landed some left hooks in the second round that seemed to stun Yusubov, and in the third, he began to go to Yusubov’s body with authority.
“After a couple of rounds, my trainer was telling me to stick to the body more and then I started to hit those body shots,” offered Falowo. “Every time I hit him with a body shot, I could hear him grunt.”
Falowo also put together some solid combinations during the third and fourth rounds that Yusubov absorbed and couldn’t answer. And after taking a great deal of punishment near the end of the fourth round, Yusubov slowly returned to his corner and ended up quitting on the stool.
“Down and up, down and up,” noted Falowo. “I put those combinations together and then I started to land them flush. I could feel he was on his way out. I thought I’d have him in the (fifth) round, but he didn’t make it through.”
The story coming into this fight was what happened before it in Falowo’s previous bout two months earlier at Twin River – a split-decision loss to another Texas fighter, Samuel Clarkson that many folks believed clearly belonged to Falowo.
When Falowo was asked about it during his post-fight remarks, he chose to simply focus on the present and look ahead to the future and what he hopes will be an upcoming fight in the fall.
“I’m very happy with this win and I got my fifth knockout, so I can’t complain,” he said, “but I still have a long way to go though. That loss is still on my record, but like I’ve said before, I got to keep trucking away.”
While the fight was Falowo’s fourth during the past 10 months, Providence cruiserweight Matt Godfrey was stepping into the ring for the first time in 13 months in his co-feature clash with Jesse Oltmanns of Bartonsville, Pa.
Like Falowo, Godfrey ruled the first four rounds of his fight and was especially dominant during the fourth round. But unlike Falowo’s fight, Oltmanns’ corner sent a clearly spent fighter out for the fifth, but 10 seconds later, a quick five-punch combination by Godfrey forced referee Joey Lupino to stop the fight and give Godfrey the TKO victory.
Not only was the fight Godfrey’s first in over a year, but it was his first in Rhode Island in almost five. Only two of his last eight bouts were fought east of the Mississippi River, and two were held overseas in Germany, including his fifth-round knockout loss on Aug. 21, 2010 to Marco Huck for Huck’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) title.
“It feels great to be back fighting at home,” said Godfrey. “It’s crazy, I’m 31 years young with 24 fights and I’m still learning, and there are still some things that I want to work on that I wasn’t happy about tonight. But I’m happy I got this win, especially in front of my fans, and I’m looking to get right back in there and fight again.”
Godfrey, who bumped his record to 21-3 (11 KOs), began to pick up steam after the first round, and midway through the second, he dropped Oltmanns (10-4, 7 KOs) to one knee with a nasty right hook. Things only got worse for Oltmanns as Godfrey delivered several more quality punches over the next two rounds and clearly battered him in the fourth.
“After my first round, my corner said, ‘It’s good. You got the cobwebs out. Now just go out there, let your hands take over, and the knockout’s going to come sooner or later,’ ” added Godfrey. “And I did. At the end of the second round, I put him down, and I picked up the pressure in the third and fourth rounds.
“I thought they were going to stop the fight at the end of the fourth, and I was surprised he actually came out for the fifth,” continued Godfrey, “but once I landed that five-punch combination, the ref did the right thing and stopped it.”
While the fight was billed as a cruiserweight fight, Godfrey and Oltmanns both weighed in at marks usually reserved for heavyweights. Godfrey, who normally checks in at 200 pounds, tipped the scales at a career-high 220 pounds, while Oltmanns landed at 215.
“I’m still trying to get [my weight] back down,” admitted Godfrey. “I’ve been doing a lot of running, and I’m going to run in the Blessing of the Fleet 10-mile race next Friday [in Narragansett] and the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in Providence next month.”
The news wasn’t good for the other Blackstone Valley fighter on the card, Woonsocket super middleweight Reynaldo Rodriguez, who was saddled with a six-round unanimous-decision loss to West Warwick’s Keith Kozlin that dropped his record to 6-5-1 (3 KOs).
This battle was a rematch of their competitive four-round draw last July at the Mohegan Sun Arena that saw Kozlin (7-3-1, 4 KOs) claim a 40-36 decision on one of the judges’ cards, while the other two score the bout 38-38. Each boxer also recorded a knockdown and came away from the fight believing that they deserved the victory.
Thursday’s rematch was a non-stop slugfest, with several punches by both fighters doled out from start to finish, but unfortunately for Rodriguez, Kozlin threw and landed more than three-quarters of them, especially with his left hooks and uppercuts, and that paved the way for a 58-56, 60-54, 60-54 victory.
In the main event, Providence’s Vladine Biosse picked up his third win in the past five months with a fifth-round TKO triumph over Canadian Michael Walchuk of Kitchner, Ontario.
Biosse (14-1-1, 7 KOs) and Walchuk (9-6, 2 KOs) traded shots in a competitive opening round, but from the second round to the fifth, the fight belonged to Biosse. He peppered Walchuk with body shots for most of the fight and delivered some strong combinations in the fifth that eventually forced Walchuk to not answer the bell for the sixth.

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