The city of Providence has its newest champion.
Super featherweight Toka Kahn Clary captured the WBC Silver Title Saturday night in the main event of CES Boxing’s season finale at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort with a 97-93, 98-92, 98-92 unanimous decision win over tough Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo.
Born in Liberia, the 31-year-old southpaw Kahn has made Providence his home since for more than two decades and now has a third title to add to his collection following his first fight as an official member of the CES Boxing family; Kahn previously captured the NABA featherweight and super featherweight titles.
The fight itself tested Kahn’s poise and resilience. The hard-charging Oquendo (31-8) came forward the entire fight, forcing Kahn to box effectively against the ropes while picking his shots carefully to slow Oquendo’s progress. Well-placed uppercuts and body blows eventually took their toll as Kahn wore down his opponent over the first eight rounds and subsequently increased the pressure in rounds nine and 10 to seal the victory.
Oquendo, a former world-title challenger who has faced the likes of Jamel Herring, Lamont Roach, and Abner Mares in his career, to name a few, was every bit as tough as advertised and a real strong test for Kahn following a near two-year layoff since Kahn’s fight against Olympian Shakur Stevenson. Kahn is now 29-3 as he inches one step closer to a milestone victory.
“He was a tough veteran,” Kahn said. “He’s been around for a long time. He’s fought former world champions and he gave me a hell of a fight.
“I’m now looking for my 30th win. It doesn’t who it’s against. Whoever it is, I’m ready for it.”
Undefeated Weymouth, MA, super welterweight prospect Frank “The Tank” Hogan kept his perfect record intact in the co-feature, stopping Philadelphia’s Derrick Vann (3-6) at the 2:25 mark of the second round. Hogan clipped Vann in the opening round to score an early knockdown and then came out the aggressor in the second round, sending Vann into the ropes with a deadly two-punch combo to officially put an end to the bout.
“I knew I’d end up catching him,” Hogan said. “I like to come out, show the fans what they want to see, and eventually put my opponent to sleep. I really want to work on my boxing and show the world I can take on anyone.”
Earlier in the week, Stamford, CT, rival Chordale Booker called out Hogan on social media, and while Hogan didn’t respond directly – “The haters just want to jump on my train; you know who you are” – Hogan’s promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. formally issued the challenge.
“Once [Booker] wants to sign that contract,” Burchfield said, “We’re all in.”
In the toughest test of his career, Providence, RI, heavyweight Sean Bey (8-0) faced 92-fight vet Terrell Woods of Arkansas, earning a methodical 40-36 unanimous decision win on all three scorecards. Bey entered the fight having won his previous seven by knockout – five in the first round and two in the second – but the durable Woods (28-56-9) withstood Bey’s most ferocious attacks while mounting just enough offense on occasion to keep himself in the fight.
“I wish I could’ve gotten that eighth knockout,” Bey said, “but we got it done.”
East Providence, RI, lightweight Elijah Peixoto (4-0) ended a two-year layoff in style, outworking pro debut Robert Banks (0-1) of Baldwin, NY, in a unanimous decision win, 40-36 across the board. Having battled multiple injuries since his last fight in October of 2020, Peixoto looked as fast and sharp as ever, using his exceptional hand speed to change levels on Banks, who found himself backpedaling most of the fight.
Joining Peixoto was Providence super featherweight and Big Six Boxing Academy teammate Michael “Bling Bling” Valentin (7-1-1), who ended a three-year layoff with a 40-36 unanimous decision win over Puerto Rican challenger Joshua Maldonado (1-3). Valentin looked patient and sharp despite the early nerves and simply out-boxed Maldonado, landing effectively to the head and body while sustaining little to no damage.
Afterward, Valentin called out Springfield, MA, veteran Joshua Orta, whom Valentin lost to in his last fight in November of 2019.
“Tonight was a long time coming,” Valentin said. “It truly feels amazing to be back in my home at Twin River. I’m looking forward to being more active again.
“Josh Orta, stay tuned because I’m coming for your ass. You know that’s who I’m coming for. That’s the only fight I want.”
Fighting for the first time since 2019, Brockton, MA, heavyweight Chad Leoncello (1-0-1) earned his first career win, stopping pro debut Gabriel Costa (0-1) of Woburn, MA, with a vicious body shot at 1:49 of the second round. Leoncello ate a few right hands in the opening round, but kept working the body, which eventually softened Costa to the point where Leoncello managed to land a hard right hook to the ribs that sent Costa to the canvas.
Nicknamed “The Lion,” the 39-year-old Leoncello has only been boxing for six years. He battled substance abuse issues and has been sober since 2016. He made his pro debut for CES in 2019, fighting to a draw against Omar Acosta.