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Rocked: Posey loses for first time, dropped in 1st

Knockouts are funny. One minute a fighter is bouncing into the ring, theme music blaring and fans on their feet, and the next minute he is sliding across the canvas, trying to remain on his feet because a solid punch just rocked him. The next minute the fighter is back in the dressing room, putting on his clothes like nothing happened.

It’s a shocking turn of events, and it happened to Rohnique Posey at a show promoted by Sal Musumeci’s Final Forum on Friday.

Posey, a welterweight from Far Rockaway and a graduate of Beach Channel High School, was an undefeated fighter who has competed at Madison Square Garden and was largely considered a nice fighter to put your money on.

Someone who had the resilience, the boxing skills and the power to one day be a contender, Posey found himself in the dressing room of the Orion Palace, a catering hall in Brooklyn, with his left eye nearly swelled shut and a mystified look on his face. Moments earlier Posey (7-1-1, 6 KOs) had suffered his first defeat as a professional by getting knocked out.

The fight, which was the co-feature to the main event, was over before it began.

Flown in from Dallas to provide Posey with adequate but not threatening competition, Francisco “Pancho” Rincon landed a right hand to Posey’s chin in the first minute of the fight that wobbled him and nearly shut his eye. Posey hung on and fought back, but his legs were gone and the 26-year-old fell to the canvas, partly from a punch and partly from exhaustion.

He rose to beat the count, but referee Sammy Viruet, whose cousin, Edwin, twice fought Roberto Duran, looked into his eyes, asked him to take a step forward, didn’t like what he saw and waved the fight off at 1:56 of the first round, ending Posey’s night early and sending the 450 fans in attendance into an uproar.

“He was really out on his feet before the knockdown happened,” Viruet said following the match. “I asked him after the eight-count to move forward, and he wobbled. I stopped the fight to save him because he could have been hurt badly.”

Before his fight went downhill, Posey was in control. He was moving around the ring, peppering the larger Rincon with jabs and right hands, but his trainer, Bob Jackson, saw something that Posey was doing wrong, a warning sign that foreshadowed what was to come.

“I could see early that he was reaching for his opponent,” Jackson said. “The guy he was fighting was standing tall, and he landed a good punch. Up until that point we were winning the round, but if you’re doing the wrong thing to win the round, it doesn’t matter. The guy had long arms and could punch and was very dangerous.”

Rincon was warding off attempts to his midsection when he caught Posey with a right hand that staggered him, a punch he claims he was waiting to land the entire fight.

“This stuff happens,” said Posey, who trains at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. “I have knocked out six guys before this fight, so I guess it was my turn today. I’ll be back.”

In the main event, Edelmiro “Tiger” Martinez (21-2-1, 9 KOs), a super featherweight from Lefrak City in Corona who is ranked No. 15 by the IBF, defeated Jose Quintana (11-4-2, 6 KOs) by a unanimous eight-round decision, 77-73, 80-70, 80-70, after a year off from boxing. The full-time maintenance worker said he took the fight on short notice and only sparred twice to get ready.

The 35-year-old took time off to heal from a broken collarbone he suffered following his draw with Nate Campbell last May. The fight on Friday was a tune-up for an eliminator bout he will fight in July for the IBF’s No. 2 ranking, Musumeci said.

Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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