Banks stops Word in Kronk benefit bout
DETROIT -- Johnathon Banks proved he can fight more than one round after all.
Banks had his first-round knockout streak snapped at six fights, but still disposed of previously unbeaten Mike Word with one fifth-round right hand in the main event of a charity boxing card Thursday at the Fisher Building.
"This should show people that I can get it done in the later rounds, too," said Banks, who improved to 10-0. "He was a tough guy, but I finally got him."
Banks hurt Word (4-1) with a right hand late in the first round, but seemed to tire as the fight wore on.
Late in the fifth, though, Banks landed a straight right and Word collapsed to the canvas. He didn't come close to beating the referee's count, and had to sit on his stool for several minutes before leaving the ring.
"I knew I could go eight rounds, and I didn't think he could," said an obviously frustrated Word. "Give him credit, he caught me with an unexpected punch. I guess it was a right hand."
The night, which also included an auction, was to support Emanuel Steward's attempt to save the Kronk Recreation Center from a city shutdown. The cause got an unexpected boost when the Motown Legends Casino made a $1.2 million donation.
"I didn't know anything about that," Steward said. "I've been in the gym, training fighters."
The crowd included several Motown stars, including Aretha Franklin, Mary Wilson and members of the Contours and Miracles, as well as former boxing champions Hilmer Kenty and Lennox Lewis.
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