Rex Harris has won often in the cage.
Harris has won in the boxing ring as an amateur.
Friday night’s Summer Thunder pro-am boxing card at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center represented a milestone for the 30-year-old Wyoming resident, his first victory as a professional boxer.
Harris used a third-round knockdown to rally for a four-round, unanimous decision over Jose Torres from Springfield, Mass. Harris won, 38-37, on two cards and 39-37 on the other.
The card, which featured five professional and seven amateur bouts, drew a packed house of about 1,100.
Harris was 3-0 as an amateur and 4-1 as a professional as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. He was 3-0 as an amateur boxer but judges rules his first pro fight a draw even though Harris thought he had fought well enough to win.
After a sluggish start Friday, Harris improved in the second round. Though he thought the fight might be even at that point, he was actually behind on the scorecards.
“I really wanted to take the last two rounds convincingly,” Harris said.
The only question for the Wilkes University graduate, who is originally from White Plains, N.Y., was whether his knockdown would count.
Rather than count the Torres knockdown, referee Gary Rosato talked to Harris in the corner.
“It was confusing to me at first,” said Harris, who received a warning for pushing his opponent’s head down. “It was a clean punch that put him down, but I was kind of scared that the referee was going to call it for holding behind the head when the punch was coming.”
Two Pittston fighters lost unanimous decisions on the amateur portion of the card.
Chase Wood dropped a 152-pound decision to Rasheed Johnson before Vinny Scarantino lost to Jessie Morell.
Wood and Scarantino were among a group of five fighters, who trained under Jim Scarantino, Vince’s father, at the Gym of Jim’s in Pittston
The Gym of Jim’s fighters went 2-3 on the night.
Club members Rocky Marzan and Dawry Aquino, both from Scranton, posted wins.
The highlight of the night for Scranton fans came in the pro co-main event. Jason Gavern (22-15-4) broke a seven-fight losing streak when he won by technical knockout over Robert Dunton.
The 36-year-old heavyweight, formerly from Scranton, now fights out of Kissimmee, Fla.