Glen Tapia of Passaic, N.J. started tonight's Madison Square Garden boxing card in impressive fashion by stopping Nick Runningbear of Bismarck, N.D. by technical knockout at 1:36 of the second round.
Tapia (7-0, 5 KOs) took charge early against Runningbear (4-3, 1 KO), who looked very soft around the middle in contrast to the well-conditioned Tapia. The Passaic fighter teed off early and had Runningbear breathing hard. Near the end of the first, Tapia rocked him with two powerful right-left combinations.
Emboldened, Tapia came out hard in the second round and dropped Runningbear with a right hand at the outset. Runningbear was up quickly but was on the defensive. Another solid right hand sent Runningbear slumping into the ropes in one corner, and after a brief flurry by Tapia, referee Gary Rosato moved quickly to stop the fight in expert fashion.
The televised portion of the MSG card is about to begin, but we invite you to follow Newsday's live blog by Tony Olivero, who will update you after each of the preliminary bouts and then take you round-by-round with his scoring through the main event between WBO light flyweight champion Ivan Calderon (33-0-1, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico and Mexican challenger Jesus Iribe (17-6-4, 10 KOs).