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.