Lamont Miller is the first area fighter to punch his ticket to the New York State Golden Gloves Tournament.
The UB Boxing Club member defeated Lockport's Patrick Thomas via second-round KO in the 178-pound open division regional final Friday night at Erie Community College's Burt Flickinger Center.
While Friday was technically the opener of two rounds of Western Region qualifying, the crowd in attendance for the 34 fights got a special treat when only two combatants entered the 178-pound open class.
After an even first round, Miller seized control -- landing some big shots before finishing off Thomas with a left hook. It's Miller's first trip to the state Golden Gloves Tournament, which will be April 16 at ECC.
The Gloves features boxers vying for titles in various weight classes ranging from beginner sub-novice to open class.
The final round of regionals is at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at ECC. Regional winners advance to states. Open-class state champs move on to nationals.
Among the fighters earning triumphs Friday:
*Akhmed Aliyev of the Northwest Community Center took a 3-0 unanimous decision in his 132-pound sub-novice bout with Salamanca's Tony Massagli.
*Mike Christopher of the UB Boxing Club won a 3-0 decision at 141 novice over Mitchell Ford of the Northwest CC.
*Antonio Smith KO'd Todd Liberati in a 152-pound novice division bout.