Rohan Polanco played with his food before he went in for the whole meal.

An explosive finish by the 2020 Dominican Olympian paved the way for a stoppage win over Las Vegas’ Keith Hunter. Polanco rocked the second-generation boxer to the point where he forced the stoppage at 2:56 into the sixth round  of their junior middleweight bout Saturday evening from Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Polanco posed and taunted for much of the fight, while Hunter boasted the higher punch output for his first fight in 20 months. The difference in power was evident, as Hunter’s jab and right hand produced minimal impact while the force of Polanco’s power was felt whenever he let his hands go.

Hunter was cautioned after the third round by head trainer and former 122-pound champion Clarence ‘Bones’ Adams to find a way to turn around the fight.

The son of the late, former heavyweight contender Michael Hunter enjoyed moments of success in rounds five and six, but the latter saw a drastic shift in momentum. Polanco connected with a combination that nearly drove Hunter through the ropes. A follow-up sequence was enough for referee Christopher Young to stop the contest.

The stoppage was met with an immediate protest and fit of rage by Hunter, who stomped, flailed his arms and at one point even shoved the referee. He was immediately restrained by his brother and current heavyweight contender Michael Hunter II before he stormed out of the ring still enraged over the outcome.

The loss snapped a two-fight win streak for Hunter (15-2, 9KOs). Polanco advances to 11-0 (7KOs).

Another member of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics appeared on the undercard portion of Saturday’s show but with not as much success.

Argentina’s Francisco Veron was held to an eight-round, majority decision draw versus 20-year-old Jahi Tucker, who is now winless in his last two starts. Long Island’s Tucker (10-1-1, 5KOs) won 77-75 on one card, overruled by scores of 76-76 and 76-76. Veron (13-0-1, 10KOs) was dealt his first blemish in his second U.S. appearance.

Tucker suffered a majority decision defeat to Nicklaus Flaz on July 1in his previous outing.

Both bouts aired on ESPN+ as part of a six-fight preliminary undercard. Headlining the main ESPN card, double Olympic Gold medalist and current WBO featherweight titlist Robeisy Ramirez (13-1, 8KOs) attempts his second defense versus Guadalajara’s Rafael Espinoza (21-0, 18KOs). 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox