ATLANTIC CITY - Local boxer Justin Figueroa got a chance to perform his signature celebration again Saturday night.

Figueroa (2-0, 2 KOs), an Atlantic City lifeguard and 2017 Holy Spirit High School graduate, broke out the "Worm" in the ring after registering a third-round TKO over Philadelphia's Jeremiah Kendrick (1-3, 1 KO) at Showboat Atlantic City.

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"I love Atlantic City and I love hearing the fans cheer," Figueroa said. "I'm so proud to be an Atlantic City native. When I hear those fans roar, I turn into a lion."

Figueroa gradually took control of the scheduled four-round, junior-middleweight bout. He unleashed a flurry midway through the third round that rocked Kendrick, then connected with a combination that sent him to the canvas.

Kendrick managed to beat referee Brian Vera's 10-count, but appeared to slightly stumble. Vera wisely stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 53 seconds of the round while the crowd in Showboat's Carousel Room cheered.

"I knew he was strong and had some power, but he started to get tired while I got stronger," Figueroa said. "I trained very hard for this in the gym and put in my roadwork on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I had that sea breeze in my lungs."

Figueroa, 23, got off to a bit of a slow start, but began to pick up the pace in the second round behind a crisp jab.

That followed the plan established by trainer Arnold Robbins and his team.

"What happened in the third round could have happened in the first round," Robbins said. "Justin just had to start using his jab more. Once he started poking him with that jab and got him off-balance, that set up everything."

Figeruoa, a former football player and wrestler at Holy Spirit, relied on that background in the second round.

When Kendrick grabbed him, Figueroa, who finished second in District 29 at 220 pounds as a senior, tossed him into the ropes, drawing a warning from Vera.

"When he grabbed me, he was holding on for dear life," Figueroa said. "I heard (Holy Spirit wrestling coach) Ralph Paone's voice in my ear and I hip tossed him."

NOTES: Albanian heavyweight Kristian Prenga (12-1, 12 KOs) thrilled his huge fans base with a second-round TKO over Miami's Alvin Davie (7-4, 6 KOs). Prenga dropped him five times.

Jersey City middleweight Robert Terry (8-0, 2 KOs) earned a sixth-round TKO over Plainfield's Jimmy Williams (18-10-2, 6 KOs).

Atlantic City super-flyweight Gerald Fundenberg (0-2) suffered a first-round TKO loss to Englewood's Jay Llano (1-0, 1 KO). Fundenberg's only previous professional fight occurred four years ago.

Philly heavyweight Derek Starling (5-1, 4 KOs) relied on a 10-inch height advantage and 80-pound weight edge to gain a second-round TKO over Philly's Greg Hackett (3-22-1). Hackett, who reportedly accepted the fight on two day's notice, quit on his stool after the second round.

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