Nico Yeyo missed a grand chance of defeating Team Canada’s Dave Leblond and launching his professional debut with a win on the Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender boxing series ‘Best of the Best’ boxing card, at the Chinese Benevolent Association Auditorium in Kingston on Wednesday night.Instead, the Team Jamaica representative outwrestled his Team Canada opponent with persistent embraces over five rounds that saw two points deducted from him and one from Leblond.
Yeyo ended by losing the wrestling battle by a split decision after judges Lindel Allen scored the bout 47-45, Clifford Brown 46-46, and Jeremy Hayes 48-44.
Truth be told, the sixth fight of the Contender Series was a fiasco.
The disappointing clash encountered loud cat calls, with boos reverberating from the four corners of the auditorium from the large and disappointed crowd that turned out to see Leblond re-establish himself in the competition against fellow debutant, Yeyo.
Yeyo’s loss to Leblond enables Team Canada to now sit level on three wins with Team Jamaica after the completion of six of the eight fights at the first stage. The four-stage 16-fighters championship offers prize money of $3 million and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Junior Middleweight Contender.
Leblond, in his post-match response through an interpreter said: “Honestly, I was truly disappointed with the performance as I really wanted to give a good show. I was, however, unable to do so. We did not know what to expect from this fighter as we knew little about him and his style, which was a worrying factor.”
Yeyo said his main focus was to survive the rounds.
“My main focus was to ensure that I go the five rounds (as) the amateur rust is still in me. I did not settle, I was impatient, but it was a good fight for me. With this first fight out of the way, I will still continue to train while working on brushing up on my style,” he said.
The saving grace of the evening’s boxing entertainment was two amateur fights featuring two Canadian boxers against their Jamaica counterparts. Both fights brought the house to its feet due to the continuous furious action, with telling blows from the fists of the shorter Damon Williams of the JDF and the gangling Joshua Frazer from Canada.
Frazer, with the longer reach, took the first match, while Jonathan Hanson, competing in the middleweight division, reversed the decision against Canadian Jake Daoust with another three-round humdinger of a clash that opened the programme.