Veteran Team Jamaica boxer and number three seed, Tsetsi “Lights Out” Davis stunned Team Canada’s number two seed Ryan Young with an imperious split decision victory to move into the semi-final stages of the Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum “Best of the Best” 2017 Contender Boxing Series at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Wednesday night.
The first leg of the semi-final moves to the Mico College Auditorium on Wednesday, July 5.
The “Best of the Best” Series clash between Jamaican and Canadian boxers will see the winner of Jamaica’s Ultimate Junior Middleweight Contender title pocketing the major share of $3,000,000.
After five pulsating rounds between which gave the audience and boxers alike little time for breathing easy, ring announcer Oliver Hardie sent the near capacity crowd at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium into wild and thunderous rapture with the news that Davis was the winner. This was not surprising.
Judge Lindell Allen scored the bout 50-45, judge Clifford Brown 49-46 for Davis, while judge David Dunbar saw it 48-47 in favour of Young.
It was a victory that was more important from a Jamaican standpoint, by the fact that it ensured Team Jamaica secured the final spot to give them a three-to-one semi-final placing advantage in the series. The Canadian invaders led their Jamaican counterparts five three on placings entering the quarter-final stages of the contest, having their three seeded boxers making it through along with two others.
Judging from the displays by Young and Davis in their opening matches, it would have taken a smart performance as that given by Davis on the night to get past Young, who earlier blasted his way into the quarters with a messy technical knockout result against Ramel Lewis.
On the other hand, Davis escaped with a disputed split decision win against Team Canada’s Dave Leblond. So unconvincing was Davis’ performance on his opening night his opponent, who fought only once before and won, thought that he licked Davis and requested an inquiry from the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, who promptly turned down the suggestion.
Taking a hint from his under-par showing, Davis and his English trainer Wayne Sharpe went on a rehabilitation training camp and returned in an unbeatable shape.
Davis looked in supreme physical condition and fought likewise, to take out the best of the Canadian warriors from the contest to give Team Jamaica a stranglehold on retaining the Contender title which slipped through the cracks to the USA with DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley who defeated Richard “Boxer” Holmes in last year’s final.
Truth be told, Davis’ performance was by far the best displayed by any Jamaican Contender entrant for the seventh staging.
“I went into the fight with an open mind to fight and let the judges decide. Their decision could be in my favour; it also could be in Ryan Young’s favour. We have different portfolios. Mine is to fight the best I can. Their duty is to judge. Ryan Young is a good fighter, but I did my homework and I got the decision. I am in this for the long haul. Tonight is now behind me. There are still two more sets of fights to go — the semi-final and the final — so it is not over until it’s over,” said Davis.
“Preparation is a key part of boxing and that I will continue to do, to give of my best and let us see where it takes me,” he added in a post-fight interview.
Young was not dismayed by his loss. “I had an off night and to add to this, I was affected severely by the heat. However, take nothing from Davis. It was his night and he made the best of it. It happens to all of us in this business of boxing,” Young added.