Former champion Sakima Mullings marched into the final of the Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender Boxing Series for the second time in three seasons following a blow-filled split decision win over Tsetsi Davis in the first semi-final at the Mico University Grounds on Wednesday night.
In the under card pro-fight, Devon Moncriffe of Jamaica defeated Winston Matthews of Canada by a popular majority decision after all three judges — Brian Beauchamp, Clifford Brown and Ransford Burton — scored the bout in favour of the Jamaican.
Action continues at the same venue next week Wednesday when DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley faces Ramel Lewis in the pro-under card over five rounds.
In the night’s feature, Richard “Frog” Holmes, the Team Jamaica number two seed, comes up against Team Canada’s number one seed Phil Rose in the second semi-final over seven rounds.
On Wednesday night Mullings earned the decision to be the first to qualify for the 2017 Contender “Best Of The Best” series final for the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Junior Middleweight Contender.
This followed an action-filled seven rounds after which two of the three judges — Brian Beauchamp and Keith Brown — scored the bout 68-65 and 67-66, respectively, in favour of the former champion. The other judge, Lindell Allen, scored it 67- 66 in favour of Davis, who also lost to Mullings in the 2014 final by a unanimous decision.
The win increases Mullings’ ring record to 22 wins, three losses, and 14 knockouts from 25 fights.
It was action from the opening gong. And even with a feeling out period where the boxers started slowly in the first half of the round, the heat went up for the remainder as Mullings went for the body from early.
And from the end on the first round on, even though Davis showed a much improved approach to his craft, Mullings took control of the first four rounds by using his heavy body-punching technique to good effect.
Davis, who was in great shape for the first five rounds, came into his own for most of the fifth, which he took. However, from thence he failed to reproduce the mesmeric industry that he displayed in his quarter-final match against his Team Canada number one challenger Ryan Young, and he wilted for the next two rounds as Mullings stepped up his body blows.
“I felt great mentally and physically going into the fight. We were working assiduously in the gym as we knew that Davis was in great shape. We both have the same attributes, but what I used as a major tool was my desire and that iron will to overcome and succeed,” said Mullings.
Asked about the possibility of facing Richard Holmes in the final, Mullings responded: “Both he and Davis are my friends, so it gives me no pleasure to go into the ring to fight guys that I know. But in the end of it all, it is business as usual,” he added.
Davis, failing to accept the decision of the judges once again, declared in his post-match comments that he was finished competing in the Contender series.
“I done with Contender. Seriously to God, I done with it,” he said.