Mullings tops Davis in Contender thriller
Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
In what was easily the most exciting contest in the four-year history of the Wray and Nephew Contender series, 31-year-old Sakima Mullings won the Welterweight 2014 version of the title, with a seventh round technical knockout victory over 37-year-old Tsetsi Davis, in a bruising and action-packed thriller at the National Indoor Sports Centre, last Wednesday night.
The end came just one second before the end of round seven, when one of the coaches from the Davis camp, jumped into the ring and called a halt to the fight. Davis was then under siege and trying gamely to fight back, as Mullings threw a barrage of punches at him, with many finding the mark.
It is interesting to note that at the end of round six, Davis was ahead by two points on one scorecard, while the other two judges had the contest even at that time.
In the semi-final bout, Jamaica's Richard Holmes defeated Gladwin Dorway from Guyana.
In the feature attraction, it was blazing action all the way from two well prepared gladiators, and for most of the fight, the jam-packed arena rocked to the cheers of the sold out crowd.
Mullings was able to keep his pre-fight boast of ending the fight inside the distance, but it was not a walk in the park for him. He hurt Davis a few times, but Davis on the other hand gave the Mullings camp cause for concern as he made him flinch from well formulated attacks that ended with shots to the head and body.
The few quiet moments in the fight were in the first two minutes, as both boxers tried to find their range, but going into the third minute, the pattern changed abruptly, and it was non-stop action afterwards. Davis won the first round, but Mullings came back to take the second and third.
Davis tried briefly to keep the action at long range in the fourth, but Mullings was able to seduce him into a brawl. For the next two rounds there were numerous little battles, as each man set himself up to finally win the war, and the crowd loved what was happening.
There was some added drama in round five. Both men were in attacking mode, and after a brisk exchange in a neutral corner, Mullings fell into the ropes and most people, including Davis, believed it was a knockdown. Davis was sent into the opposite neutral corner by referee Eion Jardine, who then ruled that it was not a knockdown.
Davis had his back to the referee at this time and when approached by him to resume fighting, there seemed to be a miscommunication. The referee, believing that Davis was not willing to resume, gave the signal that he was ending the fight. Davis, now fully realising what was happening, protested and showed that he was ready and willing to resume.
The referee signalled both men to stay in the neutral corner, and had a brief discussion with the ring inspector, after which, to everyone's satisfaction, including Mullings, he signalled that the fight would continue.
The sixth round was a bruising affair, as both men threw caution to the wind, and this spilled over into the seventh. Davis started to bleed from a cut over the right eye from a clash of heads and the excitement rose to fever pitch.
With only one second left in the round, one of the Davis trainers, Kingsley Fagan, stepped into the ring, hugged his fighter and took him back to his corner.