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Jab lovers Holmes, Richmond to stick it out in Wray & Nephew Contender Series

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeroy Brown

There is a change in tonight's quarter-finals clash of the Wray & Nephew Middleweight Contender 2015 Series.

The clash between Devon Moncriffe and Jermaine Bowen has been postponed because Bowen was injured in training last week.

It will instead be Jamaica's Richard Holmes versus Guyana's Derick Richmond over six rounds at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, scheduled to begin at 9:30.

This promises to be a very competitive bout, as the boxers are evenly matched. They reached the quarter-finals with points victories, Holmes against Charwin Estwick, and Richmond over Gregory Miller.

Holmes did not look sharp in his fight against Estwick. He used jabs as his primary offensive weapon, but did not put his punches together. He also repeatedly got caught up in clinches by his defence-minded opponent and could not launch any sustained attack.

not his best fight

He admitted after the fight that it was not one of his best performances, but vowed to "do better next time".

That time is now, and Holmes believes he is ready.

"I feel great," he told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday. "I feel very confident that I'm going to win.

"I'm not under any pressure because I know I'm going to win," he reiterated.

Holmes noted that he had witnessed Richmond in action several times before.

"I've seen him fight before ... I'm fully aware of how to fight him, and I figure I know how to get to him.

"I'm going to start out and try to find my range, and whenever I find my range, I'm going to work from there. In the last fight I didn't work off my fight plan, so this time I'm going to work off my plan," Holmes said.

Richmond, too, faced an opponent who started the fight in a survival mode. He tried to get his opponent to box, but Miller had his mind made up and his dominant tactic was to be defensive and not run the risk of getting hurt.

Despite the urgings of the referee, Miller hugged his way to the end and Richmond walked away with a unanimous decision.

He will be facing a much different opponent tonight, because Holmes is aggressive and likes to take the fight to his opponent. He uses the jab as his chief offensive weapon and can also get some good combinations together so as to unsettle his opponent.

Richmond showed against Miller that he, too, likes to attack, and his jabs are his chief points winners. It could therefore be a battle of the jab tonight.

Whichever way it turns out, Richmond reckons "it's going to be one of the best fights".

southpaw advantage

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, he said: "Holmes is a good guy ... I think we have the same knockout record."

While showing respect to his opponent, Richmond feels he can make an advantage for himself.

"The last fight I watched with him, I think Estwick had him real bad.

"I'm a southpaw, and I think I'll get him confused; because you don't have a lot of southpaws in Jamaica, my style is a little different ."

He added: "I'm going to box Holmes ... I'm not looking for a knockout, but if it comes, I'll take it."

There will be two more quarter-final bouts, after which the four boxers remaining will do battle over eight rounds in the semi-finals. The final bout will be over 10 rounds.

In addition to the 'Wray & Nephew Contender' title, the boxers will share nearly $3 million in prize money. The winner takes home $2 million, the runner-up $500,000, third $250,000, and fourth $200,000.