Hylton banking on experience
What promises to be an intriguing encounter will take place tonight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road, when promising young boxer Kemahl Russell, who is 25, takes on 34-year-old veteran, Kevin Hylton, in the third quarter-final match of the Wray & Nephew Middleweight Contender 2015 series.
Fight time is 9:30 p.m. before the main bout, there will be two amateur contests. The main bout will be broadcast live on TVJ.
Hylton is always a difficult opponent to cope with, as he is defensive-minded and tries the patience of his opponents. He has a 6-4 record with three knockouts to his credit and has been stopped once, by Tsetsi Davis, who is already in the semi-finals of this year's competition.
He likes to stay close to his opponent, shows a tight defence, and then from time to time he explodes with a right hook or an overhand right to the head that makes use of the surprise element.
One recalls, for example, when he came out of a defensive posture to knock out Prince Lee Isidore in the third round of their Contender fight last year.
He reached the quarter-finals this year with a decision over Edmund DeCLou, whom he surprised by moving quickly from defence to offence and scoring with hooks to the head.
Russell will have to fight a smart fight to win. He has had only four fights, winning three inside the distance. But his maturity inside the ring is obvious. He is a disciplined fighter, and this will serve him in good stead.
Hylton will set traps for him and Russell will have to think ahead to nullify their effect. He told The Gleaner yesterday that the jab will be his chief weapon and that he has to get the maximum effect when he throws them, so as to steadily build up points. Russell admits to being wary of his opponent, but is confident that he has enough weapons.
Hylton has been oozing confidence and believes that his experience will serve him in good stead tonight. He said yesterday that he is well prepared.
"Feels real good and is going to give a very good performance," he said.
The winner will qualify for the semi-finals and closer to the first prize of $2 million. The runner-up will take home $500,000; third place $250,000; and fourth place $200,000.