Russell turns on the power
There were boos and cheers at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Wednesday night as Kemahl Russell, one of the newcomers to the Wray and Nephew Contender series, gave a sparkling performance to completely overwhelm his opponent, Kevin 'Bus Boy' Hylton, and win himself a semi-final spot in the competition.
Hylton did not answer the bell for the fifth round after taking a beating in the fourth, so the result was a fifth-round technical knockout. The crowd loved every minute of what was the best fight in the series so far this year.
Russell said he owed his fine victory to his preparation for the bout.
"I trained very hard for this fight," he said after his impressive win.
There was some uncertainty in the minds of spectators as to what to expect before the fight started because Hylton, who has an awkward style and uses defensive tactics as one of his strengths, was expected to test Russell. When Hylton, a 35- year-old Contender regular with a 6-4 record, was introduced, the public made its sentiments known by greeting him with boos, while cheers greeted the 25-year-old Russell.
Russell, well prepared by his trainer, Carlton Carew, established his supremacy very early. He was on the mark immediately the fight started, with pin-pointed jabs that repeatedly snapped back the head of his opponent, and one could see the effect of these jabs on Hylton's face very quickly.
He stepped up the pace in the second round, adding hooks to the body and head to his repertoire, and when Hylton tried to use his turtle-shell defence to ward off the attacks, he threw uppercuts under his guard that jolted him. At the end of the round it was clear that the jabs were doing exactly what was intended as Hylton's right eye started to swell.
Russell let loose in the third round and threw everything at Hylton. There were hooks to the body when Hylton backed to the ropes to take a breather, and when he tucked his head behind his gloves to avoid jabs, he was rocked repeatedly by savage uppercuts. Hylton went down in this round after being hit by a barrage of punches and took a mandatory eight count.
At this stage of the fight, it was clear that it would not go the distance, and as if to ensure that the time was right, Russell launched another spirited attack. It came as no surprise when Hylton did not come out for the fifth round, and a roar went up from the large crowd when referee Eion Jardine signalled that it was all over.
In two entertaining amateur bouts, Donald Patrick from the Jamaica Defence Force defeated Seantonie Johnson of the St Thomas Boxing Club and another JDF boxer, Patrick Sahadeo, gained a majority decision over Sugar Olympic's Rowan Stewart.