Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Contender opening bout ends in 55 seconds

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:00 AMLeroy Brown
Jamaica's Richard Holmes (left) stalking his opponent, American Xzaviar Ford, in the opening minute of the Contender bout on Wednesday night.
American Xzaviar Ford in obvious pain early in the Contender bout on Wednesday night.
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There was an eerie silence and then disbelief at the Chinese Benevolent Association last Wednesday night, when the first fight in the 2016 Contender series between Richard 'Frog' Holmes and American Xzaviar Ford ended after only 55 seconds.

Holmes was declared the winner by technical knockout (TKO), after Ford tore a tendon in his right shoulder and could not continue.

After seeing two amateur bouts that ended by way of first-round knockouts, the large and enthusiastic crowd settled down for what was expected to be an exciting five-round bout between 19-year-old Ford, who is from North Carolina, USA, and Jamaica's Holmes.

Holmes, who is 28, was posted favourite by the crowd, because he had a 10-5 record as opposed to that of Ford, who had one win and three losses going into the fight. Holmes was also runner-up in the competition last year as a middleweight.

Ford started aggressively, throwing jabs and moving in and out quickly, in an effort to get himself on the scorecards of the judges early. He landed a few good jabs to Holmes' body and head, and gave the fans an early promise of an exciting fight.

That was not to be, however, because while engaging in an exchange, Ford stopped abruptly, dropped his right shoulder and grimaced. Obviously in great pain, he was taken over to a neutral corner for an assessment by ring physician Dr AndrÈ McDonald, who advised referee Eion Jardine that the fight had to be stopped because Ford was in no condition to continue.

Ford was then taken to his dressing room, where he was treated and then taken by ambulance to hospital. An MRI Wednesday night revealed that he had suffered a torn tendon in his right shoulder.

He and his trainer Chris Joy left Jamaica yesterday for North Carolina.

DISAPPOINTED

Holmes told The Gleaner afterwards that he was very disappointed at the way the fight ended. He said that he was very confident of victory and was sorry that his opponent had been injured and unable to continue.

"I wanted a big [win] tonight to take me into the quarter finals, but unfortunately, that did not happen. I just have to move on," he added.

In the amateur bouts on the card, Joel Wedderburn from the St Thomas Boxing Club scored a first-round TKO victory over Iroyno Cleary from the Heavy Metal gym, while Samuel Grant from Sugar Knockout Gym knocked out Heavy Metal gym's AndrÈ Sloley, also in the first round.