Davis sets sights on Contender title after reaching final four
Tsetsi 'Lights Out' Davis earned himself a semi-final spot in the 'Wray and Nephew Contender' competition on Wednesday night when he produced a workmanlike performance to defeat Guyanese boxer Charwin Estwick by unanimous decision over five rounds at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium.
The three judges - Lindell Allen, Ransford Burton and Laurence Neufville - all scored the fight 49-46.
Davis has now made sure that he will take home some of the prize money on offer to the boxers who finish in the top four of the competition. The winner will take home $2 million, the runner-up $500,000, third place $250,000, and fourth place $200,000, so even if Davis does not win another fight, he is guaranteed either the third or fourth-place prize for reaching the semis.
Although Davis went into the fight with an impressive 15-5 record, the big question was whether he would be able to cope with the unorthodox style of Estwick, who created a huge upset in his preliminary encounter by sending home American Daniel Powell, who was 11-0 when they met on April 27.
Estwick undoubtedly had the same tactics that he used against Powell in mind as the bout started, and he used it successfully for three minutes. The pattern was to hit, run and then hold, and it worked because he won the first round.
No doubt, remembering that the fight was only over five rounds, Davis adjusted his tactics quickly and got busy. He started throwing jabs to the body and head, and a couple of hooks to the head and then two more to the body brought him into the picture decisively. This made Estwick aware that he had a battle on his hands.
A few quick flurries from Estwick at the start of round three signalled that he was not going away, but with his confidence high and the crowd behind him, Davis stepped up the pace. He missed with a few, but landed enough telling blows to take this round.
There was no doubt from this stage on as to who the winner would be. Estwick had to switch from attack to defence, and by the end of round four, it was obvious that he had gone into survival mode. Davis tried to win by a knockout, but Estwick's defensive work was excellent and he rode the storm to the end.
GEARING UP FOR BATTLE
Davis told The Gleaner after the fight that he was pleased with his performance but would be going right back into the gym next week.
"I have been to the finals twice before and lost and I do not want that to happen again. The only thing that I have in mind now is to win. There are two more fights to the title and I plan to win them both. I can hardly wait for the next fight. I am ready to go now," he said.
Next week, Jamaica's Richard Holmes will take on slick American Rashid Stevens in the third quarter-final bout, and this should be a close hard-fought contest.