Corley, Holmes for Contender final
The night that boxing fans have been waiting for is finally here. Tonight, the final of the 2016 Wray and Nephew Contender series will take place at the National Indoor Sports Centre at Independence Park in St Andrew, with DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley, an outstanding boxer from the USA, and Jamaica's Richard 'Frog' Holmes facing off for the title.
The fight card starts at 7:30 p.m. and the main bout will be broadcast live at 9:30 p.m. by TVJ.
There will be two other professional bouts on the programme. Jamaica's Kemahl Russell, who was last year's champion, will go up against Denny Dalton from Guyana over eight rounds; and another Jamaican, Michael 'Wasp' Gardener, will take on Guyanese boxer Anson Green over six rounds.
The finalists will be vying for the top prize of $2 million and the Welterweight Contender 2016 belt. The runner-up will receive $500,000, the third-place boxer will take home $250,000, and fourth place $200,000.
Since there can be no box-off for third and fourth places because Tsetsi Davis is still recovering from the severe cut over his left eye that aborted his semi-final against Holmes, third place will go to the semi-finalist who lost to whoever is crowned the champion.
Both camps have been expressing confidence at the outcome of the fight, and many boxing fans have been making Corley the favourite because of his outstanding record and the skills he has shown so far in the competition.
Corley boasts a record of 46 victories, 27 losses, and one draw, and he has been inside the ring with many world-class boxers, including Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, and Zab Judah. He lost to those boxers, but there is no doubt as to his capabilities.
The 42-year-old is a smart boxer, and he has shown in the competition so far that he does just what is necessary to win. He is not only skillful, however, but as shown in his bout against Revlon Lake, he also has power. In that quarter-final bout, he knocked out Lake in 55 seconds.
At a press conference last Thursday night, he said that he is surprised at what he can still do in the ring, and then, speaking directly to Holmes, he said: "I will be using all my skills to beat you. You will be playing checkers and I will be playing chess. It will not be easy, but I am going to beat you."
Holmes, who is 28 and has a 13-5 record, made it clear that he is not intimidated by his opponent. In his response, he said: "I am ready. You have speed and movement, and it will be a very hard fight, but I am going to win."