I'm Jamaica's best-conditioned boxer - Mullings
Sakima 'The Mauler' Mullings has said that his win over Canadian Larone 'Jet' Whyte in the Wray and Nephew Contender Series on Wednesday night shows that he is Jamaica's best-conditioned boxer.
Mullings, who many see as Jamaica's best chance of winning this year, secured a split judges' decision win to advance to the semi-final of the competition. This was with a performance that made spectators at the Chinese Benevolent Association Auditorium, which was filled to capacity, stay back after the bout to cheer and sing the Jamaican national anthem.
"Listen! Sakima Mullings is the most supreme conditioned boxer in Jamaica, no ifs, ands, or buts about it," Mullings said.
Mullings was dominant in the first two rounds, attacking from the first bell, blocking and countering for most of Whyte's shots, while offering combinations of his own. He said that his strategy was to stay away from the ropes and keep Whyte in the centre of the ring.
"We know that he's (Whyte) slick. He's tough and he's short on the inside," Mullings said. "We saw that he would be able to get off short, clean shots on the inside with Devon Moncrieffe (Whyte's previous opponent), and he punched a combination on the inside, but that's Devon Moncrieffe, so we wanted to keep him in the centre."
Whyte, however, showed resilience throughout and battled hard in the third and fourth rounds to make the contest close. Mullings stamped his authority on the bout once more in the fifth round and did well to nullify Whyte, who was looking for the right moment to throw an uppercut, which his corner had been calling for. Whyte said that he fought a good fight but said that he could and should have done more in the five rounds.
"I did good, but I had more," he said. "I was just trying to box and clip with some clip shots, but I should've made it a rougher, tougher fight and bring him to the deep waters, but I was trying to look clean and box with him a little bit. I shoulda' took it to him."
He said that Mullings was one of the harder opponents he had faced in his career and he hopes that the two can have a rematch some day.
Mullings said that his coaching team had told him not to play around like he said he did in the first stage against Winston Matthews, and although he was not specifically looking to knock out Whyte, he was waiting for the right opportunity.
"He's a tough opponent, but I was able to squeeze it (the win) out because of my experience," Mullings said. "My team sat me down and talked to me about the clowning and the showboating. We wanted to lead from the beginning. We didn't want to play catch-up. If the knockout was there, we were going to take it, but we weren't going to force it.
Mullings' record now moves to 21 wins (14 knockouts), 3 losses, and 0 draws, while Whyte's now stands at 3 wins (2 knockouts) and 1 loss.