Jamaica, Canada clash in second Contender semi-final
Jamaica's Richard 'Frog' Holmes, 29, with a 15-6 record, and 35-year-old Phil Rose from Canada, who has a 8-4-1 record, will enter the ring at The Mico University College complex at approximately 9.30 tonight, to decide whether the Wray & Nephew Contender junior middleweight 2017 final on July 26 will be an all-Jamaica or a Canada versus Jamaica affair.
In what is expected to be an action-packed affair, they will clash over seven rounds in the second semi-final of the competition. In last week's semi-final, Sakima Mullings booked his spot in the final with a hard-fought split decision victory over Tsetsi Davis.
Before the main bout, there will be an entertaining fight over eight rounds between crowd favourite, American Demarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley and Jamaica's hard-hitting Ramel Lewis, in a junior welterweight contest.
Holmes reached the semis with victories over Canadians Mike Breton and Francesco Cotroni, while Rose had to get past Jamaican Ricardo Planter and fellow Canadian David Leblond. They were impressive in their victories and were both oozing confidence yesterday. Holmes told The Gleaner that he is in much better condition than when he fought Cotroni.
"My training has gone well, physically I am better prepared and even if the fight goes to seven rounds, I will not have a problem."
Asked if he had a specific plan for Rose, he said: "We have looked at tapes of his fights and we have a good idea of what he will do. We do not have one plan. We are expecting a good, hard fight and will decide what to do from round to round. We are ready."
Rose was also supremely confident. He has had over a month to prepare for this fight, and said yesterday that he had used his time wisely.
"I worked hard, did a lot of ring work with good sparring partners and I am ready." From the start of the competition he stated that he was confident that he would go all the way, and still feels the same way.
"We are going home with the title," is the word from his camp, and they see tonight's fight as just one more step in that direction. Both sides have predicted a hard fight, but are confident of victory.
The bout between Corley and Lewis is full of possibilities. The American is a master strategist and is very clever inside the ring. He is very experienced, and at age 43 has a record of 49 wins, 28 losses and one draw. Lewis, who is 29, has a 7-6 record. This will be a fight in which experience and ring guile will go up against raw power. If Lewis can catch Corley he will take him out, but Corley is as smart as they come, and will be very elusive. This will be an intriguing encounter.