Salas best in the world - Contender champ targets global success
Nineteen-year-old Wray & Nephew Contender champion Ricardo 'Magic Man' Salas says that he is determined to build on his success after he out-boxed Richard 'Frog' Holmes to become the youngest winner of the tournament.
The Mexico-born Canadian sent the Jamaican to the canvas twice in an exciting final at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night, improving his professional record to 11 wins and one loss from his 12 fights, with nine of those coming by knockout.
Salas told The Gleaner that his dream is to become the best in the world, pointing out that the Contender series has been a good platform on which he intends to build.
"It (final) was a very complicated fight, but thanks to God, I came here prepared and was able to do it. I know he (Holmes) is a good fighter, so I came here prepared to fight him as the boxer he is," Salas said through a translator.
"This is a good platform, and I want to build on it. The tournament had a lot of good fighters. It was a good competition, and I was very happy to come here and win and move forward. Like any other boxer, my dream is to become the best in the world, and I will make this dream a reality," Salas added.
Holmes, who was losing in the final for the third time, though disappointed, was proud of his performance on the night.
"I'm disappointed because I have worked so hard, and I thought I had it in my pocket, but it slipped out. But I have to give it to the kid (Salas). He fought strong, just as how I fought strong. I raise my hat to him and congratulate him," Holmes commented.
Jamaican judges Laurence Neufville and Clifford Brown scored the bout 96-93 and 95-93, respectively, while Canadian David Dunbar had 96-92 on his scorecard.
It was a fight fitting for the final. Both fighters started strong, and after an equally contested first round, Salas came out and floored Holmes in the second round, but the Jamaican showed his resolve with a number of clean strikes of his own.
Both fighters gave as good as they got in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, with Holmes appearing to have the edge at that stage.
However, after that, it was Salas who brought the fight to Holmes, who stood firm but was on the defensive for most of the following three rounds.
Sensing that he needed to win the last two rounds, Holmes tried to rally in the ninth round, but Salas kept on the attack and again sent the Jamaican stumbling to the canvas for a second time, but again, Holmes took the mandatory eight count.
In the final round of the night, Holmes rallied well, but Salas gave him little chance and went on to win the fight by unanimous decision.
Salas received $2 million, Holmes, $500,000; with third-place finisher Devon Moncreiffe winning $250,000; and the fourth placed Dave Leblond, $200,000.
In the main preliminary bout, Sakima Mullings took his record to 25-3 rÈsumÈ, after his opponent Alejandro Hernandez, threw in the towel after the first round.