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Mullings vows to finish 'business' - But Holmes 'ready' for challenge

Published:Wednesday | May 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Sakima Mullings (left) and Richard Holmes face off ahead of their Wray & Nephew Contender semi-final showdown. - Contributed

Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer

When Richard Holmes looks across the ring tonight as he makes a bid for a semi-final spot in the Wray & Nephew Welterweight Contender 2014 series, he will see the imposing figure of the No. 1 seed, Sakima Mullings, staring at him.

That is the hurdle that he will have to get over at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, if he is to put himself in the running for one of the major money prizes. The action starts at 8:30 p.m. with two amateur bouts. The main bout, which will be broadcast live on TVJ, is set for a 9:30 start.

Mullings, who is the World Boxing Council CABOFE welterweight champion, goes into tonight's encounter with a record of 13 wins and one loss, while Holmes has five victories, including three knockouts, and three losses.

Both men moved through the preliminaries with comfortable victories, Mullings with a fourth-round knockout victory over Revlon Lake, while Holmes defeated Gladwin Dorway on points.

Tonight's encounter promises to be an exciting one. Both men are usually slow starters, who only really get going after a few warm-up rounds. If the fight goes past four rounds, the final two will be action packed.

harder puncher

Mullings is the harder puncher, with eight knockouts in his 13 victories. His usual plan is to attack the body, wear his opponent down and then go to the head for a knockout. That will quite likely be the plan of action for the man brimming with confidence.

"Right now I don't see Holmes or any boxer as real competition," said Mullings. "In Season One of Contender, I had an early exit and I'm back here because I have some unfinished business, and that's to win the Contender belt."

Holmes moves a lot, especially in the early rounds, and his best bet tonight will be to try to beat Mullings to the punch and build up an early lead. He also has to be at his physical best because if he fades in the later rounds, he will be at risk against an opponent who hits harder as the fight progresses.

Though projecting a finals matchup against Mullings, Holmes says he is "ready" for battle.

"I'm looking forward to the match on Wednesday. I always envisioned me and Sakima in the finals, so it's unfortunate that we're fighting so early in the competition," he said. "But I've been training hard since my first fight and I'm ready and waiting."

The final four boxers in the competition will share the nearly $3-million prize money. The winner will take home $2 million, second place $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.