Sports

Different approach, same result for aggressive J'cans in Wray & Nephew Contender

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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Richard “Frog” Holmes and Nico Yeyo might pretty much have similarly aggressive styles when it comes to boxing. However, both Jamaicans exhibited a different approach and came up with largely contrasting victories in their opening clashes of Season Eight Wray & Nephew Contender welterweight series.

Yeyo kind of just stuck to the evil that he knows. It worked. In typical no-holds-barred fashion, he launched into Mayron Zeferino and punched him out of the ring. Many at the CBA (Chinese Benevolent Association) did not even see the end, losing sight of the sensational victory because of the unexpected immediate onslaught.

“I told him to just attack him from the bell,” said Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke, Yeyo's coach and former national champion boxer.

“That's how he knows how to fight, I told him to just hit him hard and don't hold back anything.”

Yeyo had a point to prove. In last year's Wray & Nephew Contender Series, he was jeered by his local crowd and disqualified by the judges for constantly holding his opponent, Dave Leblond.

There was some amount of controversy this time around, as Yeyo caught his opponent with a punch to the face outside the ring.

“It was a combination of punches that reached him,” admitted Yeyo. “It was a combination of punches so I couldn't hold back.”

The previous fight, though featuring a lot of big punching, was not as dramatic and pictured a much changed Holmes.

In his first outings in the Wray & Nephew Contender Series, Holmes often raced at opponents, in typical Mike Tyson fashion, from the bell, to unload punches in a barrage. One way or the other, the end normally comes swiftly.

In recent years, however, Holmes has changed his approach and in this year's opening bout, the number one seed was quite measured on his way to securing a unanimous decision (48-47, 50-45, 48-47) over Lloyd Reyes, who was making his professional boxing debut.

“At this stage of the competition you need the rounds, I've learnt that over the years being in the Contender,” said Holmes, who made his debut in the popular competition back in 2009.

At one point though, 'Frog' looked his old self as he charged into a brawl.

“One of the times he got me aggravated because he did a jump punch, I don't think the referee saw it but he did a jump punch,” he explained. “That made me angry and start to go hard.”

The Jamaican, with a ring record of 17 wins and eight losses, is predicting some familiar action for the remainder of the competition.

“I expect to settle down in training, work on my fitness more, endurance, strength-wise and work on some more craft, stuff like that. I promise the next fight will be much more entertaining than the last one,” said Holmes.

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