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Holmes' power too much for Canada's Reyes

Published:Friday | April 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMLeroy Brown/Gleaner Writer
Richard 'Frog' Holmes (right) throws an uppercut at his opponent, Canadian boxer Lloyd Reyes, at the Wray and Nephew contender series opener held at the Chinese Benevolent Association in St Andrew on Wednesday, April 4.

Two-time finalist in the Wray and Nephew Contender boxing series, Jamaica's Richard "Frog" Holmes, scored his first victory in the 2018 edition on Wednesday night, when he secured a unanimous points victory over Canadian Lloyd Reyes at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium. The two Jamaican judges, Ransford Burton and Lindell Allen had him slightly ahead 48-47, but Canadian judge Jeremy Hayes gave him all five rounds, for a 50-45 verdict.

Holmes, who went into the fight with a 16-8 record, was very confident that he would defeat the Canadian, who was making his professional boxing debut, after campaigning for many years as a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combatant. Reyes, who showed more than adequate boxing skills, used his jab effectively, but when the action was at close range, most of his punches on the inside were blocked by Holmes, and this could have been the reason that judge Hayes scored every round for Holmes.

The Jamaican defensive skills definitely played a great part in his victory, because he was able to constantly nullify the attacks launched by Reyes. Although he was wild at times, his solo jabs and combination punching served him well, and he was dominant until in the last round, in which he seemed fatigued. Asked by The Gleaner about his lacklustre performance in the fifth and final round of the fight, he said that he could not explain it.

"I felt good for four rounds and took it to him, but in the last round my energy level dropped and that made it close. I think that I won every round, but it is obvious that I have a lot of work to do before I fight next. I am fit, but there are some things that I have to work on. I guarantee a much better performance in my next fight," he added.

Reyes agreed with two of the judges that it was a very close fight, and said: "I am satisfied with the experience. It would have been nice to come away with a victory, but that did not happen."

He said he enjoyed his first performance as a boxer, and hoped that he will get more fights soon. He will be 31 on Sunday, and wanted to give himself an early birthday present but that did not happen.

One of the questions that he answered adequately, was whether he would be able to use only his fists in a fight. He did, but Holmes did complain about a knee coming into play in the third round. Referee Eion Jardine did not respond to Holmes, however, and the Jamaican, who seemed annoyed, launched a blistering attack that put his opponent on the defensive. He definitely seemed to be going for a knockout at that stage of the fight, but the bell intervened.

He continued on the warpath in the fourth round especially in the final minute, but Reyes got himself out of trouble on several occasions and weathered the storm. He had his best round in the fifth, but the Jamaican used his experience to navigate successfully to the end.

Competition continues next Wednesday, with Jamaica's Nico Yeyo going up against Canadian Mayron Vieferino.