Monday 9 December, 2019

Holmes, Leblond face off in Contender Series semis on Wednesday

Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes (left) and Dave Leblond.

Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes (left) and Dave Leblond.

Desperately seeking to be crowned champion of the 2018 Wray & Nephew Contender, Team Jamaica’s Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes has expressed much confidence in beating Team Canada’s Dave Leblond in their welterweight semi-finals clash at Chinese Benevolent Association on Wednesday.

The fight, to be carried live on TVJ, is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.

“I’ve been in the series for over seven years, I’ve been to the finals two times, I’ve been to the semi-finals. This is my last year in the Contender and I’ve to leave with a bang. I really deserve a title to be in the series so long,” said Holmes.

“I’m really hungry for this. For him this represents a trip to come to Jamaica to fight. Winning the Contender title I don’t know that it'll mean a lot to him, but it’ll mean a lot more to me. For me, this competition means a lot, it’s a bigger deal.

“I could say that I was 2018 Contender champion, to know that I have that, Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes as the Wray & Nephew Contender champion,” added the 31-year-old.

Holmes is expected to be involved in another close and exciting battle with Leblond as both fighters are very aggressive, pack a punch and can take a few.

The Jamaican, who survived a tough quarter-final against Larone White, which he won by unanimous decision, is vastly more experienced than his opponent. Holmes has fought 25 times as a professional, winning 17, eight by way of a knockout. By contrast, Leblond has fought eight times, winning four times with one knockout. The Team Canada fighter also suffered four knockouts in his four losses.

Despite that, Leblon’s manager, Samuel Planter, says he’s ‘ready’.

“He’s ready for anyone, anyone who wants to fight him he’s ready,” interpreted Planter for his 24-year-old French-speaking Quebec native.

“We’re sure that Dave is going to get to the final. He respects every opponent and Dave is ready. He’s in the best shape of his life, he’s ready, you’ll see,” reinforced Planter.

Holmes thinks Leblond is good, but incapable of stopping him.

“He’s a good fighter, he’s alright, he can do his thing. But one of the thing is he’s never fought a guy like me,” he said.

“I’m going to win and I think it’ll open other opportunities for me to get other fights as well. That’s why this Contender means so much for me because when I win it’s going to put me out there more. Kemahl Russell did it, Sakima did it,” Holmes added, pointing to Wray & Nephew Contender champions who have moved into boxing’s mainstream.

Another plus is a multi-fight contract in Canada, to which Holmes attested.

“Winning this series you’ve a three-fight contract, so I know that if I win I’ve those three fights. I’ve even got an offer to go to the US and fight, so winning the Contender would mean so much,” he said.

“I’m really focused, I’m really confident in myself, confident in my skills, confident in my team, confident in my sponsors Life Fitness and New Era Fencing, so I’m very confident. I’ve to just go out there and win and achieve what I want to achieve.”

The second semi-final takes place next week Wednesday, July 11, with the impressive Donovan ‘Concrete’ Moncriffe battling the exciting 20-year-old, Ricardo ‘Magic Man’ Salas.  The final is slated for Wednesday, July 18.

The winner will, in addition to the title and belt, take home a purse of $2 million. The second-place boxer will earn $500,000, third $250,000 and fourth $200,000.

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