Holmes faces American as Contender 2016 begins
Jamaica's Richard "Frog" Holmes, 28, one of the leading boxers on the Caribbean team, will take on 19-year old Xzaviar Ford from North Carolina, USA, in the opening salvo of the Wray and Nephew Contender 2016 boxing series at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, Old Hope Road tonight. The made for television series will be broadcast live, starting at 9 p.m. by Television Jamaica (TVJ).
Now in its sixth season, the series has proven to be very popular in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and this year it will be eight boxers from Jamaica (five), Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana one each, going up against eight boxers from the USA (seven) and the Bahamas. Competition this year will be in the welterweight division.
Holmes goes into the ring tonight with a record of 10 wins and five losses, and it is of note that he was the runner-up last year when it was a middleweight contest, with the upper weight limit being 160 pounds. He lost to Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell.
When asked about his weight by the Gleaner yesterday, Holmes said that he has had no problem moving down to the welterweight division where the limit is 147 pounds, because his normal weight is in the region of 152 pounds.
Ford, his opponent, has only four fights, with one victory and three defeats, but he said that his plan is to use his speed to good advantage against Holmes.
The bout will be over five rounds, which is change from previous years, when the preliminaries were fought over six rounds. The semi-finals will be over seven rounds, but the final will remain as a 10-rounder.
The winner of the series will take home $2-million, runner-up $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.