Caribbean Contender clash

May 18, 2016

Jamaica's Holmes faces Trinidad & Tobago's Azore

It will be battle of Caribbean boxers in the Wray and Nephew Contender series tonight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road, when Jamaica's Richard Holmes takes on Iwan Azore from Trinidad and Tobago, at 9.30 pm, in the third quarter-final bout in the competition.

Holmes should have fought American Rashid Stevens, who defeated Jamaica's Camion Goldson in the preliminaries, but the promoters received news last weekend that Stevens was ill and could not fight tonight. They had to therefore bring in Azore as a replacement.

Azore was an original entrant in the competition, but lost his first fight to Demarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley in the second week of competition, on March 16. He lost by unanimous decision then, and questioned the decision to make him fight Corley, who is the No. 1 seeded boxer in the competition, so early. The Stevens illness has given him a second chance, however, one he said yesterday, he "will be grasping with both hands."

Azore is an experienced boxer and goes into battle tonight with a 16- 6-2 record. He is 34, has been boxing as a professional since 2004 and is a southpaw. Against Corley he showed good boxing skills, but his opponent outsmarted him and gave him very few opportunities to launch an attack. He has only six knockout victories, so his boxing skills will be his main weapons tonight.

suffered an injury

Holmes, who has 11 wins and five losses, had a very short first fight in the preliminaries, as his opponent Xzavier Ford suffered an injury to his shoulder only 55 seconds into the fight and could not continue. Holmes had hoped to get some well-needed ring work in that fight, but it was not to be, and he is clearly in need of competition. How this plays out tonight could well determine the outcome of the fight.

Holmes stated emphatically yesterday, that he is in good physical condition, and that his fitness will not be a problem.

"I have been working hard, my stamina is good, and all I have to do now is to execute" he told STAR Sports.

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