Corley wins 2016 Wray and Nephew Contender Series
Sparks flew at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night as the curtain came down on the Wray and Nephew Welterweight Contender 2016 series.
The new champion is United States boxer DeMarcus 'Chop Chop'Corley, who won the title by defeating Jamaica's Richard 'Frog' Holmes by technical knockout (TKO) in the seventh round of a fight that was scheduled for 10 rounds.
In addition to the title belt, Corley took home the first prize of $2 million. Holmes, as runner-up, received $500,000; Michael Gardener won the $250,000 third prize; and Tsetsi Davis won $200,000 for fourth place.
In the two other professional fights on the card, middleweight Kemahl Russell scored a fourth-round TKO over Denny Dalton in a fight that was scheduled for eight rounds, and Michael Gardener finished his six-round fight against Anson Green in only 15 seconds, by knockout.
Corley, 42 and a seasoned campaigner, went into the ring with a 46-27-1 record, and his experience allowed him to fight off a stiff challenge from the 28-year-old Holmes, who exceeded expectations with a gutsy performance.
Holmes kept the fight close as they moved into the fourth round and became more aggressive. To everyone's surprise, a quick left jab and right uppercut combination shook Corley, and he went down for the count.
Later in this round, both men received cuts over the right eye, and for Holmes, this turned out to be crucial.
In the seventh round, Corley caught Holmes flush in the right eye with a straight left and this was the beginning of the end.
There was more blood, and Corley turned on the pressure. To give himself some breathing room, Holmes went down on one knee in his corner, and referee Eion Jardine started the mandatory eight count.
Carl Grant, who trains Holmes, gave a signal to the referee to end it, and he did. Corley therefore became the 2016 champion by TKO.