Jamaica’s Tsetsi Davis, one of the favourites to take the 2016 version of the Wray and Nephew Contender title, had an easy first fight, on Wednesday night, as he completely overwhelmed his young American opponent Courtney McCleave in their five round fight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium. McCleave’s corner threw in the towel at two minutes and 10 seconds of round four. McCleave, who is 21 years old, and has been a professional boxer for only a year, showed his inexperience right from the start of the fight. He really looked like a boxer with only three previous fights, two of which he lost, and his record is now one victory and three losses. Davis, who now has a 15-4 record, had won the three previous rounds easily and seemed to be on the brink of a knockout victory when McCleave’s corner threw a towel in the ring to signal to referee Ransford Burton, that their fighter was in no condition to continue. It was the right decision for them to make, as McCleave would just have been beaten up badly and knocked out, if the fight had continued. Davis, who last fought on July 1 last year, when he dropped a majority decision to Richard Holmes, showed that he was in need of a fight. He stalked McCleave from the opening bell, but missed with several punches that were thrown to his opponent’s head. His timing was badly off and he would have been better served if he had tried to build up his attacks behind his jab. McCleave showed some boxing skills as he tried to score points with his jabs, but these were tentative and had no muscle behind them. A few landed to Davis’ head and body but had no visible effect on him and certainly did not dissuade him from coming in. After repeatedly missing with punches to the head, Davis changed strategy and made the body his target, and this paid dividends, as McCleave was definitely hurt a few times. He increased the pressure each round and after round three it was clear that the fight would not last much longer. Davis stepped up the pace at the start of this round, and his hooks to the body made McCleave wince in pain. His corner saw what was happening and correctly gave the signal to the referee that their fighter had had enough. Davis now moves on the quarter-finals, where he will certainly get better opposition. He has a lot of work to do in the meantime, however, as his conditioning seemed suspect. He is, however, one step closer to the first prize of $2-million and the title that has eluded him over the years. In the amateur bouts that preceded the main event, Raheim Pitter from Boys’ Town scored a first round technical knockout victory over Shaquille O’Neil from Sugar Olympic gym, while Joshua Forrest-Davidson from Seaview Gardens gym had a similar second round victory over Joel Wedderburn from the St. Thomas Boxing Club.
Team general manager Vince Pedersen said the players had a great time on the ice as well and was appreciative of the support from the community for the event.“It was fantastic tonight. This is the biggest turnout we’ve had in years and years. The kids loved it and the players had a great time. They worked up a sweat tonight with all these little guys,” he explained. “It means a lot. It should mean a lot to everybody on this team. The kids they come out more and more and they want to come out and watch. It gives us great support.”The Huskies will now turn their focus to their game tonight against the Beaverlodge Blades. Beaverlodge comes to Fort St. John still looking for their first win of the NWJHL season but assistant coach Todd Alexander is making sure the players aren’t taking the game for granted.- Advertisement -“You’ve still got to play the hockey game and anything can happen on any night. Sometimes you have a bad night and it doesn’t matter so that’s why we’ve got to play the games,” he said. Our focus is to start the game strong and to go from there and dictate the pace. We’re not worried too much about who we’re playing or where they are in the standings. You can even have a look back at Thursday night there and there was a huge upset in the NFL. It happens in all levels and all kinds of sport. That’s the beauty of sport.”Opening faceoff tonight at the North Peace Arena is slated for 8 p.m.