Tsetsi ‘Lights Out Davis’ put in a polished performance and well executed fight plan to eliminate Howard ‘Battle Sea Bomber’ Eastman from the 2014 edition of the Wray and Nephew Contender Series at the semi-final stage last Wednesday.
The fight took place at the new Wray & Nephew Coliseum in downtown Kingston, a shift from its usual location at the Chinese Benevolent Associaton (CBA).
Both men began the fight a little cagey, seeing what the other had to offer. Davis took the fight to his opponent late in the first round, having stayed safely out of the range of the jab of Eastman for the first two minutes. Getting in close, Davis was able to score with good combinations to the body and head to edge the first round.
Buoyed by the late burst in the first round, Davis went on the attack from the start of the second round, again going to the body and head to good effect, stunning Eastman who was not used to that sort of treatment throughout the competition. The punches to the head of Eastman by Davis were especially telling, taking the journeyman by surprise.
Round three was not as dominant for Davis who was still able to get the better of Eastman by staying away from the jab and closing in when possible to score to the body and head.
Round four was the most dramatic round. It started slowly but exploded to life and Davis managed to punch out the mouthpiece of Eastman in a bruising round that had the crowd out of their seats.
The new and bigger venue served to create an even better atmosphere for boxers and spectators alike and the fight was producing the kind of excitement a full house had come to expect.
The fifth round was not as fast paced as the rounds before as both fighters seemed to use the round as a rest round with three rounds left in the extended eight round contest. Davis did manage to do enough to secure the round as he fought smartly, ensuring that he did not get caught by the wily veteran, Eastman.
Round six was another slow round but as he had done in previous rounds, Davis went on the attack late in the round, doing enough to secure the points.
Sensing that he was ahead on all three score cards, Davis clearly set about managing the seventh round but with Eastman needing points had to deal with a greater level of aggression from the Guyanese. Davis may have been lucky to escape as he slipped right when Eastman was closing in and was able to get a breather while the canvas was being wiped clean of water.
The approach of Davis in the eighth round was surprising as it descended into an old-fashioned brawl with both men going toe-to-toe. No quarters were given and no quarters were taken as both went at it with gusto. Davis scored heavily again with his combinations, especially to the head, rocking Eastman and leaving him a little dazed. The crowd took to chanting “Tsetsi, Tsetsi” as the clock counted down on a very good and entertaining contest.
At the sound of the final bell, Davis raised his hands in triumph knowing that he had done enough to secure the bout. When the ring announcer went to the scorecards the results revealed a unanimous decision of 78-74/79-73/79-72; all in favour of Davis who will await the winner of semi-final two to know who he will fight in this year’s final for a chance at the $2 million first prize.