Photo: Sakima Mullings lands a punch on Tsetsi Davis
It took Sakima “Mr. Smooth” Mullings one more round than predicted to get the better of Tsetsi “Lights Out” Davis but in the end he prevailed by a TKO in a bruising and exciting contest to determine the winner in the fourth edition of the Wray and Nephew Contender boxing series.
The fight to determine the best Welterweight in the country took place in front of thousands of fans inside the National Indoor Sports Centre, who were entertained from round one of a most enthralling boxing match.
Both fighters took about a minute to feel each other out in round one before the fight exploded into action and from then on it was all out action as both men tried to overpower the other. It was toe to toe for the rest of the round and for the next three rounds as neither fighter gave an inch.
Both men used combinations to the body and head to good effect as the slugfest drew blood in round four when Davis was cut over the left eye. Mullings sensed an opportunity to go for the kill but Davis was able to withstand the pressure and ended the round strongly.
In any good contest there is usually a moment of controversy and that came in round five. Davis thought he had knocked down Mullings, but it was ruled a slip by the referee. Davis headed to the neutral corner and turned his back on both his opponent and the official. The referee indicated that he should resume the contest but he waved him away and the referee, according to the rules, ended the contest in favour of Mullings. Davis, his corner and the fans all protested and after some consultations the fight resumed.
Round six belonged to Mullings who wore down his opponent with solid punches to the body and head. The power of the overwhelming favourite was coming to bear. But Davis never gave up and fought hard, giving almost as good as he got.
But Mullings was clearly a man on a mission and in round seven Davis had no answer to the power packed punches that rained all over his body and to his head. Mullings was firing punches at will to the head of Davis when his corner stepped in to stop the fight.
Mullings raised his hands in celebration but not long after lay sprawled on the canvas, clearly exhausted after what was a physically demanding contest.
For Mullings it was finally mission complete while for Davis it was another near miss at a title he craved.