Un­im­pres­sive vic­tory for Le­blond

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Leroy Brown Gleaner Writer

“IT WAS not pretty, but we won and will move on to the next round,” said a happy trainer, Pa­trice Trudeau, on Wed­nes­day night at the Chi­nese Benev­o­lent As­so­ci­a­tion au­di­to­rium, af­ter his boxer, Canada’s Dave Le­blond, won by a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion over Ja­maica’s Nico Yeyo to earn a place in the se­cond round of the Wray and Nephew 2017 ju­nior mid­dleweight com­pe­ti­tion.

In a con­test that saw a lot of hold­ing by both box­ers, and for which they were both pe­nalised by ref­eree Owen Nel­son, Le­blond had the edge and was ahead on two of the judge’s score­cards at the end. Judge Lin­dell Allen from Ja­maica 47-45, and Cana­dian judge Jeremy Hayes, 48-44, voted for Le­blond, while Ja­maican judge Clif­ford Brown scored the fight a draw at 46-46.

On April 19, Le­blond was de­feated by Ja­maican Tsetsi Davis in the third week of com­pe­ti­tion in a very close fight. Le­blond ap­pealed the de­ci­sion, but it was thrown out by the Ja­maica Box­ing Board. His Cana­dian col­league, Ryan Wag­ner, who should have fought Yeyo last Wed­nes­day, did not pass his med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion, how­ever, and look­ing for a sub­sti­tute for him, the pro­mot­ers gave Le­blond the nod.

Le­blond grasped the op­por­tu­nity and dug deep to fight off Yeyo, who was mak­ing his pro­fes­sional de­but and came away with the vic­tory.

UNPREDICTA­BILITY

Yeyo’s unpredicta­bility came to the fore on Wed­nes­day. He is a mer­cu­rial fighter who ei­ther fights bril­liantly or wildly, and he gave ex­am­ples of both on Wed­nes­day.

The con­test de­te­ri­o­rated af­ter the opening round as there was very lit­tle pos­i­tive ac­tion and the rest­less crowd booed at times to show their frus­tra­tion.

There was a lot of hold­ing by both men in the fi­nal round and Le­blond had one point de­ducted, and Yeyo, two, for this of­fence.

Yeyo said af­ter­wards that in the heat of the mo­ment, he had “de­vi­ated from the in­struc­tions given” by his cor­ner, and his trainer, Earl Foskin, was cer­tain that “if he had fol­lowed in­struc­tions, he would have won the fight”.

Their plans fell apart, how­ever, and Yeyo lost his first pro­fes­sional fight, while Le­blond gets an­other op­por­tu­nity to vie for the ti­tle and the top prize of $2 mil­lion or the run­ner-up prize of $500,000, third prize of $250,000, or fourth $200,000.

In am­a­teur ac­tion, it was also Ja­maica ver­sus Canada. In the first bout, Cana­dian Joshua Frazer de­feated Damion Williams from the Ja­maica De­fence Force on points, while in the se­cond bout, Ja­maica’s Janathan Han­son had a split­de­ci­sion vic­tory over Cana­dian Jake Daoust.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Dave Le­blond, win­ner of the sixth fight in the Wray & Nephew Con­tender se­ries. He de­feated Ja­maica’s Nico Yeyo.

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