Detroit, Michigan (June 5, 2023) — It seemed as though from the onset, Saturday night (6/3) would be a memorable one for WENDY “HAITIAN FIRE” TOUSSAINT (now 14-2 6KO’s) in Detroit. Toussaint squared up with local fan favorite and undefeated super welterweight ARDREAL “BOSSMAN” HOLMES JR. (Now 14-0 5KO’s) for the vacant IBF-USBA Super Welterweight Title at Little Caesars Arena on DAZN. The Holmes-Toussaint co-feature was in support of the CLARESSA SHIELDS-MARICELA CORNEJO undisputed super middleweight main event.
As the opening bell rang, both Toussaint and Holmes worked to find their range and footing. In the fourth round, as Toussaint was working Holmes against the ropes, Holmes ducked to avoid a hook while Toussaint responded with a chopping right hand. Referee Gerard White questionably stopped the action and inexplicably deducted a point from Toussaint for hitting to the back of the head, which would later turn out to be pivotal in the decision.
Things began to turn up a notch heading into the fifth round as Toussaint came out with vengeance, pressuring Holmes, who spent much of the fight against the ropes. In the sixth and seventh rounds, Holmes continued to backpedal, pawing with his lead left hand, as Toussaint applied the pressure, putting punches together to both the body and the head. By the 8th Toussaint was controlling both the fight and pressing the action. Holmes corner was imploring Holmes to fight, rightfully advising him he needed a knockout to win. In the 8th, Holmes, came out and met Toussaint at center of the ring when a vicious clash of heads opened a gash across Toussaint’s forehead causing a waterfall of blood that splattered the blue canvas, red.
In spite of the ringside doctor allowing Toussaint to continue and Toussaint’s desire to have the fight continue feeling he was en route to a stoppage victory, the referee was clearly concerned about the cut. The bout was allowed to briefly resume as Toussaint and Holmes unleashed a barrage of punches as blood sprayed. Referee Gerard White stepped in roughly seconds later and stopped the fight due to the cut caused by the accidental head butt.
With the stoppage happening after 4 full rounds, and the head butt being ruled accidental, the fight went to the scorecards. The judges ruled in favor of Holmes by Technical Split Decision (76-75 Holmes, 77-74 Holmes, 77-74 Toussaint), with the pivotal 4th round point deduction changing the fight from a technical draw to a technical split decision. After the scores were read, the entirety of Little Caesars Arena began to loudly boo the victory being awarded to their own hometown favorite, not being shy about how they felt about the highly questionable decision.
Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the decision, “We hope the USBA will order an immediate rematch and we will take the necessary steps to see that through. Wendy deserved the win last night in Detroit. It’s simple as that. It is rare to see hometown arena boo a decision against a hometown fighter – that’s all you need to know about the decision, and kudos to the Detroit fans. We are proud of the effort Wendy put forth. He made the fight, brought the action, controlled the tempo and exhibited a warrior mentality, begging the ref to continue the fight through a nasty cut, with his own blood pouring down his face. We feel Wendy should have been declared the winner and will look into all options available to us for him.”