Wray and Nephew’s popular Contender series, will start on Wednesday, with the first of three road shows, which the promoters have stated will be an exciting build-up to the start of the regular series which kicks off on Wednesday, April 5 at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road in Kingston.
The first of the road shows will see veteran boxer Anthony Osbourne, who has appeared in the Contender series on a couple of occasions, going up against Patrick Miller, who himself is a Contender “graduate”, at Colonel’S Cove in Morant Bay. The second show will take place at Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Friday, March 10, featuring Kevin ‘Bus Boy’ Hylton and Glenroy ‘Bumpy’ Beckford, and the third show on Friday March 17, at Breds Sport Park in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, will have a showdown between hometown boxer Jermaine Vassell and popular Miguel ‘Iron Dog’ Raye.
Commenting on the road shows to The Gleaner, Wray and Nephew’s Marketing Manager Pietro Gramegna said that he was “enthusiastic and excited about the new series which we are calling ‘the Best of the Best’, as several former champions will be back this year. We are starting with this high-energy series of road shows because we want our loyal and enthusiastic rural supporters to see some live action, and I am sure that they will enjoy themselves”.
Boxing Board President Stephen “Bomber” Jones has praised the idea of taking the show on the road, and said that it showed that sponsors Wray and Nephew fully supported the Board’s idea of having live boxing shows outside of Kingston. “Taking the experience of the live boxing matches outside of Kingston is something that we suggested to the sponsors and we are very happy that they have made a start this year. We are sure that our fans outside of Kingston will support the move wholeheartedly.”
Mark Kenny, who promotes the series, told The Gleaner that he wanted this year’s competition to be the best ever and was optimistic that the road shows would be a popular innovation. He said that former champions such as Devon Moncrieffe and Sakima Mullings are expected to participate and that the Jamaicans will this year be going up against boxers from Canada. “The competition this year should be very exciting”, he added.
There will be delayed broadcasts of the three road shows on Television Jamaica and the weekly shows will be broadcast live each Wednesday night.