The preliminaries are over. It is now time for the real deal.
Sakima Mullings, the 2014 champion, has been drawn to set the stage alight for an electrifying opening of the 2017 Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender Boxing Series against Canadian boxer Winston Matthews at the auditorium of the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston on April 5.
In the night’s main event, over six rounds to officially launch the seventh Contender Series, boxers Kesta Davis and Fabian Tucker shed their amateur tag by appearing in the middleweight contest that was won by Davis in unanimous fashion — 60-54 on the cards of judges Owen Nelson, Lindel Allen and Peter Richards.
This follows four continuous weeks of Wray of Nephew promotional road shows that were staged to large and lively audiences at Colonel Cove in Morant Bay, St Thomas; Island Village in Ocho Rios, St Ann; and Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth.
To launch the seventh season, lots drawn for opponent pairings were made at the fourth and final staging of the Wray and Nephew county-hopping Contender promotional road shows that was held on the company’s football ground on Spanish Town Road on Tuesday night.
The Wray & Nephew Contender Boxing Series, geared toward promoting Jamaica boxing by fostering boxing talent against comparable talent from beyond the shores of Jamaica, will see Canadian opponents appearing in the seventh staging.
Mark Kenny, the mastermind behind the resuscitation of Jamaican boxing in conjunction with the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, found that after four seasons of the nursery building, the period for expansion and further development was right in an attempt to broaden the experience. The overseas element was therefore introduced.
The process of expansion began in 2013, and by 2016 Jamaica had moved away from fellow Caribbean talents to face the music of their American counterparts.
For the seventh season, eight of the country’s most accomplished Contender boxers will challenge eight Canadians of comparable talent for the middleweight championship title over 10 rounds. From total prize money of $3 million, the eventual winner will pocket $2 million.
Sakima Mullings, the number one seed of Team Jamaica, is to deliver the Jamaica challenge on opening night. The others to carry the Jamaican flag are number two seed Richard Holmes, Tsetsi Davis (third seed), and Devon Moncriffe (fourth seed) .
Both Mullings and Moncriffe are past winners, while Holmes and Davis were twice runners-up.
— Hurbun Williams