Team Jamaica’s Ricardo Planter takes on Team Canada’s number one seed Phil Rose for the right to advance to round two and beyond in the Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender Boxing Series extravaganza at the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston tonight.
Sixteen fighters — eight Jamaicans and eight Canadians will trade punches in four stages for the right to share the major share of a $3-million purse and the title of Jamaica’s Ultimate Junior Middleweight Contender in 15 fights.
Stages one and two of eight and four fights, respectively, will be fought over five rounds each. Stage three, which is the penultimate stage of the contest and the semi-final rounds, will be fought over seven rounds each, with 10 rounds set for the final round.
Today’s second-round kaleidoscopic packaging floor show will begin at 8:30 pm with two amateur fights over three rounds each. This will then be followed by a rib-tickling variety element for patrons 18 years and over laced with Wray & Nephew give aways, after which the day’s main event will begin approximately 9:45 pm.
Tonight’s fight between Planter and Rose is expected to be a keenly contested affair as both boxers enter the ring with similar ring records. While little is known of the preparedness of Rose, Planter will make his third entry into the Wray & Nephew Contender Series in the best shape he has been since his days of representing Jamaica as an amateur.
As a fighter among the professional ranks, Planter has an accumulative ring record of six wins, eight defeats and two draws from 16 pro fights. The number one-ranked Whitby native for Team Canada sports a ring record that shows from 11 fights, where he has won six (two knockouts), lost four with one draw.
Planter principally is no knockout specialist, but he is not a powderpuff either. The former national amateur champion, who has been boxing for 10 years, is entering the Contender for the third time with the fervent hope it will be a good one for him.
“In my few years of professional boxing, it has not all been smooth sailing. There have been ups and downs for me. I had some good times; I had some bad decisions against me and sometimes I thought that I was at fault for not persevering with planned matters to be acted upon,” Planter shared.
“With my performance in the Contender Series, I usually make it to the quarter-finals, but now [I have] received a tough draw in my third appearance. It is a challenge that I welcome. There is not much time remaining for me in the sport. I have therefore taken steps to try and win this fight and then move on to the second, then to see how I can go from there onward. This to me is a watershed fight where my career as a fighter is a concerned. I am in much better shape for this fight, as I had a fair amount of preparation overseas and my plan therefore is to see where that will take me,” said the 36-year-old Clarendon native.