Ricardo Planter made a valiant attempt to give his well-supported Team Jamaica a 2-0 lead in the Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum Contender Series, but went down to Team Canada’s number one seed Phil Rose by split decision at the Chinese Benevolent Association on Wednesday night.
After failing to fire the first salvo, Team Canada’s number one seed stepped forward and took the second round as Planter seemed to wilter. The third probably could have gone either way, but Rose landed some terrific shots which seemed to have taken the sting out of the legs of Planter and promptly took the fourth.
The fifth and final round was a watershed round for Planter, and after probably playing possum during the fourth, returned with fire in his eyes and fists to take the round to give himself a chance.
However, bar knocking out his opponent, his final effort was simply too little, too late.
Ring announcer Oliver Hardie announced in favour of the Canadian after judges Lindel Irons and Ransford Burton scored the bout 48-47 and 49-46, respectively, in favour of Rose, while Canadian judge Jeremy Hayes scored it 47-48 in favour of Planter.
But the knowledgeable boxing crowd had already conceded victory to the Canadian Rose. Rose is no “Sugar” Ray Robinson and is more of a Rocky Marciano type with an awkward approach to his craft. Rose’s strength lies with the use of physical strength with a great gushing thrust to force his opponents on the back foot — a ploy that could open scoring opportunities regularly to the head and body of a receding opponent.
Rose, however, promised in his post-match interview “to be in much better shape” for his other fights.
His team manager and coach, Jack Armour, was not impressed with the opening fight display from his fighter: “He stuck to the plan earlier, (but) he, however, got hit in the later rounds, but was able to come out of it and does have much more work to do in the gym to get back into his best shape.”
Planter, the Clarendon native, was convinced that he could have done better against Rose. “What cost me the fight is a bit of ring rust. I have not fought in two years, so it just showed me up against this guy.
“He (Rose) just defeated two-time Olympian Adam Trupish on March 1 and I was looking forward to seeing more from him. But that apart, this guy is very strong, albeit awkward,” said Planter.