What has already been hailed as the best Wray and Nephew Contender series since its inception seven years ago, is set for an exciting finish, with two semi-finals on Wednesday, July 5 and 12 and the grand finale on July 26. There have been some interesting changes for these three shows. The first change is the venue. Instead of the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, both the semis and the final will be held outdoors, on the spacious grounds of Mico University College, on Marescaux Road in St. Andrew. This has been done to facilitate the large crowd of spectators expected to attend.
There is also an addition to the programme. Each night, there will be a second professional bout on the card. On July 5, Jamaica crowd favourite Devon “Concrete”
Moncriffe will clash with Canadian Winston Matthews, over five rounds, before Sakima Mullings and Tsetsi Davis clash in the first semi-final. Matthews is the boxer who fought the No. 1 seeded Mullings at the start of the competition and gave a very good showing. Mullings won the fight by unanimous decision, but it was a close hard-fought contest.
Matthews was disappointed that he did not get the verdict, and after the fight said publicly that he wanted to fight in Jamaica again.The promoters have given the opportunity to do so against a very good opponent. Moncriffe also bowed out in the first round of the competition, when he lost to Canadian Larone Whyte, by split decision. This too was a very competitive bout, and the match between these two fighters, will undoubtedly live up to expectations.
On July 12, last year’s Contender champion, Demarcus “Chop Chop” Corley will be challenged by Ramel ” Sub Zero” Lewis, another boxer who fought earlier in this year’s Contender series. This bout will be over eight rounds and will see Corley putting his boxing skills against the power-punching of Lewis. The semi-final that night, will be between Phil Rose from Canada and Richard “Frog” Holmes from Jamaica. On the final night, another former Contender champion, Kemahl Russell, will face Venezuelan boxer Mario Antonio Avendano over eight rounds. Avendano is a tested veteran, with a 30-11-1 record.
He has a lot of experience, and fought for the World Boxing Association welterweight title in 2011, but lost. This is billed as youth versus experience, and Russell, with a record of 10 wins and one loss,will be given the opportunity to see how well he can do against against a wily boxer.
The winner of the Contender series, will, in addition to the title, take home $2- million. The runner-up will get $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.