The Contender breathes life into boxing

The Contender breathes life into boxing

Written by Editor

Topics: Boxing, Film & Theatre, Sports

After many years of laying comatose in Jamaica, the sport of boxing has been recalled to life in a major way by the 15-week Wray & Nephew Contender boxing reality television series, which culminated on April 27 with the exciting middleweight championship fight between Rikardo “The Surgeon” Smith and Devon Moncrieffe at the Constant Spring Football Field.

One minute in the eighth round, the referee stopped the fight after a struggling Moncrieffe could offer no answer to Smith’s furious flurry of “hurtin’ bombs”. At the time of the stoppage, the Pan Am medallist was ahead on the scorecards of all three judges. The technical knockout victory earned Smith the main prize of a million dollars, while Moncrieffe collected $500,000.

Boxing’s new lease on life represents the realisation of a significant objective of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control (JBBC), which has put tremendous effort into revitalising the sport. With the momentum from The Contender, which has succeded in capturing the attention of Jamaicans and stirring passions, the JBBC expects to see greater buzz around the sport from corporate sponsors, government officials, aspiring pugilists, fans and boxing interests from outside the island.

Devon Moncrieffe (left) vs Rikardo Smith (right)

Jamaican boxing legend Mike McCallum (centre) poses with Devon Moncrieffe (left) and champion Rikardo Smith.

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