Easy for Jamaica's Bowen
Jamaica's Jermaine Bowen gave his team another win in the Wray and Nephew Contender series on Wednesday night, when he scored an easy victory over Trinidad and Tobago's Duke Brooks, the Caribbean boxing team's standard bearer, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium.
Bowen, who was making his third appearance as a professional, was also scoring his first victory. He had lost in previous fights to Derrick Spencer and Kemahl Russell, and was a happy man after being declared the winner on points. Judge Clifford Brown had the score 59-52, judge Lindell Allen 60-51 and judge Eion Jardine 60-52. Brooks, who was making his professional debut, was gallant in defeat, as he never resorted to holding, which was a prevalent defensive measure in the two previous fights in the competition.
This was the best fight so far this year. There are eight fights in the preliminary round over six rounds, and the winners will move to the quarter-finals. These will also be six- round contests. The semi-finals will be over eight rounds and the final will be a 10-rounder. Apart from the title of Wray and Nephew Middleweight Contender 2015, the champion will take home a first prize of $2-million. The runner-up will earn $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth, $200,000.
From the outset, it was Bowen, a south-paw, who called the shots. He was always on the attack, and though not many punches were landed as both men went through a feeling-out process, he was the aggressor at all times. There was not much action in the second round, as both men threw tentative jabs, but the pace was stepped up appreciably by Bowen in the third stanza.
He was busy throughout the round, and near the end, scored points with jabs and hooks. He was very busy in the last 20 seconds, and scored to the head with short left hooks and straight rights. There was one memorable right hook to the head from him, just before the bell.
With things going his way, Bowen launched an all out attack in the fourth round, and was all over Brooks, who tried to be elusive but failed. He was knocked down with a left hook, and before getting to his feet he signalled to the referee that something was wrong with his shoulder. The doctor was called in to examine him and he continued after a short break.
It was all Bowen from this stage, as he launched a relentless attack on his opponent. Brooks then went into survival mode, but nevertheless, he was knocked down a second time. The crowd was now well into it, and chanted, "knock him out, knock him out". Brooks to his credit did not back off and exchanged punches with his opponent.
The final round was full of action, and saw both men throwing punches at will. It was actually the best round for Brooks, as he rallied and scored to body and head with both hands. The last 20 seconds in particular were action- packed, and a buzz went through the auditorium at the end.
In the two amateur bouts that preceded the main bout, Samuel Grant from Sugar Olympic gym won by disqualification over Shaquille Linton of Boys' Town, and Kenrick McDermott from Bruising gym defeated Rowan Stewart from Sugar Olympic gym on points.