Patrons should see a real fight this time
Two experienced boxers - DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley from the USA and Iwan 'Pure Gold' Azore, a Guyanese-born fighter who lives in Trinidad and Tobago - will exchange punches tonight over five rounds in the second preliminary bout of the Wray and Nephew 2016 Contender Series.
The action starts at 9 p.m. at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium, Old Hope Road, and will be broadcast live on Television Jamaica.
Last week, spectators left the venue bemused and disappointed when after only 55 seconds, one of the boxers, 19-year old Xzaviar Ford from North Carolina, USA, suffered a torn tendon in his right shoulder and could not continue, gifting the bout to his opponent, Jamaican Richard Holmes, who was declared the winner by technical knockout.
The promoters and sponsors were very disappointed with the outcome and have made an effort to have a better line-up this week.
Corley, who was not on the original list of boxers selected to appear this year, was recruited a few days ago to join the USA team in their bid to defeat the Caribbean team.
The format of the competition is that there are eight boxers on each team - the Caribbean and the USA - respectively. A draw is then used to select the opponents from both camps, and they will challenge each other over five rounds, with the winners moving on to the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and then the final.
The eventual winner of the competition takes home $2 million, the runner-up $500,000, third $250,000 and fourth $200,000.
Corley is a 41-year-old veteran from Washington, DC, who has had 70 fights, with a record of 43 victories, 26 losses and one draw. He has boxed all over the world and last fought in Denmark on February 26, scoring a tko victory over Osama Hadifi.
He has fought for world titles several times, among them a loss to Zab Judah for the WBO super lightweight title in 2003 and another loss to Miguel Cotto for the same title in 2005. He also had a non-title fight loss to boxing kingpin, Floyd Mayweather Jr, in 2004.
Azore has 16 victories, five losses and three draws in a career that started in December 2006 and saw him becoming the Guyanese welterweight boxing champion in December 2012. He has been inactive recently because of his inability to get fights, but has been training hard for several months since learning that he would be a challenger in the Contender series.
He told The Gleaner yesterday that he is "fit, ready and confident" and is looking forward to a good fight.