Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Wray & Nephew pumps $2 million into community boxing

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2017 | 6:00 AM

Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum has boosted the platform for Jamaican boxers to compete at the regional level by donating an additional $2 million to the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control (JBBC) for the development of boxing in Jamaica. This donation adds to millions the brand has invested in the Wray & Nephew Contender series, which is now in its seventh year.

The $2 million was officially handed over by executives of Wray & Nephew at Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records in St Andrew during the launch of 'Wray & Nephew Fight Night in the City', a series of community boxing events sanctioned by the JBBC, which is being held in the island. The first event took place on Saturday, May 27, at Barbican Beach in St Andrew, where six Jamaican boxers faced off against six boxers from Panama.

After the handover, Pietro Gramegna, marketing manager, J. Wray & Nephew Limited, said that the company was pleased with the results from investing in the development of boxing in Jamaica, especially with regard to the Wray & Nephew Contender, and the decision to donate $2 million was done without hesitation.

 

NATURAL TALENT

 

"Jamaicans have a natural innate talent and love for sports, which includes boxing. This is evident through the weekly support of the Wray & Nephew Contender series, whether in support at the Chinese Benevolent Association or by watching the broadcast live on TVJ. Boxing is part of 'Our Spirit' and for that, we made the decision to invest more into the sport as it will allow our local boxers to be able to make their names known, not only locally, but internationally," said Gramegna.

Stephen Jones, president, JBBC, expressed gratitude for Wray & Nephew's continuous support of boxing in Jamaica.

"Wray & Nephew's sponsorship is a blessing for boxing. I think not only on a boxing level, but how Wray & Nephew as a brand operates in Jamaica, and it being part of our country's culture, it goes hand-in-hand with boxing. I think the synergy is very, very good. I think we're very fortunate to have them sign on again," said Jones.

He said that since the donation was made, eight amateur boxers from Jamaica and Panama have benefitted when they faced off in the first 'Wray & Nephew Fight Night in the City' event. These boxers were Marvin Shea, Sanjay Williams, Janathan Hanson and Ricardo Brown from Jamaica; and Jhonathan Miniel, Leonel Gutterrez, Luis Hern·ndez, and Ronaldo Bermudez from Panama.

At the end of these four amateur bouts, Williams, Hanson, and Brown from Jamaica were announced winners along with Panama's Miniel. The 3-1 victory will send the country's amateur contingent off to the World Championship Box-Off in Honduras next month with high anticipation.