'Hitman' to highlight Arena fight night
Kemahl 'The Hitman' Russell could not only be defending his Junior North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title, but also looking to claim the WBC Americas title when he steps into the ring at the National Arena in Kingston on February 17.
The fight night, which is being put on by Uprising Promotions and Real Deal Boxing, both of which have signed Russell, will feature seven under card matches and Russell's main event against an opponent which has not yet been named.
Uprising founder Ronson Frank said that victory and two titles would be a big boost to Russell's career.
"There's a strong possibility that he could be fighting for a secondary title, pending opponent approval," he said. "This title is supposed to be something to push his career and improve his ranking. Again, we are trying to get the best opponent possible. We submitted quite a few names and now it's up to the WBC whether they give the thumbs up or not. It would be good for Russell, overall, to have this title experience in front of his home crowd, and I'm just hoping that brings him some added motivation to work harder and see things materialising in front of him right now. He's gonna get his shot real soon."
WASP IS BACK
The night will also see Michael 'Wasp' Gardner's first fight in his homeland since July 2016, when he defeated Anson Green at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
"You have Michael Gardner, who hasn't fought in Jamaica in just under two years, but he's been active. He'll be coming back home to finalise the preparations of his training soon. Everything is going well with him and he's excited about the opportunity," Frank explained.
Gardner, who has been residing and competing in Panama, will be facing Peter Dobson, an undefeated welterweight with nine wins and no draws on his record, next month.
"He's (Dobson) a pressure fighter," Frank shared. "He throws a lot of punches and he's very exciting to watch. It's a great boxer/puncher versus Gardner, who's got a great aggressive style. I'm expecting a really exciting, close bout."
Dobson is the reigning WBC United States (USNBC) Silver Welterweight champion, but will not be defending the title on the night.
Another local crowd favourite, Tsetsi 'Lights Out' Davis, will be featured on the card. He faces Christopher Pearson.
"Pearson was a highly ranked prospect at one point. Unfortunately, he ran into some difficulties and he had a couple of losses on his record," Frank said. "He's still unbelievably talented, a slick boxer/puncher, and he's trying to use this fight to get back on the right track in his career. But Tsetsi has a good chance of beating him and if he thinks he's gonna come here and get just a warm-up fight to get back on his winning streak, and he doesn't prepare as well as he should, I see Tsetsi pulling the upset on him. I'm expecting an amazing night of boxing. It's gonna be the biggest thing, fight card-wise, to happen in Jamaica in a long time. The fights are really competitive."
American Samuel Clarkson is also set to face Kwesi Jones of Guyana. Uprising and Real Deal are still working out contracts to have a female bout and two 126lb matches.