Holmes first up in Contender series
Jamaica's popular boxing series, the Wray and Nephew Contender, will get under way on Wednesday, April 4, with a bout between Jamaica's Richard Holmes, who has performed very well in the series over the years, and Canadian Lloyd Reyes.
The competition will, like last year, be between teams of boxers from Jamaica and Canada.
Last year, it was a Canada versus Jamaica final, and Jamaican Sakima Mullings was crowned the champion after he scored a sixth-round technical knockout victory over Phil Rose in a bout that was scheduled for 10 rounds.
Competition will be in the welterweight division this year, with a maximum weight limit of 147 pounds.
The eight Jamaican boxers selected by the promoters Ringtime TV Ltd are Richard Holmes, Michael Gardener, Devon Moncriffe, Ramel Lewis, Toriano Nicholas, Fabian Tucker, Nico Yeyo, and Sceantonie Johnson. The Canadian team is Ricardo Salas, Waseem El Sinawi, Dave Leblond, Jeff Tabrizi, Mayron Zeferino, Jay Kelly, Lloyd Reyes, and Daniel Roach.
Four of the Jamaicans have already participated in the series, and Moncriffe is a former champion. Holmes has participated on several occasions and reached the finals in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he lost to Kemahl Russell and the following year to Demarcus Coley, fighting as a middleweight and junior middleweight, respectively.
Holmes will start the action on April 4 against a newcomer to the professional ranks. Reyes is reported to have had a good record as an amateur, and matchmaker Tyler Buxton from Canada has said that he expects him to give a good account of himself.
In the first round of competition, the top four boxers on each team drew their opponents from among the bottom four seeded boxers from the opposing team. The top four seeded boxers for Jamaica are Holmes, Moncriffe, Gardener, and Lewis. The top four rated Canadians are Salas, Zeferino, Tabrizi, and Leblond, who was in the competition last year, and was very popular with the Jamaican crowd.
The action in the first round of the competition will be over five rounds. In the second round, they will go at each other over seven rounds, and the finals will be fought over 10 rounds. The winner will, in addition to the title and belt, take home a purse of $2 million. The second-place boxer will collect $500,000, third $250,000, and fourth $200,000.