Sun | May 24, 2020

J'can boxers have improved - Jones

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Wray & Nephew’s Marketing Manager, Nadia Kiffin-Green (left) and Pavel Smith (right), brand manager Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Charley’s J.B. Overproof Rum and Skyy Vodka, congratulate Canadian boxer, Dave Leblond, on his victory over Jamaica’s Toriano Nicholas in Wednesday’s main bout of the Wray & Nephew Contender Boxing Series at Chinese Benevolent Association. Leblond won the five-round contest by unanimous decision.

President of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, Stephen 'Bomber' Jones, says the change in format and an improvement in the quality of local boxers are two reasons the Contender series has produced so many one-sided encounters and early knockouts this season.

Jamaica lead the series 4-2, with Michael Gardener and Niko Yeyo winning their fights in quick knockouts. Jones credits this to the change in competition format and the development of local boxers. However, he expects the competition to get stronger, with Canada's top-ranked boxers set to take on Jamaica' lower ranked fighters, for the last two places.

"I understand the complaints, but I also understand the reason some fights have been short. Jamaica's top four ranked boxers were put against the Canadians' lower-ranked boxers, except for Niko Yeyo, who took out one of their top-ranked boxers. But you can see where we are coming from and we are at a stage where we are on a next level," said Jones.




"Last week, we thought it (Dave Leblond v Toriano Nicholas fight) would have turned it around and it went the distance, but it wasn't exciting. But our lower-ranked boxers are way better than the lower-ranked boxers on the Canadian team and that's what made it look bad," he added

However, with higher ranking Canadian boxers set to fight over the next two weeks, Jones expects the quality of the competition to improve, and he expects Jamaica's lower ranked boxers to give a better account of themselves, than their Canadian counterparts.

"I look forward to the next two fights, this week and next week, as the quality of the Canadian boxers will be of top-ranked boxers. The Canadian lower-ranked boxers are below the quality that is warranted at this level. But the higher-ranked boxers are good boxers, so you will see them against our lower-ranked boxers. But the level of our boxers have gone up, so even though they are lower ranked, it doesn't mean they cannot box," he said.

Although Jones does not believe the tournament's popularity has been impacted negatively by the criticism, he does believe it could hurt their ratings.

"The Jamaican public is one of the most educated sporting public, so if you don't listen and take it for granted, then you run the risk of failing," Jones said.