Moncriffe, El-Sinawi hunt Contender semi berths
Two confident first-round winners, Devon Moncriffe with a 13-8-1 record representing Team Jamaica, and Waseem El-Sinawi 2-2, fighting for Team Canada, will clash tonight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road in Kingston, as they seek semi-final berths in the 2018 Wray and Nephew Contender series.
The action starts at 8:30 with two amateur bouts, and the main contest over five rounds, which will be televised by TVJ, gets under way at 9:30.
Both boxers were impressive in their first-round battles. Moncriffe defeated Tyler Wilson by a fourth-round technical knockout, while El-Sinawi stopped Jamaica's Ramel Lewis in the second round of their contest.
Both men were brimming with confidence yesterday and predicted victory. They did not have any weight problems in the preliminaries and were again on weight yesterday.
All the remaining boxers in the competition were required to sign new contracts yesterday, in which the overweight penalty was changed from a fine to disqualification. This was put in place because a few boxers have not been making the 147-pound welterweight limit.
Michael Gardner, one of the pre-fight favourites to win the top prize of $2 million, could not make the weight last week, and therefore lost his place in the competition. The Jamaica Boxing Board has also put special weekly pre-fight weigh-ins in place to monitor the weight of the remaining boxers in the competition.
Moncriffe, who is a former winner of the competition, told The Gleaner yesterday that he was "in great condition".
"My training has gone well I am feeling good and I am going to give the public a good show," he declared.
He also said that he felt much sharper fighting as a welterweight than in a higher weight class.
"I am lighter, so I can move faster, and both my hand and foot speed have improved," he volunteered yesterday. He then added that he really wanted to win the Contender title a second time.
El-Sinawi also oozed confidence. He said he had enjoyed the break since his last fight on April 18, and was now much sharper. His trainer Richard Phillips, who he described as "a top trainer from Detroit who has a lot of good fighters", is with him on this trip.
"I am glad that Richard is here, as he brings out the best in me," El-Sinawi declared. The Contender title, he said, was his main goal, and he had to make the next step tonight a successful one.
He then said that he was "fit and ready", and was "anxious to get into the ring." He declared his love for Jamaica, and said that one of the reasons he had to win tonight was so that he could keep coming back.
Last week, Canada's David Leblond took the first semi-final spot with a victory over Donovan 'police' Campbell who retired after the second round.