Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
The first of two intriguing semi-finals in the Wray and Nephew Contender series, between Tsetsi Davis and Devon Moncrieffe, will take place at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium tonight at 9.30. The fight, which will feature two hard-hitting and popular fighters, is the penultimate step towards the main prize of one million dollars. The winner will fight for the prize in a few weeks, while the loser will have to do battle again for third and fourth places.
The excitement surrounding the series has now reached fever pitch, and the promoters MJK Productions, as well as the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, and sponsors J. Wray and Nephew, Claro, TVJ and Foska Oats, are ecstatic at the amount of interest the series has generated throughout Jamaica.
Tonight's action is, to use an old cliché, worth going miles to see. Davis, who is the No.1-seeded boxer in the tournament, takes years of experience and his well-known boxing skills into the ring with him tonight. Moncrieffe, who came in as the dangerous outsider, has shown in his two fights so far, that he will be a very hard man to beat.
Davis is a savvy opponent who has honed his skills over the years. He is a good boxer-fighter and is adept both at close quarters and at long range. His tactics tonight will be important. He has been a bit wild in his previous fights against Terron Leslie and Kevin Hylton, but won inside the distance on both occasions, without any difficulty.
He is aggressive and is never reluctant to go after his man for the duration of a fight. What he will find tonight, however, is that his opponent will not be hard to find. Moncrieffe and his brains trust said yesterday that they were not going into the fight with any complacency. They said that although they have a healthy respect for Davis it will be all business when the first bell rings tonight, and they intend to challenge him vigorously.
In Moncrieffe's last fight, which produced an upset victory over No. 4-rated Ricardo Planter, he showed a lot of maturity and did not indulge in his usual wild swings. He came in behind the jab repeatedly and, when possible, he unleashed a torrent of punches that gave him the unanimous nod of the judges.
Before he can launch his own attacks tonight, however, he will have to curb the aggressiveness that will ooze from Davis, and if he is not able to achieve this, then he will be in trouble. Tonight's fight will be over eight rounds, so with two extra rounds to fight, physical fitness will be very important, and the first man to falter could be counted out. Both fighters seem to be at their best so spectators should be in for a fistic treat.
There will be two amateur bouts on the card, one of which will be televised live on TVJ, as a lead-in to the main attraction.