A deep gash over his right eye forced a second-round stoppage and ended the title hopes of popular Glenroy 'Bumpy' Beckford in Wednesday's first quarter-final in the Wray & Nephew welterweight Contender series at the Chinese Benevolent Society Auditorium.
The match between Beckford and the colourful Ramel Lewis had all the makings of a humdinger after a brisk opening round which saw Beckford winning on two of the three scorecards. With Lewis turning up the pressure and Beckford giving as much as he got, the second stanza had the fans on their feet, but in a torrid rope exchange, Beckford suffered a cut.
Ring doctor André McDonald advised a continuation after examining the wound, but Lewis targeted the cut and two looping lefts created further damage. With blood streaming down Beckford's face, referee Barrington Graham intervened. After another examination, a stoppage was advised and Lewis was awarded a TKO win at 2.57 of the round, much to the disappointment of the big crowd which included former Prime Minister Andrew Holness and former Sports Minister Olivia Grange.
In the two amateur preliminaries, England-based welterweight Leo Gowan suffered a first-round TKO against Stanley Couch Gym's Nico Yeyo after a severe nosebleed forced a stoppage, while Reese Shagourie, another England-based fighter, outpointed Germaine Bowen of Hard Knocks Gym in their middleweight three-rounder.
The series, which is promoted by MJK Productions, is sponsored by J. Wray & Nephew, Foska Oats and TVJ and sanctioned by the Jamaica Boxing Board. Competition is now down to the last six and continues next Wednesday night with the second quarter-final.
The winner of the competition will pocket $1 million and crowned the 2012 Wray & Nephew welterweight Contender champion. The losing finalist will get $500,000, third $250,000 and fourth $200,000.