Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
The J. Wray & Nephew 'Rumble on Jamrock', hosted at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night was an action-packed, star studded event which lacked nothing. The food-and-drink inclusive event not only showcased some entertaining boxing matches, but there was live entertainment thrown into the mix.
As early as 7 p.m., patrons already had a reason to be clenching to their seats, as two female boxers started the event with an exciting battle of fists.
Guest sound Renaissance played at intervals, and delivered some old-school dancehall/reggae music during the break of each round.
Songs like Informer by Snow, Lodge by Bounty Killer and Fire Links' Gully Creature rhythm, among others, were featured.
Several entertainers were also in attendance. Bounty Killer was out early, while Isaiah Laing, Skatta Burrell and MC Nuffy were later spotted close to the stage.
The first live performance came at 9:15 p.m., when Spice took to the ring sporting blue shorts, mesh leggings and boxing gloves. The hard-hitting deejay entertained her fans by performing songs such as Jim Screechie, Nuh Fight Ova Man and Ya Suh Great.
After some lyrical punches, Spice was joined on stage by Tifa and she spewed some lyrical blows herself, performing Dash Out and Spell It Out. They also teamed up to deliver their collaboration, Why You Mad, then exited the ring on a high note.
Following their performance, another high-energy fight ensued between Sakima Mullings and 2011 Contender champion Ricardo 'The Surgeon' Smith. After eight rounds of solid fist exchanges, Sakima Mullings was declared the winner.
It was now time for another display of Jamaican musical talent, and veteran reggae artiste Tony Rebel graced the boxing ring singing Fresh Vegetable. Rebel received favourable response from the audience. He also paid homage to Beres Hammond and Richie Stephens by singing a single each from their catalogue. However, Tony Rebel's highest moment was during his song, If Jah Is Standing By My Side in Spanish. This was well received by the Spanish-speaking patrons, who appeared to be longing to hear some music in their own language.
Two of Jamaica's boxing icons, Bunny Grant and Richard 'Shrimpy' Clarke, were also honoured by the organisers during the intermission that followed Tony Rebel's set.
Sizzla's stellar performance
At 11:30 p.m., media personality Miss Kitty requested that the lights in the venue be dimmed. Her plea was obeyed and when the lights were switched on, rising from the dark to deliver a stellar performance, was iconic reggae/dancehall artiste Sizzla Kalonji.
Known as one of the best local performers reggae music has to offer, Sizzla Kalonji showed his maturity by drawing for timeless songs from his catalogue such as Holding Firm and Dry Cry.
"We love the boxing sport, you know sports and music goes hand in hand ... We need more of this, and we have long anticipated events like these that helps with the development of our culture," Sizzla said.
He then proceeded to get the numerous female patrons involved by singing Take You There. After receiving an encore, the artiste restarted the song and sang it until the last beat of the instrumental echoed from the speaker. At the end, sounds of approval echoed around the arena.
Once again, an apparently pleased Sizzla commented on the event. "It's good to see high society people seeking the talent of Jamaican people to expose to the world," he said.
Sizzla also surprised patrons and fans with a freestyle song which mentioned the name of popular sponsors like The Gleaner, Sportsmax and J. Wray & Nephew.
After a well-presented set by Sizzla, patrons received the ultimate icing on the Rumble On Jamrock cake. This as Jamaican boxer Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters defeated Colombia's Daulis Prescott by knock out.
In true Jamaican style, patrons flooded the ring as they celebrated Axeman's victory and a successful staging of the J. Wray & Nephew Rumble on Jamrock.