Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
The very popular Wray and Nephew Contender Series is slated to make its 2013 debut on Wednesday, March 6, at the usual venue, Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Old Hope Road, and will be broadcast live on TVJ each night. The series will be supervised by the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.
Promoted by MJK promotions, the show started in 2011 and was for middleweight boxers. The first champion was Rikardo Smith from Hard Knocks Gym in Savanna-la-Mar. The 2012 edition, which was for welterweight boxers, was won by Donovan 'Police' Campbell.
The promoters have decided to have the competition in the middleweight division again this year, and this will bring to the fore some of the old favourites, as well as some new faces, many being boxers who have decided to move up from the amateur ranks.
There will be an official launch later this month at which the promoters will give the full list of boxers who, as in previous years, will be divided into two teams and engage in challenges to decide who will compete each week. The challenges have always proven popular with television audiences.
Devon Moncrieffe, who was runner-up to Smith in 2011, will be in the mix once more, as well as Tsetsi Davis, Glenroy 'Bumpy' Beckford, Ramel 'Sub Zero' Lewis, Kevin Hylton and Richard Holmes. Lloyd Smith, who was a disappointing entry in 2010, will be trying to make amends this year, as will the veteran Derrick 'Guts' Spencer.
Coming up from the amateur ranks will be Everton Eccleston, who was a very successful light heavyweight who has trimmed down to middleweight; and Jermaine Bowen, who has been a crowd-pleaser in all his amateur bouts.
The main prize will again be $1 million, the runner-up will get $500,000, third place $250,000 and fourth $200,000.