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Boxing extravaganza to hit Negril's MX3

Published:Friday | March 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Middleweight fighter Ricardo Planter goes through his paces.

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Negril will come alive next weekend with the the staging of a boxing extravaganza, dubbed. 'Last Man Standing', at the MX3 Venue on West End Road.

The feature event will take the form of a winner-takes-all knockout challenge that will be contested by eight of the island's top middleweight fighters, such as Ricardo Planter and Carlton 'Dirty Shane' Bailey.

With three rounds, each lasting three minutes, constituting a bout, organiser Oniel 'Big Reds' Murray, a former boxer himself, is promising a most exciting affair and has described the event as boxing's version of Twenty20 cricket, with a guarantee of a quick result.

"This Last Man Standing boxing card is equivalent to a Twenty20 cricket match. It's basically eight contenders in the same weight class, competing on a knockout basis," said Murray. "There are three three-minute rounds and after each bout the fighter will have a break while other fights are taking place, so they will all be fully recharged for their other fights."

"It's an explosive format and I promise that everyone who comes to see it will not be bored," Murray added.

The card that will also feature three amateur bouts, including a fight between two female fighters, will also draw boxers from some of the country's top gyms, such as the Stanley Couch gym in Kingston, the Hard Knocks gym in Westmoreland and the Job Walters roadside gym in Hanover.

Murray believes that the new format will go a long way towards aiding the appeal of the sport, which has seen little growth and public interest in the recent past.

"It's (format) totally new. Furthermore, boxing needs some help, it needs a wake-up so I'm hoping that this event will help to put some more interest back into the sport, " added Murray. "There is a guaranteed result, quick and fast, so we are expecting this format to go over well with fans of the sport."

Approximate cost

The card is being staged at a cost of approximately $1.5 million, and despite failing to attract any major corporate support, Murray is already looking to stage a second event later this year in Portland as he looks to drive the sport forward.

"So far we have spent over $1 million and we might have another $500,000 to spend. In terms of sponsors we have not had any just yet but we are talking to potential sponsors, at the moment," Murray said. "We are hoping to make this a regular event, based on the reaction that we get for this first staging. We have already spoken to the mayor of Port Antonio and he wants us to do one at Carder Park. It's Trevor Berbick's hometown so we want to do a tribute-type show this summer."

Next week's boxing is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.