Barrett scores sensational KO
Wray and Nephew Contender aspirant Owen Barrett added drama to the made-for-television Wray & Nephew Contender Series last Wednesday night when he scored the fastest knockout recorded so far by putting Moyan Shorter on the canvas at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium at one minute, 37 seconds in the first round of their boxing contest.
Both men were fighting as professionals for the first time, so there was an unknown quantity to the match-up. Shorter, at age 24, is 17 years younger than Barrett, and this was seen as a distinct advantage before the fight. Barrett's message before they entered the ring, however, was "age is just a number". He then went on to say, "let us see what happens when we get inside the ring."
Barrett proved his point in dramatic fashion and had fans cheering wildly after they recovered from the shock of the decisive knockout victory. The Contender Series, which is sponsored by J. Wray and Nephew, Foska Oats, and TVJ, promoted by MJK Productions and sanctioned by the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, is in its second season and has produced some dramatic battles. This, however, will certainly be one of the most talked-about results.
Barrett, the chief sparring partner for last year's Contender runner-up - the hard-hitting Devon Moncrieffe - oozed confidence before the fight.
"If I can stay in the ring with Moncrieffe there is no way that Shorter can beat me," he said. He then proceeded to back up those fighting words with his fists.
He came out cautiously, but wasted no time as he started to throw jabs to the head and the occasional right cross. After landing several stiff jabs to Shorter's head, his opponent smiled and gave the impression that the punches had no effect. It was obvious that this was not so, however, and he also seemed to be courting disaster by keeping his guard low.
Barrett capitalised on this quickly, as after a jab to the body, he saw the opening, and a solid right hook to the head buckled Shorter's knees and he fell heavily to the canvas. He made an attempt to get to his feet, to no avail, and referee Barrington Graham performed the formality of signalling that the fight was over and calling in the ring doctor.
Shocked spectators burst into cheers and a buzz went through the auditorium as television replays vividly showed the dramatic end. This was the fourth victory in five weeks for the Green Team over the Yellow Team, and the series will continue next Wednesday.
In the two amateur bouts preceding the main event, Julian Johnson from Sugar Knockout Gym scored a first-round victory over Andrew Rowe from Boys' Town, and Nickoy Jackson from Boys' Town defeated Toriano Nicholas from G4S Gym on points in a hard-fought and entertaining contest.
- Leroy Brown