Sport

Henry vs Beckford to highlight third week of Contender Series

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer

Wednesday, April 02, 2014    

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IT'S another Wednesday night at the fights and all roads will lead to the Chinese Benevolent Association Auditorium where the cream of Jamaica's professional boxing in the welterweight division will go in search of win number three in the Wray & Nephew Contender Boxing series.

The series is entering its third week of the first stage, which comprises eight fights, each lasting six rounds over an eight-week period, and to date, Team Jamaica have won both fights.

And judging from tonight's draw it will surprise little to see Christopher 'Shaka' Henry, the Barbados Bomber of Team Caribbean, come out on top of Glenroy 'Bumpy' Beckford, his Team Jamaica counterpart.

Should Henry break the ice with a victory, it would lift the spirit of Team Caribbean to harbour thoughts of making further inroads to get into the second stage of four fights, also going six rounds.

During the preliminary rounds of the Contender series sponsored by Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, 16 boxers, eight each from Jamaica and the Caribbean, will go into action seeking to progress to earn a larger share of the nearly $3 millions at stake of which the winner will pocket $2 million, along with the esteemed title of Jamaica's Ultimate Welterweight Contender.

Two preliminary fights will open the three-fight programme at 7:30 pm sharp with the main bout scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 pm.

Sakimo Mullings was the first to draw blood for Team Jamaica, as he outpointed Revlon Lake of Guyana on opening night. Richard 'Frog' Holmes, who for the last staging of the Contender Boxing series was a prominent performer, gave his best display to wrestle a close against another Guyanese fighter Gladwin 'Tiger' Dorway after looking all over a loser, to put Team Jamaica two up.

Tonight is not expected to be any easier for either Beckford or Henry for that matter. Motivator Juliet Cuthbert has ensured that both boxers are in excellent mental preparedness and physically capable for rigorous combat. While on the other hand boxing coaches Carl Grant of Team Jamaica, and Andrew Boland of Team Caribbean, have left little to chance in taking them through their paces for sharpened boxing awareness as a keen contest is anticipated.

'Shaka' Henry is a vastly experienced boxer in comparison to Beckford. Sanding at 6' 1", the 39-year-old boxer has 48 fights under his belt during which time he won and lost an equal number of his fights. 'Bumpy' Beckford, on the other hand, is a tough customer who stands a mere 5' 5" with three wins and nine losses. Despite this Beckford will be no pushover as Henry will have to be at his best to remain standing at the final gong after six rounds.

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