Moncriffe takes split decision in Contender final

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer

Friday, June 28, 2013

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Devon Moncriffe tipped the balance in his favour by being more industrious and emerged winner from a split decision to become Jamaica's Ultimate Middleweight Boxer and the Wray & Nephew Contender at the National Indoor Sport Centre in Kingston on Wednesday night.


Moncriffe, who reached the final of the inaugural Wray & Nephew Contender Boxing Series three years ago but lost, made no mistake on Wednesday night when he did enough to tilt the decision in his favour against his challenger Tsetsi Davis. Two judges, Keith Brown and Cliford Brown, scored the bout 98 to 93 and 97 to 94, respectively, in favour of Moncriffe, while judge Lindel Allen scored the bout 96 to 94 for Davis.


Moncriffe pocketed $1,000,000 for winning the title, while Davis received $500,000.


Earlier on the successful third edition of the Wray & Nephew entertaining late night boxing extravaganza, Richard Reittie battled past Ramel "Sub Zero" Lewis in the opening bout to pick up third money of $250,000 while Lewis took home $200,000 for his fourth place finish.


The decision of the main bout did not go down altogether well with the fans of Davis, who thought that their fighter had done enough to get the decision. However, in the eyes of the majority and from knowledgeable quarters, Moncriffe did in fact win the fight to come out on top by being the more industrious of the two opponents. It was crystal clear that Davis commandeered the first three rounds, but after that Moncriffe became the more active and that weighed heavily in his favour.


However, a tearful Davis had to compose himself before talking to the press after leaving the stage: "It is a hard decision to take. I trained too hard to lose this fight," he mourned. "I thought I won at least five rounds. The first three and the eighth round and the ninth I knew I gone with it, in the eighth round I caught him clearly. The ninth round I won it and the 10th I won that clearly and thought I did everything to win the fight."


Asked what he might not have done to win the fight, he said: "I thought that I did everything that was good to win the fight, because one of the judges had me as winning the fight, but ... anyway I will just try to overcome my hurt but everything criss still."


While Davis was moping at his loss, Moncriffe naturally was upbeat: "I will have to put this victory down to hard work and dedication. Tsetsi and myself are good friends, so it makes it a little more difficult to concentrate as neither of us wanted to lose."


Asked when he thought he had the fight won, Moncriffe responded: "After the fifth round I knew I had him."


"He started out so fast that when I started to beat the body it started to work wonders for me. And I said to myself if he cannot knock me out he cannot win the fight. I feel good in myself and with this gained confidence to take the fight to him. And as you see, it paid off," Moncriffe added.


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