Miller wins first pre-Contender series fight
A large, enthusiastic crowd flocked to Colonel's Cove in Morant Bay, St Thomas, last Wednesday night to be part of the first Wray & Nephew Contender Roadshow, which was a prelude to the start of the series on April 5.
The main bout on Wednesday's card was a six- round middleweight contest between Anthony Osbourne from St Catherine and Patrick Miller from Savanna-la-Mar, and Miller won by majority decision.
Judge Ransford Burton scored the fight 57-57, while judge Laurence Neufville, 60-54, and Lindell Allen, 58-56, voted for Miller.
The two veteran boxers put on a good show for the fans. Osbourne is a well-travelled boxer, but his 11-39-1 record made him the underdog to Miller, who has been fighting for some time but entered the contest with a modest 6-4 record.
Miller was aggressive from the first bell and put Osbourne on the defensive quickly. Osbourne used a tight defence to prevent his opponent from scoring too many punches. Miller kept the pressure on, and near the end of the second round he caught Osbourne flush on the cheek and buckled his knees.
It took a great effort for Osbourne to stay on his feet, but he did. He surprisingly came out with greater confidence in the third round.
He won that round and also the fourth, with good infighting. A couple of solid right hooks to the head from him gave him some breathing room, as Miller became cautious. Rounds five and six were keenly contested, but Miller had the edge and clinched the victory because of the judicious use of his left jab.
In two amateur bouts on the programme, hometown hero Kirkpatrick Heron shook off a poor first round to come back aggressively and win his welterweight contest against Raheem Pitter from Boys' Town, by forcing the referee stop the contest at 1 minute 54 seconds of round two. In the other bout, heavyweight Jermaine Richards from Stanley Couch Gym won by split decision over Ryan Sinclair from the Jamaica Defence Force.