Amateurs deliver Contender excitement
Wray & Nephew Contender spectators got a real 'bellyful' on fight night four, with Devon 'Concrete' Moncriffe satisfying the home crowd with a masterful performance; then amateurs Marvin Shirley and Lethan Stephenson literally had them eating out of their hands.
Added to the opening bout between the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Marvin Shae and Samuel Grant, boxers gave fans full worth for every cent spent at the gate at fight headquarters, Chinese Benevolent Association, on Old Hope Road in Kingston.
From first bell, the diminutive Shae begun stalking Grant in methodical fashion and went on to secure a distinct advantage. However, it was not one-way traffic as Grant, the bigger man, made his presence felt with some shots of his own.
This forced Shae to back up a bit in round two, when he took some tough blows and delivered some of his own. Still, Shae held the advantage going into round three.
For a fleeting moment, Grant appeared to have gotten a huge slice of luck and the result he needed to turn the fight, when he caught Shae as he slipped. Shae took the standing eight count and responded convincingly, peppering Grant with a barrage of unanswered punched, eventually forcing the referee to end the fight at two minutes, 41 seconds.
MOST COMPETITIVE FIGHT
That whet the appetite, setting the stage for what was to come in the second amateur bout, the most competitive and best fight of Wray & Nephew Contender Season 8.
Shirley and Stephenson were standing toe-to-toe at the start. Well believe, they were that close for the entire three rounds, as neither gave any quarter in a brutal punch-swapping spectacle, bringing the crowd to its feet in loud cheer while landing some very hefty blows.
In the ebb and flow, Stephenson rocked Shirley early with a body shot that sent him backwards on to the ropes. However, there was no one-two follow-up, allowing Shirley to rally and score with some huge punches.
The big fellows continued their slugfest in the third, blasting each other with bombs that would have floored any ordinary challenger. But this was no ordinary fight and determinedly each recovered with a forward move after being sent backwards by a big punch. In the end, both stood tall, evoking deafening chants of "we want more, we want more" from the very appreciative crowd. Shirley, who had a better percentage hits, won.
In the main bout, Devon 'Concrete' Moncriffe dominated Canadian Tyler Wilson.