BY: JELANI GRANT
Canadian-Jamaican boxer Phillip Rose is preparing for his second-round match at the Wray & Nephew Contender Season 7 in Jamaica.
Following a dominant win in the first round, facing Ricardo Planter, Rose is training in preparation for his round two match in June.
Sixteen professional boxers from Jamaica and Canada were selected to fight at this year’s contender. In the last season, Jamaican boxers competed against fighters from the United States. This year Ramel Lewis, Richard Holmes, Devon Moncrieffe, Tsetsi Davis, Nico Yeyo, Sakima Mullings, Ricardo Planter and Gregory Miller were the eight men selected to represent Jamaica while Ryan Young, Frank Cotroni, Dave Leblond, Mike Breton, Larone Whyte, Phil Rose, Winston Matthews and Ryan Wagner were chosen to fight for Canada.
Rose said his former promoter, Tyler Buxton, selected him. The Durham native is a super welterweight with ten years of amateur boxing experience and has fought in the pros for six years. Although he has had a few breaks in the past, he has been consistent in his training since his return. On November 20th, his first fight in two years, he knocked out Ryan Young, who is also a contender in the tournament. Young won his first-round fight on May 24th, beating the Jamaican favorite, Ramel Lewis. Rose said Young will definitely be ready for a rematch if they both keep winning in the tournament. Rose also looked good during his first match and said, “The first round was good”. He went the distance, fighting until the fifth round, and dominating throughout. His next opponent and fight date should be determined shortly.
He could be leaving for the next round as early as June 3rd.
Leblond, Cotroni, and Whyte are the other three Canadians who made it to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal round begins next Wednesday with Mullings facing Whyte. There will be four more fights over the same distance in the quarterfinals, followed by two semi-finals over seven rounds, and then the grand finale, which will be over ten rounds.
Wray & Nephew Limited marketing manager Pietro Gramegna said the tournament has made history this year by taking some matches to Colonel Cove in St Thomas, Island Village in St Ann, and Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth where they hosted three exciting Road to Contender pre-launch shows for the first time. All matches held outside of Kingston were successful and over $400,000 JMD in cash and prizes were given to the boxers and patrons.
Rose said he was happy to meet some of his family, whom he hasn’t seen in years, and can’t wait to go back in June. “I was there when I was young with my mother but ever since I was ten I haven’t been back,” he said. “That’s another reason I jumped on the opportunity to go back to Jamaica.”
Rose said he is trying to be at the gym every day and attributes much of his success and determination to his wife Nicole and kids. He acknowledged that his wife taking care of their children throughout the day made it easier for him to be consistent in training. “My wife is very supportive of me…if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be able to do this because she helps me out so much,” he said. “She’ll always be there for me, she is the stable.”
The reality boxing TV series began in 2011, collaborating TVJ and the Jamaican Boxing Board of Control. This year the tournament launched at the Wray & Nephew Limited’s football field in Kingston on March 31st. The matches are scheduled to be held at the Chinese Benevolent Association on Wednesday. The 1st place prize is $20,000 CDN. Some highlights of the fights can be found on Youtube, but the tournament is being aired on the Television Jamaica Channel, on Wednesday evenings.