‘Shaka’ loses bout
Bajan boxer falters during welterweight quarter-final
KINGSTON – Barbadian boxer Christopher “Shaka” Henry came out on the losing end against Donovan “Police” Campbell in the last quarter-final bout of the Wray And Nephew Welterweight Contender 2014 series at the Chinese Benevolent Association Auditorium in Kingston, Jamaica, on Wednesday night.
Judges Keith Brown and Clifford Brown scored the bout 59-55, while Stephen Hodges called it 58-54.
Both Henry and Campbell had confidently predicted a win prior to the match-up but it was the Jamaican who put his muscle where his mouth was.
Campbell, who was champion in 2012, exceeded all expectations with a display of power punching that surprised boxing fans who packed the auditorium and cheered themselves hoarse as the drama unfolded. Seeded No. 4 in the competition behind Sakima Mullings No. 1, Howard Eastman No. 2 and Tsetsi Davis No. 3, Campbell made those who drew up the seedings look good, as he claimed the No. 4 spot. The victory earned him the right to go up against Mullings on June 25 in the second semi-final. The first semi-final will be on June 18, between Campbell and Mullings. These four will challenge each other for the first prize of JAM$2 million, second prize of $500,000, third prize $250,000 and fourth prize $200,000.
This was the first time in the Contenders’ four-year-old history that the 16 fighters in the Contender series were not from Jamaica, but also from the wider Caribbean. This sought to give legitimacy to the Wray & Nephew Contender Boxing series as for the first time Jamaican boxers had to face opponents other than their own Jamaican boxers in the series.
There was an air of expectancy as Henry and Campbell entered the ring, and the big question to be answered at the start was whether the Caribbean team would get another boxer into the final four along with Eastman. Henry raised the hopes of his countrymen with a very good first round, as clever boxing gave him the edge. He threw the harder punches and staggered Campbell a couple of times
Campbell came out briskly for the second round and engaged Henry at close quarters. They exchanged punches at close and long range, and Campbell favoured the uppercut a lot as he made a late surge. This was a very close round. It was toe-to-toe action in the third, as both men had their periods of ascendancy.
As the time for the end drew closer, Campbell threw caution to the wind and at one stage, had Henry on the brink of a knockout before the final bell sounded.
“Suppose I tell you, me get two healthy box and that wake me up,” said Campbell, referring to early blows received from Henry. Campbell’s handlers then advised him to “go out there and work man”.
“From the second round me start tek it to him and so me get the victory,” Campbell added.
Henry admitted afterwards that his performance was below par.
“I tried to push but after the first round the power just was not there and I became flat after that. But I take my hat off to him, he is a good fighter,” Henry said.