Devon ‘Joe Fraser’ Moncrieffe made it clear from the start and throughout the Wray & Nephew Contender middleweightboxing series that through resilience, determination and hard work he would get to the finals.
Dubbed as the ‘dark horse’ the 34-year-old boxer began his competitive exploits after losing his job. He began training and showed a promising future, however, he had limited assistance and unforeseen challenges that gradually diminished his hopes of being successful in the sport.
Despite the obstacles and disappointments and the absence of a trainer in the early stages, Moncrieffe held steadfast and kept on training for a while. When he heard of the Wray & Nephew Contender middleweight boxing series he welcomed the opportunity to showcase his talent and has not looked back since.
Moncrieffe, who is a brutal slugger with a no-holds-barred attitude, has gone into each fight supremely confident of victory. He upset the number fourth seeded Ricardo Planter in the quarter-finals, and then pulled off the biggest upset of the 16-man tournament, with a second round knockout victory over the number one seeded Tetsi Davis, in the first semi-final. Following his exhilarating performance he then booked himself a place in the hugely successful series that is set to climax with a stellar showdown on Wednesday, April 27.
Moncrieffe who grew up in the Glades Community in St. Catherine said he trained hard before and during the competition and placed extreme effort into his preparations for the tournament. The finalist boxer is from a big family of five sisters and four sisters, said during the initial match-ups it was a bit difficult for him, however as he settled in he became more comfortable and it has turned out to be a great achievement for him.
“You have to work and train hard. If you really want something then you have to smile at the storm, even when you are tired,” Moncrieffe said.
At 5 feet, 6 inches and weighing in at 160 lbs, he says getting to the finals of any boxing competition is any boxers dream. “It is a motivating force for us who are in the sport and for other persons that love boxing and want to get involved in it. The competition has uplifted the sport and hopefully the level of enthusiasm will continue after the finals,” Moncrieffe said.
However, despite all the excitement surrounding the grand-finale the boxer said he is focused on lifting the inaugural title. He will be banking on his fighting spirit and his massive overhead right punch to bring him success. “It’s going to be my biggest night. I am going out there to fight and to win,” Moncrieffe said.
“I am expecting a good fight from Smith. He is a good guy but I am going to give him a run for his money,” he added.
A win for Moncrieffe will solidify his love for the sport, and provide prospects that will give him opportunities on the international scene.
Devon Moncrieffe will join Rikardo Smith in the ring for the right to be called Jamaica's First Middleweight Contender when they clash for the $1 Million prize at the Constant Spring Football Field.