BOXING: Contender SeriesKINGSTON:Described as ?a lean, mean, fighting machine?, Kemahl ?The Hitman? Russell, winner of the 2015 Wray & Nephew Contender Series, is the new Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum Brand Ambassador.?Kemahl Russell is an exceptional athlete. He has combined top performance in his sport with resilience and spirit. These are precisely the qualities that are embodied in our Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum brand,? said Pietro Gramegna, marketing manager, White Spirits at J Wray & Nephew Limited, in explaining their choice.Russell is expected to be a role model to the contestants in the upcoming season of the Wray & Nephew Contender Series.?Kemahl is a reflection of hard work, discipline and determination to reach the highest heights of boxing. He displays a heart of gratitude to the Wray & Nephew brand which has created the number one platform for boxing. He wants to show Jamaica that the Wray & Nephew Contender Series is an opportunity given to Jamaican boxers, which if taken seriously can be the beginning of the best to come.?Most of all, he displays the ?spirit of a fighter?. This is the one thing Jamaica could never forget about ?The Hitman?,? Gramegna further stated.Since winning the Wray & Nephew Contender Series for 2015, Russell has been training at Gleason?s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, under the tutelage of world class trainer, Hector Roca.With the assistance of his management team, Russell will be strategically placed in fights and moved through the ranks towards the world title.Russell, who grew up in the tough Tower Hill neighbourhood, says he won?t stop until he fights his way to the top.?Being a brand ambassador for Wray & Nephew rum means a lot to me. I think it ties in so well with who I am, as I always am in high spirits even when the going gets toughHe remains inspired by other sporting athletes as he pursues career excellence and shared that his boxing role model is the Jamaican hero of the 1970s and 80s, Mike ?The Body Snatcher? McCallum and his favourite sportsman is the fastest man of all time, Usain Bolt.?I admire Usain Bolt,? he said respectfully, ?for making our little country so pronounced in the world through sports?My career goal was to become a world champion, but is now to be remembered as one of, if not the best boxer Jamaica has produced.?He believes the Wray & Nephew Contender Series has revived boxing and kept the sport relevant in Jamaica.?I admire the Wray & Nephew brand for attaching itself to a sport such as boxing and creating opportunity for Jamaican boxers like myself to showcase their talent and improve their record,? Russell said.When his manager was asked ?what?s next for Russell??, she said: ?Kemahl will continue the same training programme in New York. At this stage of his career we are also assessing the trainers to determine who is best to develop and polish Kemahl?s natural fighting ability. But for now he will remain at Gleason?s Gym under the training of Hector Roca. We are presently trying to determine what his next fight will be. However, it is slated to be in March.?Wray & Nephew is assisting Kemahl financially with his entire training programme, which involves living expenses, nutrition and all the training related expenses, which we are extremely grateful for.?
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Real Madrid head to Manchester City for tomorrow’s first leg of their Champions League semi-final with dark clouds over Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Both star strikers, who have scored 74 goals between them this season, are nursing right-leg injuries. Ronaldo strained a muscle in a win over Villarreal on Wednesday, ruling him out of Saturday’s match at Rayo Vallecano — that Benzema exited before halftime with a leg injury of his own. Coach Zinedine Zidane said that Ronaldo, who trained on Sunday, will travel with the squad to England. Benzema is a bigger worry for the former France great. “We’re going to assess Benzema,” Zidane said after Saturday’s match. “All I can say is that it’s not a knock. I hope that it’s nothing serious and that he’ll be available for Tuesday.” The 10-time champions have already found their saviour in case Ronaldo and Benzema have not fully recovered to face City. Gareth Bale rose to the occasion when both his strike partners were out on Saturday, scoring two goals to lead a 3-2 comeback victory at Rayo that kept Madrid in the fight for the Spanish league title. For Bale, Madrid have the “psychological” advantage of playing the second leg back in Spain. “If we get a good result in the Etihad Stadium, back at the Bernabeu our fans are always going to help us,” Bale said. “As long as we don’t lose there, we’ll be very confident at the Bernabeu.” Under former Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini, City are in fine form domestically in April. Besides a draw against lowly Newcastle, high-scoring wins — 3-0 over Chelsea and a 4-0 rout of Stoke on Saturday — are a reminder of City at their best. Kevin de Bruyne has been the inspiration behind the revival, as a dynamo in midfielder since returning after two months out. The Belgian was rested against Stoke in preparation for Madrid. “Now almost everybody is back and it gives us a different feeling,” De Bruyne said.