Quebec Scene: Jo Jo Dan’s “Unfinished Business,” Decarie Returns, and more


by Hans Olson

We’re just over a week away from the highly anticipated rematch between Montreal’s Jo Jo Dan and Turkey’s Selcuk Aydin.

With the WBC’s Silver Welterweight title at stake, Jo Jo and Selcuk’s upcoming showdown has been dubbed “Unfinished Business;” a clear acknowledgement of their highly controversial first meeting back in June 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Many observers felt Jo Jo Dan won that fight convincingly, something not lost on Jo Jo when I spoke with him a few weeks back.

“Well for the first fight, I was sure I was going to win,” said Jo Jo. “I was a little bit nervous for the scorecards, but I was thinking I won. I punched a lot and Aydin did nothing. After the first half of the fight, after the 6th round—he did mostly nothing. I was confident I was going to win the fight. Even my corner, my guys from the corner…they were so happy. Before the decision (My corner) said ‘Jo Jo you did a good job and you’ll win for sure!’ But it didn’t happen.”

On the official scorecards, judge John Keane of England scored the contest 116-111 in favor of Jo Jo Dan. Judges Daniel Van de Wiele (Belgium) and Bela Florian (Hungary) however, scored it 114-113 for Selcuk Aydin, giving the hometown fighter a split decision victory. More frustrating even, is the fact that had a bogus knockdown not been called in the opening round by referee Ian John-Lewis, the fight would have been ruled a draw…the extra point for Aydin tipping the scorecard in his favor. In that particular sequence, Aydin hit Jo Jo on the back of the head, during a break. This was after Aydin had already attempted to hit on the break moments earlier. That it was ruled a knockdown was absurd.

“Well, I was surprised when I see the referee start counting,” said Jo Jo. “I didn’t expect it. He hit me on the back of my head. When I see the referee start counting I said ‘what happened man?’ It’s not fair. Not fair.”

Now, roughly a year and a half later…Jo Jo gets his chance to settle unfinished business…and he’s doing so going back into enemy territory. The fight will take place at
the Hayri Gür Arena in Selcuk Aydin’s hometown of Trabzon, Turkey. A sellout crowd is expected, and the fight will be broadcast live in over 30 countries internationally. Additionally, portions of the proceeds from the event will be donated to help victims of the terrible earthquake that hit the province of Van, which is located roughly 400 miles southeast of Trabzon.

Although there is always skepticism going back to the same region of a controversial decision…Jo Jo is confident the outcome this time will be different.

“This is my job. My job is to fight and go back in the ring and to fight him and do my best to win that fight.”

Judging the rematch will be Belgium’s Roger Tilleman, Switzerland’s Fabian Guggenheim, and Montenegro’s Predrag Aleksic, with Italy’s Enza Jacaponi supervising. Controlling the action inside the ring will be Italy’s Massimo Barrovecchio, who most recently was seen refereeing Vitali Klitchcko’s knockout victory over Tomasz Adamek in Poland this past September.

Jo Jo Dan leaves for Turkey on Saturday, the long 17 hour flight giving him plenty of time to think about his ultimate goal, returning to Montreal victorious. He’ll be joined by promoter Chris Ganescu, trainer Pierre Bouchard, along with Lucian Bute’s renowned trainer Stephan Larouche and the rest his team.

Jo Jo has a game-plan to defeat Selcuk Aydin more decisively than the last time…and hopes this time he gets the decision.

“I should put pressure from the beginning.,..I think I respected him a little bit too much. This time I will make sure I won’t make the same mistake.”

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Antonin Decarie vs. Victor Lupo Finalized

Having now healed from an injury that forced him to pull out of an October showdown with Jose Luis Castillo, Laval’s Antonin Decarie will return to the ring on December 17 at the Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City to face Victor Lupo for the WBC’s vacant International Welterweight Championship. Lupo, who earned this mandatory shot by defeating Junior Witter back in February, had intended on fighting former champ Phil Lo Greco. After refusing to fight Lupo, Lo Greco was stripped of the title. “I worked very hard to become the mandatory challenger,” said Lupo in a press release. “But I couldn’t force Lo Greco to fight me. I’m excited to be getting my chance against Decarie, a good fighter who will be fighting at home. I didn’t care if I had to fight him on the moon. I’ve waited a long time for this opportunity and plan on taking full advantage. He struggled to beat Irving Garcia (majority decision) last year, so he’s going to be in serious trouble when he gets in the ring with me. I’m going to turn up the heat, pressuring him from the opening bell, break him down and then finish the show. I will not be denied. ”

Antonin Decarie (25-1) was last seen defeating Shamone Alvarez (21-5) on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” earlier this year.

Also set to appear on Groupe Yvon Michel’s December 17 card will be fast rising prospect Kevin Bizier. Kevin is currently down in Florida with trainer Pedro Diaz, sparring with Miguel Cotto as Cotto prepares for his December 3 showdown with Antonio Margarito

Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson

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