Quebec Scene: Jo Jo Dan, Sebastien Gauthier, more
by Hans Olson
“We’ve challenged Joel Julio.”
Chris Ganescu of Gankor Promotions makes no bones about it.
“After a mediocre performance back at welterweight last Friday, Joel challenged WBC Champion Victor Ortiz. Jo Jo is rated #4 by the WBC and is also a southpaw….why not fight us?!?! My guy is more entitled to fight Ortiz than he is!”
Gankor’s guy is of course Jo Jo Dan, the hard hitting southpaw who, like fellow Romanian countrymen Lucian Bute and Adrian Diaconu; fights out of Montreal, one of the hottest boxing cities in the world.
Jo Jo Dan was last seen on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights back in February against Steve Forbes. Dan was impressive, locking up enough rounds before the bout ended prematurely due to an accidental clash of heads. Despite the manor in which the outcome of the bout was ultimately decided (TD6 for Jo Jo), it was a nice step in the right direction for Jo Jo, and a direction that Ganescu hopes can eventually lead to WBC Welterweight Champ Victor Ortiz.
“My guy is now ranked by all 4 major organizations in the top 15: # 4 WBC, # 6 WBA, # 14 IBF, # 14 WBO; plus he’s rated in the top-10 by various independent boxing sites. He is ready and willing to fight any champion or contender at welterweight. His only loss was highly controversial……a split decision in Turkey! So I really consider him unbeaten in the ring…..”
The lone setback Chris speaks of was the WBC Silver Welterweight fight in June of last year against Selcuk Aydin in Turkey, Aydin’s home country. It was indeed controversial. Wacky scoring (114-113 twice for Aydin and 116-111 for Dan) led to the SD loss, and although Jo Jo was knocked down in the 1st round, that in itself was questionable—many saw the knockdown as a result of a messy sequence where the landed blow shouldn’t have been counted. Most observers had Jo Jo the clear winner.
Selcuk Aydin is currently the WBC’s #1 Challenger and a mandatory for Victor Ortiz.
Chris is positive Jo Jo will have his chance to redeem that loss, carry the momentum of his recent wins, and move on to bigger and better things from here on out.
“Hopefully one of these days soon, a major opportunity to showcase Jo Jo will happen!”
The Levis Arena in Levis, PQ will tonight play host to a fine evening of boxing. Saint-Jerome, PQ native Sebastien Gauthier will look for his 4th win in a row since being on the wrong end of a “Knockout of the Year” candidate in 2009 against Mario Macias. Since then, the 29 year old Gauthier has bounced back nicely, rattling off 3 consecutive wins—particularly impressing in his last outing on the undercard of Lucian Bute/Brian Magee where he scored a KO2 of his own against Jovanny Soto. His opponent tonight will be Robert DaLuz.
Also featured on the Interbox promoted card will be prospect Eric Martel Bahoeli, a big-punching heavyweight who looks to add another W to his 6-0 record. Other up and coming prospects in the region including Michael Gadbois and Francis Charbonneau will see action, as will Sebastien Bouchard and Nicolas Valcourt, each who make their professional debuts.
Last Saturday’s record breaking victory for Bernard Hopkins over Jean Pascal had Montreal abuzz. Not only did Bernard break George Foreman’s record as the oldest fighter to have ever won a major championship, the fight also broke the attendance record for boxing at the Bell Centre with a reported 17,750 on hand to witness history.
The fight also brought in huge ratings for HBO, a reported 1.8 million viewers tuned in; the best audience the network has seen for boxing since 2009.