by Hans Olson, ringside
Fast rising prospect Kevin Lavallee improved to 6-0-1 tonight in Montreal, knocking out Richard Szebeledi in a dominating performance. A sustained, ferocious body attack wilted the brave Szebeledi, who didn’t have an answer for anything the gifted native of Quebec did.
“I saw that he always kept his hands up leaving that body open, so I tried to get close to him and rip him downstairs” explained the victorious Lavallee.
“I thought overall it was pretty good—a good experience. I had more rounds than usual. I listened to my corner. We worked on some stuff that we’ve been doing in the gym, and I managed to put it out here today.”
Lavallee’s trainer, the acclaimed Russ Anber was also pleased.
“I was really happy. He doesn’t realize it right now, but these rounds that you get in the bank early in your career really pay dividends later,” explained Anber. “Here he was, round 5, and still strong enough to throw power. He was able to control his opponent, and that’s something that takes a long time to learn.”
Lavallee was poised from the get go. Backing up Szebeledi with hard shots and boxing his way in and out of the pocket smoothly, Lavallee went to the body early and often. “He likely could have gone out there and thrown caution to the wind and maybe taken the guy out earlier, but that doesn’t teach you to control your opponent” said Anber. “He had every second of every minute of each round under control.”
By round 3, the controlled aggression was putting Szebeledi on the canvas. Through the final rounds, the punching power of Lavallee had Szebeledi bouncing around the ring like a pinball. “He dropped him, he backed off,” said Anber. “He wanted to drop him, he dropped him. He boxed. He did whatever he wanted to do. The guy was tough, he kept getting back up—but Kevin’s learning control. That’s probably the most important thing that you can teach a pro, is to learn control. He’s coming along good doing that, so I’m really happy with what he’s done.”
Anber feels Kevin is progressing at exactly the right pace.
“I want him to keep progressing. That’s what he’s doing now. The progression has been great. He’s moving up, we’re practicing different things. He’s learning different skills. Our main focus now is to teach him as a pro when you develop is how you control your opponent. That’s even going to have to be important when you’re not winning rounds, but you’re still able to neutralize a guy’s attack. When you’re still able to control the situation even when you’re losing rounds, that’s a skill that takes years to develop. I know what it takes to become a top level pro fighter, I’m not just talking about being champion of Quebec or Canada. We’re talking world class. It takes years to develop and that’s the way you gotta learn it by what he’s doing right there.”
Lavallee is excited to get back into the ring, possibly as early as next month.
“I’m supposed to get a fight October 1st. Nothing’s confirmed so far, but staying in shape. I’m back in the gym Monday, and we’re working hard. Whatever comes up I’m ready.”
In other action, Ibrahim Kamal defeated Maurycy Gojko by unanimous decision in a 6-rounder, Francesco Cotroni knocked out Dmitrijus Kalinovskis in the 3rd, Rory Coveney earned a split-decision win against Arvydas Trizno, Michael Gadbois cruised to a UD victory over Vladimiras Balaklijec, Lionell Thompson impressed with 4th round TKO against David Whittom, and Francois Miville won his 2nd pro fight, getting the W against Kirilas Psonko in the evening’s opener.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson