By Hans Olson
According to RDS.ca, it’s now official that Montreal’s Joachim Alcine will fight Jermain Taylor on April 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Taylor’s hometown.
The Haitian-born Canadian made waves last December when he upset the hard-hitting David Lemieux in one of the best performances of his career. Before the Lemieux bout, many felt the best days of Alcine were behind him.
In July 2010, Alcine was stopped by Alfredo Angulo in one round. Over a year later, “Ti-Joa” had an anemic showing against the limited Jose Medina, escaping their August 2011 fight with a disappointing draw.
Against Lemieux, the 35 year old Alcine turned back the clocks, out foxing the younger Lemieux with the same intangibles that made him a world champion…concussive counter-punching, a high work-rate, and ring savvy.
Although Lemieux at times looked great, Alcine’s mind-games appeared to get the better of the young Laval native. As the fight wore on, David’s game-plan had gone out the window, never setting up his punches or applying intelligent pressure.
Alcine was able to pick him apart over the last third of the fight.
In Jermain Taylor, Alcine will face a former unified champion—but one who is far removed from championship form. Though Taylor looked better than expected against the undersized Jessie Nicklow last December, the jury is still out. This is the perfect crossroads fight for a pair of comebacking former-champs looking for a return to glory.
The card was initially supposed to have featured Jean Pascal vs. Zsolt Erdei in Quebec as part of a split-site telecast, but as of late Thursday that appears unlikely. Rumors were rampant around the region all week that Pascal/Erdei was all but official, and just like that…things change. According to the same RDS.ca report, Erdei has decided not to fight Jean Pascal, whose frustration grows as he attempts to secure a meaningful fight.
As far as the Alcine/Taylor card, it was reported by Boxing Scene’s Reynaldo Sanchez that Erislandy Lara could fight Ronald Hearns in the co-feature. Lara and Hearns were initially scheduled to fight on the undercard to Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Bert II before Ortiz’ injury forced the postponement of the entire card.
Introducing Ghislain Maduma
On the undercard to last weekend’s Adonis Stevenson vs. Jesus Gonzales card, Ghislain Maduma improved to 6-0 in an impressive showing against Ontario’s Jeremy Abbott. Maduma, a former 5-time Quebec amateur champion, pummeled Abbott during the first 3 minutes…dropping his overmatched foe 3 times to score the TKO at 3:00 in the 1st round. “It felt really good, everything just went perfect,” said Maduma to Boxing Insider on Thursday evening. “I’ve had some long fights, but I’ve got to take this one and appreciate it, cause I don’t really go for the KO. I’m a more of a thinker in the ring.”
Maduma, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, moved to Montreal in 1997 when he was 12. He started boxing at 15, and was an amateur standout. Along with his accomplishments in Quebec, he was a 2003 Canadian champion, and even participated in the world amateur championships in Chicago in 2007. As a pro, he’s been successful thus-far, and hopes to stay busy to achieve his goals.
“I hope I’ll be [back in the ring] as soon as possible, but it’s not in my hands. My manager and my coach decide all about my career. My job is just to train and stay dedicated to my sport everyday.”
Bute vs. Ward back in play?
Finally, it’s worth noting that RDS.ca reported Thursday that Interbox president Jean Bedard has still not received an offer from Carl Froch’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, to fight in Nottingham in May. Perhaps the reasoning could be they (Froch and Hearn) are waiting until the IBF-ordered mandatory goes to a purse bid.
In another interesting development, Bedard noted that he has resumed negotiations with the team of Andre Ward.
Where these new discussions go, nobody knows…
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson