Quebec Scene: Ali Nestor Charles, Tony Luis; Bute/Froch on EPIX


By Hans Olson

This Saturday at the Claude-Robillard Center in Montreal, Ali Nestor Charles returns to the squared circle, taking on Mexico’s Martin Avila for the UBO super welterweight title. Charles (12-5-2), who has gone 7-0-1 in his last eight, looks to continue his winning ways against the game Avila, who enters Saturday’s bout coming off of consecutive knockout wins.

Although sporting a less-than-glossy record of 13-8, Avila has been in with decent competition. He holds a UD victory over Saul Duran, though Montreal fans might best remember him for being knocked out in two rounds by David Lemieux back in 2009.

In the evening’s co-feature, Cornwall, ON star Tony Luis puts his undefeated record on the line against Hungary’s Ferenc Szabo.

“I’m ready 100 percent,” said a confident Tony Luis to Boxing Insider on Wednesday. “My only concern is a runny nose at the moment, haha, but that’s Canada for ya. I had a great training camp in Cuba as part of my preparations for this fight. [I] always learn a couple things that I take home with me; put lots of time into my strength and conditioning work as well.”

Tony assured that a small cold was nothing to be concerned with.

“[It’s] nothing to fret over, it just means lots of snot and blood for him on Saturday!”

As far as the relatively unknown Szabo?

“I understand he was national champion for some time in the amateurs in his native Hungary,” noted Luis.

“He doesn’t have the prettiest record, but he’s also been matched very tough from the outset of his career; so he’s won some and lost some.

“But win or lose, he’s always proven to be a tough competitor and gives the fans their money’s worth. I’m expecting a strong aggressive fighter coming at me this weekend.”

Also Saturday, Laval’s Roody Pierre Paul takes on Carlos Martinez, and Mascouche’s Francesco Cotroni squares off against Emanuel Guzman.

Quebec’s Francois Miville, and Montreal’s Kevin Lavalle will see action in separate bouts, along with Dimitri Waardenburg, who will make his professional debut.

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On May 26, Montreal-based superstar Lucian Bute heads over the pond to fight Carl Froch, the mandatory challenger to his IBF championship.

Although Bute is still under contract with Showtime, where he has a fight remaining, the network (along with HBO) passed on the Froch fight. Sky Sports in the UK will televise, and Canal Indigo will offer PPV in Canada.

What about the U.S.?

Thankfully, American fans will be able to see the fight live on Epix and EpixHD.com.

“EPIX is very pleased with the fan reaction and audience growth of its series of exclusive live U.S. telecasts of world championship fights. The fireworks Bute vs. Froch will produce is the perfect follow up to our unprecedented heavyweight championship trilogy which featured Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin defending their world titles over three consecutive weeks,” said Travis Pomposello, EPIX CCO and executive producer of EPIX Sports in a press release earlier in this week.

“I am very pleased that boxing fans in the United States won’t miss this war between Carl Froch and me,” said Bute in the same presser.

“I want to thank the EPIX network for broadcasting this fight. I am training very seriously to face Carl Froch and I look forward to defending my title for the 10th time. May 26th is going to be a great night of boxing!”

Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected]

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