Quebec Scene: Chiekho, Plaitis, Stiverne, Bute, more
by Hans Olson
“Boxing is becoming more and more prominent in Montreal. We have great fighters. We have great coaches. We have two promoters that have done a great job in promoting fights—specifically Yvon Michel. He’s a person that has been very instrumental in promoting boxers in Montreal.”
Camille Estephan, who heads up Eye of the Tiger Management, will promote a card of his own this Saturday at the Corona Theatre in Montreal, PQ.
“Basically, I manage fighters and when they need fights, we do a card for them. I’m not really a promoter, but when we have a shortage of fights or there are not enough spots for my guys, we do a show. The show that we’re doing on Saturday night is happening during F1 weekend, so it fits right in with this weekend’s festivities in Montreal.”
Headlining the card will be Ahmad Chiekho (6-2-2), who fights in the Jr. Middleweight division. “Ahmad is a very, very talented boxer” says Estephan. “He was not really serious about boxing in the beginning. He had 6 fights, he was 2-2-2— and then quit. Then we met, and he saw what the team was doing. I have a very regimented system with nutritionists, coaches; conditioning trainers…it’s sort of systematic. So he wanted to give his career a second shot. He’s had 4 fights with us so far; he won all by 1st or 2nd round knockout. His talent has now been given the opportunity to explode.”
Ahmad looks to make it 5 in a row against Sergei Melis (17-5).
“Sergei Melis is a very experienced young guy; still wants to win. I think it’s very important for my guys to fight guys who want to win; they’re not just coming for a paycheck. This is a big test for our fighter.”
In the evening’s co-feature, Manolis Plaitis looks to rebound from his first defeat, a knockout loss last summer that came at the hands of Alfredo Chavez. It will be exactly one year to the day since that not-so-fateful evening.
“He’s coming back from a loss; it will be 1 year on June 11. It was his first loss, it was very difficult. He’s the type of fighter that everybody wants to see. A brawler who is very dynamic and wants a war…but that kind of stuff—sometimes there is risk involved. He took a punch that was just the wrong punch at the wrong time, and unfortunately it was his first loss. So he’s coming back, but again, he’s not going to be coming back to an easy fight.”
Rounding out the card will be Kevin Lavallee vs. Mihaly Telekfi, Ghislain Maduma vs. Virgile Degonzaga, Nathalie Forget vs. Karen Dulin, Abdou Sow vs. Xavier Girardin, and Francis Lafreniere vs. Ferenc Sarkozi.
Camille Estephan has one fighter that he manages who won’t be on his show this Saturday night…he will instead be fighting for the entire world to see June 25th on HBO.
This fighter is of course Bermane Stiverne, a Don King promoted knockout artist who takes on Ray Austin for the vacant WBC Silver Heavyweight title in a special attraction on the undercard of Devon Alexander/Lucas Matthysse.
The bout will be presented along with Tavoris Cloud/Yusaf Mack in what is to be an excellent evening of fights on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series.
“Bermane has a huge opportunity now” said Estephan. “In his last fight against Kertson Manswell, it was an HBO card (a non televised bout on the undercard of Alexander/Bradley) and it was a big win. HBO just fell in love with him.”
A win in style could set up some big fights down the road for the 32 year old Stiverne.
“He’s a dynamic heavyweight who has speed and power. He has charisma, he has personality, and God knows that heavyweight boxing needs him…especially in the US.”
This past Thursday at the Palais de Sports in Jonquiere, PQ, the undefeated 175 lb Franccy Ntetu cruised to unanimous decision victory over Abdullah Ramadan to continue his rise in the region.
In other action, heavyweight Eric Barrak took his undefeated record to 5-0 with a 1st round knockout victory over Richard Bryant, and young guns Dale Golden, Richard Reittie, and Horace Hunter all picked up wins.
On July 9th, Lucian Bute returns to his native Romania to defend his IBF Super Middleweight title for the 8th time against mandatory challenger Jean Paul Mendy of France. If you can’t make the trip overseas, you can catch highlights of the fight later that night during Showtime’s telecast of Brando Rios/Urbano Antillion. If you’re in Canada, it will be available live on PPV, and also at all Cage Aux Sport restaurants. Visit www.cage.ca for more details.
follow Hans Olson on twitter @hansolson