By Hans Olson
Cote vs. Herrera Postponed; Mikael Zewski Looks Ahead
It was announced by Interbox today that Pier-Olivier Cote’s upcoming February 3 defense of his IBF Intercontinental championship against Mauricio Herrera has been postponed. The fight was to be broadcast in America on Showtime as part of it’s “Showbox: The New Generation” series.
According to the Associated Press, “promoter Jean Bedard said talks would be held with Showtime on a new date for the match. He said they didn’t want to take a chance of letting Cote fight after he missed training time because of the illness.”
Details of Cote’s illness were not made available.
Another fighter who had been due to appear on the card was undefeated Trois-Rivières native Mikael Zewski.
Just last night, Boxing Insider caught up with Mikael to discuss the opportunity that fighting on Showtime would bring. “I see it as a huge opportunity to show what I can do,” said Mikael. “Showtime has millions of viewers, and I will cease that opportunity for sure.”
With the unfortunate circumstance of Cote’s illness, Mikael will have to wait a little bit longer to cease that opportunity. The ups and downs in the business of boxing are not new for the talented 22 year old. Zewski has already had a roller-coaster ride between promoters Golden Boy and Top Rank—though you wouldn’t notice any displeasure from the positive-minded Zewski. “My manager [Cameron Dunkin] is the best in the business, and he deals with all that. My job is to train and fight, so I don’t even think about all that. I’m very satisfied with where I am at this point in my career. I’m looking forward, not behind.”
Zewski, who began boxing at age nine, worked hard to get to this point. He’s now 12-0 with 8 knockouts, and ready to make a name for himself on the premium networks. “My Dad used to box when he was younger, and one day he brought me to the gym. He started coaching me, and from that day on we’ve shared this amazing passion that we have for boxing—and I think it shows by our relationship,” said Mikael. “I had a long amateur career with 132 wins and 28 losses. That amateur baggage helps a lot in the pros.”
Although Mikael is from Quebec, he has fought many recent fights outside of the region…this largely due to being signed with American promoters. I asked Mikael about this. Considering the roaring reception he received up at the Bell Centre when he knocked out Ruben Galvan last May on the undercard of Pascal/Hopkins II, you would have thought he had boxed exclusively in the region. “I’m taking it one fight at the time because I never know where my next one is going to be,” continued Mikael. “But I think I will fight in Quebec more often from now on.”
That’s good news for fight fans in Quebec. As far as what else can be expected of Mikael Zewski in 2012?
“I’m working harder everyday,” said Mikael. “I’ m pushing my limits everyday to give the fans a good show and to achieve my goals. In 2012 I want bigger challenges, and I would also like to fight for a belt.”
St Juste Recovering
Last December, Repentigny’s Renan St Juste (23-3-1) was defeated in a WBC super middleweight title eliminator by Anthony Dirrell. In the fight, St Juste badly injured his left shoulder in the 4th round, which ended the contest.
“I launched a left hand at the same time that he launched a right hand,” said St Juste during an interview with Boxing Insider Thursday evening. “Our heads clashed and my arm hit his shoulder. I immediately felt the shoulder injury. Since the fight, it’s gotten better every week. It did not need surgery, but there are certain movements that are still painful.”
St Juste isn’t sure how long it will be until he’s back in action (he wants to be “100%”)…and he’s unsure if he’ll get a rematch with Anthony Dirrell, who now is a mandatory challenger to WBC champ Andre Ward.
“For the moment I’m not sure if it will be Dirrell who I face next. Interbox will keep me informed of their plans, and then I’ll think about the person they give me.”
Is Pascal/Dawson II Imminent?
Earlier this week, RDS.com’s Francis Paquin reported that talks are ongoing between Yvon Michel and Gary Shaw (promoters of Jean Pascal and Chad Dawson, respectively) in an attempt to stage a rematch of Pascal’s August 2010 triumph over Dawson.
“I am in constant communication with his promoter Gary Shaw, and the case of a second fight between Dawson and Hopkins [that the WBC ordered] is still not resolved,” said Yvon Michel to RDS.
“Dawson has already said he wants to avenge his loss to Jean, and it’s a fight that interests HBO.”
Jean Pascal has not fought since his decision loss to Bernard Hopkins in May of last year. It’s been difficult to land an opponent for the former world champ. At various times late last year Pascal had been rumored to fight Tavoris Cloud, but nothing materialized due to Cloud’s promoter Don King, and his unreasonable requests. With Cloud scheduled to fight Gabriel Campillo on February 18, he can be ruled out again. Bernard Hopkins has shown little interest in fighting Chad Dawson for a 2nd time, or Pascal a 3rd. The WBC ordered Pascal to fight undefeated Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh, though it’s not a certainty that HBO would buy that particular matchup.
All of this adds up to the high probability of Pascal/Dawson II happening.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson