Quebec Scene: Introducing Tyler Asselstine; Bute in AC, more
by Hans Olson
On December 10, Groupe Yvon Michel continues it’s “Fast and Furious” series with a stacked card at the Belle Centre in Montreal, headlined by the return of David Lemieux. Lemieux, idle since his loss to Marco Antonio Rubio in April earlier this year, will take on Joachim Alcine. In the evening’s co-feature, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson faces Aaron Pryor Jr. for the vacant WBO NABO super middleweight title.
A fighter not to be missed on the undercard is Kingston, Ontario featherweight, Tyler Asselstine (7-0). Asselstine, 25, challenges Philippe Frenois in what will be the 6th time he’s fought at the Belle Centre, a venue quickly becoming a home away from home for him. “Although I’m not from Quebec, I do a decent amount of my training in Montreal and I consider Quebec a second home” said Asselstine in a recent interview with Boxing Insider. “I love the support and fans of Montreal, and the events are fun to be a part of. So I hope to continue fighting in Quebec.”
The province of Quebec has long been one of the most boxing-rich regions in the world. It only makes sense for Tyler to fight here. He hopes to follow a long line of non-Quebequois Canadians who have found fanfare in the region…guys like Yvon Durelle (Baie-Ste-Anne, New Brunswick), Eddie Melo (Toronto, Ontario), and Nicky Furlano (Toronto, Ontario).
Boxing though, wasn’t the first combat sport Asselstine excelled in. “I grew up in Kingston, Ontario and graduated from Bayridge Secondary School. I started kickboxing when I was 17,” continued Asselstine. “I had a bunch of fights and traveled with the Canadian kickboxing team to Trinidad and Tobago, Portugal, and a few other places. I just wanted more competition, so I switched to boxing when I was 19.”
So far, it’s proven to be a good career move.
“In September 2010 I signed an exclusive contract with Hennessy Sports Canada. My team consists of Adam Harris (promotor) Eric Belanger (head coach), Rob Laplante (coach), and new addition to our team Ian McKillop (coach), which I’m very happy about. I train 6 times a week, twice a day. Boxing is my job. I take my training very seriously and have a great team to keep me on track.”
The heavy-handed Asselstine last fought on October 20, destroying Mexico’s Isaac Bejarano in 4 rounds.
The sky is the limit for Tyler Asselstine, and he hopes to make a leap next year.
“In 2012 you can expect a big year for me. Our team has big plans for me next year and I’m excited for this to happen!”
In addition to the aforementioned December 10 show, Groupe Yvon Michel’s December 17 gala in Quebec City is coming together nicely. With the evening’s main event having been set with Antonin Decarie (25-1) vs. Victor Lupo (19-1-2), future-star Kevin Bizier is also set to see action against an opponent TBA. Other fights that are tentatively scheduled to take place include Lionell Thompson (11-0) vs. Christian Cruz (12-12-1); Eric Martel Bahoeli (7-0) vs. Sylvera Louis (3-1); and heavyweight prospect Didier “Big Daddy” Bence (3-0) vs. Stephane Tessier (3-27-1).
-Repentigny, Quebec native Renan St-Just (23-2-1) will fight Anthony Dirrell (23-0) in a 12-round main event on Showtime’s “ShowBox: The New Generation” on December 2. The bout will take place at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.
-Speaking of Showtime, Lucian Bute will be ringside in Atlantic City for Showtime’s Super Six Finale between Andre Ward and Carl Froch on December 17. Bute, who dominated former Super Six participant Glen Johnson a few weeks back, looks to fight the winner of Ward/Froch next year. Bute’s promoter, Interbox, is offering travel packages to see the fight, along with getting a Bute meet and greet. I wonder if Atlantic City will have more Bute fans in attendance than Ward or Froch fans…
-Montreal’s Dierry Jean has targeted the date of January 26 for his return. Jean is coming off of a brilliant unanimous decision win over Franciso Lorenzo in October.
-Canadian prospects Mikael Zewski and Pier-Olivier Cote are both rumored to get spots on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” next year per a recent report by Boxing Scene’s Ryan Maquinana. Zewski recently signed with Top Rank, who have a close relationship with Interbox, Cote’s promoter.
-Finally, Ali Nestor Charles (12-5-2), Tony Luis (13-0), and Roddy Pierre Paul (4-0) will all see action against opponents TBA on an April 7, 2012, card at the Claude-Robillard Center in Montreal that Charles will promote.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson