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Quebec Scene: Jo Jo Dan, Antonin Decarie, Jean Pascal


by Hans Olson

Last Friday, Montreal’s Jo Jo Dan (29-1) went over to Port of Spain and defeated Iwan Azore (13-4-3); stopping him in the 3rd round of a dominant performance. In doing so, Jo Jo earned the WBC’s regional CABOFE title while maintaining his WBC #5 ranking in the 147 lb. division. Coming off of his win, Jo Jo received more good fortune when the WBC announced that it was ordering a rematch against the WBC’s Silver Champion, Selcuk Aydin. Jo Jo Dan and Selcuk Aydin first met in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10, 2010. The return fight is one that Jo Jo and his team have waited a long time for, and Jo Jo’s promoter, Chris Ganescu was very pleased with the news. “I think Jo Jo won the first fight clearly, so the official result was very disappointing” said Ganescu. “The WBC is making justice by calling the rematch!” Although Jo Jo has no issue with traveling abroad, the general feeling is that this fight belongs in Quebec. “I already have great feedback to the (WBC’s) call for the rematch and I am very confident that I will be able to keep this fight out of Turkey” continued Ganescu. “I feel it belongs in North America, possibly Montreal. We have 30 days to reach a deal and if there no agreement a purse bid will take place on Sept 2nd!”

Tonight, GoFightLive.tv will stream the show taking place at the Chapiteau of CCSE in Montreal, PQ. Headlining the card will be super featherweight Arash Usmanee, currently rated #9 by the WBA. Usmanee (14-0) was born in Afghanistan and currently lives in Montreal. He’ll take on Budapest, Hungary’s Laszio Robert Balogh (13-7-1) in a scheduled 8-rounder. Also appearing on the card will be St-Adele’s Kevin Lavalle (4-0-1), Saint-Hyacinthe’s Michael Gadbois (2-0), and Montreal’s Frank Cotroni Jr, who makes his professional debut.

Groupe Yvon Michel’s “Fast and Furious” series will return on September 23 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The likely headliner will be Laval’s Antonin Decarie. Decarie (25-1) is coming off of a dominant performance last February on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” against Shamone Alvarez. Although no opponent has been named, a strong win for Decarie (rated #9 by the WBA) could put him in the mix for a big fight in 2012. Also scheduled to appear on the card are cruiserweight Eleider Alvarez, along with heavyweight hopefuls Oscar Rivas and Didier Bence. Didier Bence recently got in some sparring with Tyson Fury in preparation for Fury’s “Big Brawl” last month against Derek Chisora. An amateur standout, Didier has looked very good in his first two fights. It will be interesting to see how he progresses in the pros. Keep your eye on him.

Jean Pascal was ringside last Friday for WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov’s 9th round TKO victory against Danny Santiago. Pascal, who has the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City on hold for his return on December 17, seemed excited at the idea of a showdown with Shumenov. “I want to fight you in Canada” said Pascal to Shumenov. “You fight in Canada, I am from Kazakhstan” responded Shumenov. “Let’s fight in Las Vegas where all the champions fight.”

Clearly, the fight wouldn’t draw a fraction of the interest in Vegas as it would in Quebec City.

IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud and the WBC’s #5 rated Zsolt Erdei remain in the mix for Pascal’s next opponent.

Follow Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson on Twitter @hansolson

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