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Quebec Scene: Jo Jo Dan, Jean Pascal, and more

by Hans Olson

It was announced earlier this week that Montreal’s Jo Jo Dan(28-1) will face Trindad and Tobago’s Floyd Trumpet(16-8-2) in Trumpet’s home country at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Port of Spain next Friday, July 29.

“Jo Jo Dan is becoming the new Road Warrior! He will travel to a foreign country but this time he will aim for a knockout!” said Jo Jo’s promoter, Chris Ganescu of Gankor Promotions.

At stake in this 12-round bout will be a vacant regional title at 147 lb., the WBC’s Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) title. Jo Jo has taken the fight on relatively short notice, but that doesn’t bother him or his team. “Fighters have to stay busy with fights and Jo Jo has been a full-time fighter for the last 2 years to be able to compete at the highest level,” said Ganescu. “We tried to get fights with names like Mike Jones, Joel Julio, and Shawn Porter without success. I have just been informed by the NABF that Porter preferred to vacate the Title rather than fight his mandatory Jo Jo Dan even though I made them a very good offer!” It has been tough for Jo Jo to get guys to fight him. Essentially an undefeated fighter (his lone defeat coming as a gift decision given to Selcuk Aydin in Aydin’s native Turkey back in 2010), Jo Jo finds himself in a position where he’ll just have to keep winning against the guys who are put in front of him. On July 29, Floyd Trumpet will be that guy. Trumpet is on a 4-fight winning streak, having won 3 of those fights inside the distance. Ganescu knows Jo Jo isn’t looking past Floyd Trumpet. “Despite his record and inactivity, I take Trumpet seriously! He seems to be in great shape, apparently being on training for months and the fact that he accepted such a challenge to fight at home a ranked fighter tells me how confident he is!” With a win, Jo Jo continues his rise in welterweight division, and hopefully one step closer to a major fight.

The WBC has ordered a 4 participant tournament to determine the next mandatory challenger to Bernard Hopkins’ 175 lb. championship. According to it’s official website , the tournament would feature a single elimination format with the projected bouts being Chris Henry(#3) vs. Ismayl Syllakh(#6), and Jean Pascal(#2) vs. Zsolt Erdei(#5). Number 1 challenger Chad Dawson will get his crack at Hopkins on October 15. I had previously reported that there was potential for Pascal to face either Erdei, Beibut Shumenov, or Tavoris Cloud that evening in what would be a split-site telecast, but it’s looking increasingly like Pascal prefers to wait until December to fight. In a recent interview Pascal had with On the Ropes Radio’s Jenna J and Geoffrey Ciani, Pascal was asked if he would pass up on an opportunity to fight Tavoris Cloud on the undercard to Hopkins/Dawson. “If the fight is October 15, I think I’m going to pass on the opportunity because my body needs rest” replied Pascal. “I can’t make 4 fights in twelve months. That’s a lot for a boxer of my caliber.” With Pascal’s promoter Yvon Michel holding the date of December 17 at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, PQ, all signs point to that date as Pascal’s return. As for an opponent? That remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see which direction Pascal’s team goes.

A fight card has been announced for Friday, August 5, 2011, at Chapiteau CCSE Maisonneuve, in Montreal, PQ. Featured names set to appear are Montreal’s Arash Usmanee (14-0), St. Adele’s Kevin Lavallee (4-0-1), and Saint-Hyacinthe’s Michael Gadbois (2-0). Opponents for the local rising talent will be announced in the coming weeks.

Follow Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson on twitter @hansolson

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