Quebec Scene: Lemieux, Pascal, Jo Jo Dan, and more
by Hans Olson
Stevenson and Lemieux Look to Impress on Dec 10
On Saturday, December 10, the hottest ticket in Montreal will be for Groupe Yvon Michel’s “Fast and Furious” gala at the Belle Centre. That night, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson looks to take the next step in his career when he meets Aaron Pryor Jr. in a 12-round bout for the vacant NABA and WBO NABO Super Middleweight titles.
“For Adonis I’m expecting a stunning performance,” said promoter Yvon Michel. “Adonis is probably the best kept secret in the Super Middleweight division. He’s fighting for the NABA NABO and IBF Intercontinental titles, which should rank him very high in all the associations if he wins against Pryor like we are expecting.”
Adonis Stevenson and his team realize that Aaron Pryor Jr., son of the legendary Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, will not be a pushover in this fight. “Pryor has good credentials,” continued Michel. “He beat Librado Andrade in his last fight, and he also beat Dyah Davis. Both were world ranked at the time. So it’s a good opportunity for Adonis.”
The evening’s co-feature is the return of Laval’s David Lemieux. Back in April, Lemieux was TKO’d by Marco Antonio Rubio in a WBC Middleweight title eliminator, the first loss of his career. A lot has changed since then. Lemieux parted ways with longtime trainer Russ Anber, and is in a must-win situation. He’ll face another Laval native, former WBA Super Welterweight Champion Joachim Alcine. Alcine too, is in a must-win situation having been stopped in the first round by Alfredo Angulo in July 2010, then settling for a disappointing draw against Jose Medina back in August.
“For David Lemieux, it’s a real, real, interesting challenge against Joachim Alcine,” noted Yvon Michel. “We know the talent of Alcine. Although he didn’t look great against Angulo, I believe he was ill prepared for that fight. He’s in training camp in Florida, so we know Alcine will give it all for that fight, because he’s got his back on the wall. I’m expecting the best Joachim Alcine since he beat Travis Simms to earn the WBA Super Welterweight title.”
With David Lemieux, Yvon Michel still holds great expectations.
“He has learned a lot from his loss against Rubio. I believe Alcine is more talented, and more dangerous than Rubio was. So David has to prepare accordingly. He’s in terrific shape; his trainer Marc Ramsay told me that he is the best that he can be at this point… so I’m expecting a stunning performance from David Lemieux. He will really show that he deserves a shot at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., or to challenge Saul Alvarez. These are the two fighters that we are aiming for David Lemieux next year. So David will show all his power, and all his talent I believe against Joachim Alcine.”
Jean Pascal to Return in February
“Jean Pascal’s next fight will probably be in February,” Yvon Michel told Boxing Insider on Tuesday. “He is in training right now. It was a question of timing, so we couldn’t set up a fight for him in December, but we are aiming for a February date. We are looking at opponents that are world ranked, so we are in discussions with a couple fighters right now. It will be in Montreal.”
Jean Pascal comes off a 12-round decision loss to Bernard Hopkins back in May.
Bizier and Decarie Ready to Shine in Quebec City
The week after the Montreal gala, Groupe Yvon Michel continues its “Fast and Furious” series with a show at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City on December 17. In the evening’s featured bout, Antonin Decarie (25-1) squares off with Victor Lupo (19-1-2) for the vacant WBC International Welterweight title. “Antonin Decarie will face a strong challenge from the Canadian Champion Victor Lupo—who has only one loss, who was terrific when he beat Junior Witter in his last fight,” said Michel. “They’re fighting for the WBC International title and again, it’s a very meaningful title—a meaningful fight. A win for Antonin Decarie will confirm his position with the top fighters of the division.”
Also on the card will be Kevin Bizier, one of the best young fighters in boxing. Bizier will take on Lanardo Tyner for the vacant NABA Welterweight title. “For Kevin Bizier, this is the best challenge of his career,” said Michel. He has won by knockout in nine of his last ten fights. He’s a terrific puncher. He did eight rounds only once in his career, and he’s fighting Lanardo Tyner, a fighter who has 25 wins against only 5 losses…but 5 losses against opponents that had, at that time, a combined record of 100 wins against only 3 losses. He lost 12 rounds against Saul Alvarez, and went the distance with Lamont Peterson…so it’s a real, real, important challenge. He will be the facing the best opponent of his career, and Tyner has never been knocked out. So he’s facing a high quality opponent. He also had a great training camp with Miguel Cotto. He spent two weeks in Orlando sparring with Cotto, and he came back with a lot of confidence. So I’m expecting Kevin Bizier to shine and to show he belongs with the top fighters of the welterweight division.”
In addition, undefeated Middleweight prospect Michael “The Brazilian Rocky” Oliveira has been added to the card. Oliveira will meet Jimmy Holmes in a 10-round attraction.
“Michael has shown tremendous improvement in his last two fights since Orlando Cuellar became his trainer and we need to keep him busy,” Michael’s father/promoter Carlos Oliveira (MO Productions) said in a press release Wednesday. “We have two big fights tentatively scheduled next year in New York City on March 17 and May 19 against former world champion Acelino Freitas in Sao Paulo (Brazil). We’re grateful to GYM Promotions and Hennessy Sports for having a fight on their December 17 card in Quebec City.”
With Lucian Bute’s popularity so high in the province of Quebec, many fans in the region are anxiously anticipating the finals to Showtime’s Super Six between Carl Froch and Andre Ward. Bute has made it clear that he wants to fight the winner of that bout, so many fans are invested in the outcome of that all important Super Middleweight fight. With the fight being on the same date, many fans who were conflicted between staying at home to watch Froch/Ward or going out to the fights at the Colisee, no longer have to worry.
“Thanks to Adam Harris from Hennessy Sports Canada, the people that are going to be at the coliseum will have on the big screen Andre Ward against Carl Froch live from Atlantic City, combined with the rest of the card,” said Yvon Michel. “So it’s going to be a very, very interesting mix!”
Jo Jo Dan Recovering from Surgery
After a grueling 12-round decision loss to Selcuk Aydin last Saturday, it was revealed that Montreal’s Jo Jo Dan suffered a broken jaw in the second round of the highly competitive Welterweight clash.
“If the jaw break hadn’t happened, I would have defeated Aydin,” said Jo Jo in a press release from Gankor Promotions. “I was immediately aware of my injury, but I felt I could continue and win the fight anyway. The official scores proved me wrong but I certainly came close.”
Come close he did.
Many fans felt Jo Jo did enough to win the decision (Boxing Insider had the contest 116-112 in favor of Jo Jo Dan). Unfortunately the judges saw it differently, the devastating punching power of Aydin proving to make more of an impression than Jo Jo’s work rate.
The surgery—which took place at University Hospital in Trabzon, Turkey the day after the fight—was a success.
Selcuk Aydin, who myself and others have been critical of regarding how he handled himself in the ring after the fight (going after Jo Jo’s corner when they entered the ring celebratory after the 12th), must be applauded for his showing of sportsmanship to Jo Jo following the surgery. Through Jo Jo’s Twitter account, he noted that Aydin had visited him with a card wishing him well in recovery and his career.
It just goes to show, you can’t judge a fighter by his actions in the heat of the moment. It’s typically a better idea, to judge a person’s character based on a gesture such as Aydin’s hospital visit…far removed from the violent atmosphere of a boxing ring.
For Selcuk Aydin, he looks ahead at many options…including now being the WBC’s mandatory challenger to Floyd Mayweather and his Welterweight Championship.
As for Jo Jo Dan, what’s next?
“Jo Jo will certainly be out of action for an extended period,” said Gankor promoter Chris Ganescu in the press release. “I think that he can start light fitness training again at the beginning of January 2012…and in three or four months he will certainly be well enough to begin selected light boxing training. I am proud of his gladiator performance. He will be back!”
Finally, Friday night on Showtime’s “Showbox: The New Generation,” Repentigny, Quebec’s Renan St Juste (23-2-1) challenges Anthony Dirrell (23-0) at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. Dirrell, who’s the brother of former Super Six participant Andre Dirrell, has recorded eight straight knockouts. St Juste will look to change that. The hard hitting Canadian has won two in a row since dropping a decision to Marcus Upshaw in May 2010.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson.