Quebec Scene: Pascal, Bizier, Lemieux, Stiverne, and more!
by Hans Olson
Francis Paquin of RDS.CA first reported this week that 2 major boxing galas are in the works to take place in Quebec City by the end of the year. Speaking to RDS.CA, promoter Yvon Michel indicated that the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, PQ was being held for dates in October and December, with the intention of staging Jean Pascal’s return to the ring on one of those dates. Potential opponents being considered for Pascal are current IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud(23-0), WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov(11-1), and Hungarian superstar Zsolt Erdai(33-0). Speaking with Yvon today, he seemed excited at the prospect of what GYM has in store for the rest of 2011. “Jean is going to be back this weekend, so we have a team meeting next Monday to decide the next step,” said Yvon. “He hasn’t dismissed the possibility of fighting October 15. There is a possibility also for December 17; we have both dates reserved for us. If it’s on October 15 we’ll try to do it with HBO.”
October 15 is currently penciled in for an HBO PPV telecast of Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson live from Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center. I’m only speculating here, but it looks like a split-site PPV could be in the works. Adding Pascal vs. Cloud, Shumenov, or Erdei would be a tremendous addition to a card that is also rumored to feature Lucas Matthysse vs. Kendall Holt(at the New Jersey site).
“If it’s in December, I know that HBO’s plans haven’t been scheduled that far in advance. We will try to contact the champions to make the most significant fight possible for Jean.”
If Pascal fights in December, the date in October would likely involve fast rising Kevin Bizier. The undefeated Saint-Emile native is coming off of a thrilling performance on the undercard of Jean Pascal vs. Bernard Hopkins back in May. In that bout, Bizier scored a sensational 5th round knockout of Mauro Lucero. Yvon shared his enthusiasm for Kevin. “At one of the two dates, Kevin Bizier will be our headliner. He’s ready now to step up and fight at the North American level. The plan is to move him into contention for 2012. He has 8 knockout wins in his last 9 fights. He has improved tremendously from one fight to another so he’s ready to step up now.”
Antonin Decarie and David Lemieux are two other names that I asked Yvon about.
“They’re both going to be fighting. We are finalizing our schedule next week. We’re bringing back “Fast and Furious” for 3 events in Montreal starting in the fall until next spring. We will have a series also in Quebec City. The first show is scheduled for September 23. That series will be for Decarie, for Bizier, for Adonis Stevenson, for David Lemieux. David Lemieux should be fighting in the fall and we will try to bring him back into position to challenge for a world championship in mid 2012.”
Last weekend, Haitian-Canadian Bermane Stiverne scored a 10th round knockout victory over veteran Ray Austin in the first bout of a special triple-header on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark.” Although Stiverne started slow, he showed his heavy hands to the world with the brutal finish in the 10th. Some have criticized Bermane’s performance…but Austin is a crafty veteran who pulled every trick in the book to frustrate Stiverne. Bermane hadn’t gone past 8 rounds before last weekend, and the experience he got may be even more valuable than the KO victory itself. My thoughts were echoed by Bermane’s manager Camille Estephan. “We are proud of Bermane and happy with the victory, yet we feel that we are equally happy with the experience Bermane got which represents some great lessons for his future.”
What’s next for “The Knockout Artist?”
“For now Bermane will be taking a well deserved rest, and then we’ll be back in the gym to work on continuous improvement in pursuit of our ultimate goal.”
Drummondville, PQ’s Benoit Gaudet returns to action Saturday, August 27, 2011, to take on the undefeated Logan McGuinness at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON. Gaudet is coming off of a technical decision victory he earned against Adrian Verdugo back in March on the undercard to Lucian Bute vs. Brian Magee. In that fight, Gaudet suffered a horrific cut due to an accidental head butt. A cagey fighter with damaging punching power, Gaudet boasts a record of 24-2; having won 4 fights in a row (3 by KO) since losing to Humberto Soto back in May of 2009.
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