By Hans Olson
With the recent disappointing injuries of Jean Pascal and Adonis Stevenson canceling highly anticipated fights, fans in Québec are looking for a boxing fix.
This coming weekend, they’ll get two.
Friday evening, Camille Estephan’s Eye of the Tiger Management will put on the second gala in its Fight Club series at the Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire.
Headlining the card will be Laval native Nicholson Poulard (18-3), hot off his upset win back in May over the previously unbeaten Lionell Thompson.
On the night, Poulard will face Estonia’s Anton Sjomkin (13-6-1) in a ten round bout that, if Poulard is victorious, will serve as a tune-up fight for a shot at WBA light heavyweight titlist Beibut Shumenov later this year.
“We have an opportunity for Nicholson to fight with Shumenov,” said Estephan in a reportlast week by TVA Sports.
“[The fight] would not take place in Montréal, but in either Las Vegas or Kazakhstan, in November. We would be happy if it could be held in Kazakhstan…it would be more profitable! Shumenov is well known there and has several sponsors.”
Poulard, who is the half brother of former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal, must first take care of business Friday.
“This duel will serve as preparation for Shumenov,” continued Estephan. “This is a meeting scheduled for 10 rounds and Nicholson must look good.”
With the evening’s co-feature showcasing Canada’s top rated lightweight Ghislain Maduma (9-0) in a fight against Mexico’s Pedro Navarrete (28-15-3), the gala will feature promising young talent as well, none more so than Laval’s Mian Hussain, who Friday makes his professional debut.
Big things are expected out of Eye of the Tiger’s most recent acquisition.
“If Mian was our first draft pick, it is because he is one of the most promising athletes in the world,” said Estephan earlier this month after the signing.
“Although he is still young, the boxer from Laval had an impressive journey through the amateur ranks. He was a Bronze medallist in 2011 at the Pan American Games in Mexico and has been a member of Team Canada for several years; Mian Hussain has consistently stood out due to his immense talent, his intelligence and self discipline.”
The rest of the card rounds out with Montréal’s Ahmad Cheikho (7-4-2) taking on France’s Christopher Legendre (9-4); Baha Laham (9-0-1) facing Argentina’s Jose Saez (21-13-6); Schiller Hyppolite (4-0) challenging Matteo Rossi (7-1-1); and prospect Chris Plaitis (1-0) squaring off with Carlos Martinez (5-12).
The show can be seen exclusively on www.boxingchannel.tv starting at 7pm EST Friday.
gala de L’ÉMERGENCE!
Saturday at the Chapiteau CCSE Maisonneuve, Douggy Berneche’s Club de Boxe d’Est will have a seven fight gala, set to be headlined by Francesco Cotroni (4-1), who looks to bounce back from an upset loss back in June. Cotroni will do battle with Ontario’s Chris Aucoin (4-8-1) in a six rounder.
The rest of the card will be as follows:
Francois Miville (4-1) vs. Martin Desjardins (7-22-5)
Steven Harvey (2-0) vs. Okafor Chukwunoso (2-0-1)
Alexandre Hamel (2-0) vs. Dylan Buffato (1-5)
Vincent Morin (debut) vs. Gerard Audate (0-4-1)
Glissandy Rosario Mejia (1-0) vs. Dave Aucoin (2-7)
Milos Pantolic (4-0-1) vs. David Whittom (11-18-1)
Asselstine In Action Friday
As we reported earlier, Adonis Stevenson’s hand injury derailed his IBF eliminator against Donovan George that was set to headline the season finale of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights in Miami, OK.
“They say that the lightning never strikes twice in the same location, but they’re wrong!” was the header to the Groupe Yvon Michel press release detailing the cancellation.
“Adonis was injured in his left hand this weekend, in sparring, just as happened to Jean Pascal a few weeks ago. The injury is not major. He was diagnosed with a contusion, but the inflammation is too important to obtain a medical green light. The good news is that after ten days of rest, ‘Superman’ may resume training.”
The bout between Stevenson and George will be rescheduled to a later date this fall in Montréal, but undefeated southpaw Tyler Asselstine, another familiar face to fight fans in in the province, will still see action this Friday night.
Asselstine, 25, who has fought each of his 9 prizefights in Canada (7 of those in Quebec) will be fighting for the first time in the United States.
“I moved to Toronto and changed coaches, so I’ve been in transition of my style, but I’m very excited to fight on Friday and also show people the new me,” Asselstine told Boxing Insider on Tuesday.
“I’m now training with Chris Johnson as of two and a half months. We are working on being more patient, and also working a lot in the pocket.”
His opponent Friday is still to be determined, but depending on ESPN’s scheduling, Tyler may indeed get some on-air exposure, something he’s looking forward to.
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and show the improved me!”