Welcome to Montreal- Canada’s Mecca of Boxing
By: Patrick Mascoe
Montreal has long been considered Canada’s cultural capital and may very well be one of North America’s most beautiful and interesting cities. It is warm and inviting, as well as multicultural and cosmopolitan. French is the city’s official language, creating the illusion that Montreal is more of a European than North American city. Montreal may be best known for hosting the “Just for Laughs Comedy Festival” and for its beloved hockey team, the Montreal Canadians. However, in recent years it has re-established itself as a true boxing hotbed.
Historically, Montreal has always supported the sweet science. In 1958, arguably one of the greatest title fights of all time took place in Montreal between Yvon Durelle and legendary champion, Archie Moore. Moore eventually defeated the French Canadian, but it wasn’t easy. Motivated by fighting in front of a home crowd, Durelle, a 4-1 underdog, managed to knock down the champion five times before being stopped in the eleventh round.
Montreal also hosted the first Sugar Ray Leonard – Roberto Duran fight in 1980 in front of 44,000 spectators. Those numbers are truly amazing when you consider that neither boxer was fighting in front of a home crowd. Both the American, Leonard, and the Panamanian, Duran, were fighting on foreign soil. Montreal fans were not there to support one of their own as they had for Durelle years earlier. They were supporting the sport of boxing itself. That support has always existed in Montreal and now the rest of the world is taking notice.
American fighters, who would never have considered leaving home in the past, are now gladly flocking to Montreal and Quebec City to ply their trade in front of knowledgeable and appreciative audiences. Over the last few years, world ranked American boxers such as, Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Timothy Bradley, Kendal Holt, William Joppy, and Omar Sheika, as well as American-based fighters Edison Miranda, Glen Johnson, and Librado Andrade have all fought in the province of Quebec.
Ironically, after Bernard Hopkins fought Jean Pascal to a controversial draw in Quebec City in 2010, he swore he would never again fight in Canada. Funny how interest and money can change the mind of even the harshest critic. Bernard Hopkins did travel back across the border, this time to Montreal, and proceeded to win his rematch with Jean Pascal, becoming the oldest boxer in history to win a world title. More than 17,750 tickets were sold for the fight. Compare that to his very next fight against Chad Dawson at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, in front of a considerably smaller crowd of 7,000, and one can’t help but see the growing potential of the Montreal market.
How did the Montreal faithful react to the defeat of their local hero Jean Pascal? They responded with class. At the end of the fight, not only did the fans continue to support Pascal, they also enthusiastically applauded Hopkins and acknowledged his monumental performance. It is the capacity that the Montreal fans possess to judge fighters solely on their merits that makes coming to Montreal so inviting. This attitude transcends boxing. Though the Quebec fans are fiercely loyal and incredibly supportive of their own, what makes them truly special is that you don’t need to be French Canadian to be loved. If you adopt them they will in turn adopt you.
Before baseball legend Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, he played in the International League for the Montreal Royals. He often spoke about how fortunate he was to play baseball in Montreal because all that was expected of him was to play to the best of his ability. “In my own country, I received boos and jeering. Going back to Montreal, and the warm and friendly reception that I received, is something I can never forget.” After Montreal won the International League Championships in 1946, the Montreal Gazette reported that Robinson was forced to run for his life because he was being chased by white men – not because of hate but because of love and adoration.
Montreal’s love affair with its athletes, either homegrown or adopted, is as strong now as it was in the days of Jackie Robinson. Just ask Lucien Bute, the former Super Middleweight Champion of the world. Bute was born in Galati, Romania in 1980 and arrived in Montreal in 2003 to work as a training partner for local fighter Eric Lucas, who was preparing to defend his WBC Super Middleweight Title against Markus Beyer. Since his arrival, Bute has become a fixture in the Montreal boxing scene.
On October 19, 2007, at the Bell Center in Montreal, Bute was given a shot at the IBF Super Middleweight Title. He defeated Alejandro Barrio of Columbia by TKO in the eleventh round. Bute went on to defend his title nine times, including six title fights in Montreal. His title reign ended in 2012, when he was soundly defeated by Carl Froch in Nottingham, England.
In 2014, after a long lay off due to injuries, Bute was matched against fellow Montreal resident Jean Pascal. Despite the fact that both fighters were no longer world champions, the fight captured the interest of the entire city and proved to be their best financial option. More than 20,000 boisterous fans took turns chanting the names of their hometown heroes throughout the entire twelve-round match. When it was all over, Pascal was awarded a unanimous decision over his cross-town rival.
Montreal boxing promoter, Yvon Michel, claims that there are numerous reasons for the consistent success of boxing in the Montreal market. For one, the city has never been short of homegrown talent. Hall of Famer, Arturo Gatti was raised in Montreal and went on to become the WBC Lightweight Champion. Two of the four Hilton brothers, who were as famous in Montreal for their antics outside the ring as inside, managed to stay out of trouble just long enough to win world titles. Matthew Hilton was an IBF World Light Middleweight Champion back in 1990 and his brother Davey Hilton Jr. won the WBC Super Middleweight Title in 2000.
Another set of Montreal brothers, who are still making their living in the fight business, are Howard and Otis Grant. Back in 1998, Otis Grant challenged Roy Jones Jr. for his WBA and WBC Light Heavyweight Titles. He and brother, Howard, a former Olympic boxer, now run a popular gym in Montreal with clients from both the boxing and MMA world. For years, they have coached UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre and were Lucien Bute’s corner men.
Montreal resident Eric Lucas held the WBC Super Middleweight Title from 2001 – 2003 and was a regular main event fighter at the Bell Centre. Dierry Jean, of Montreal, fought Terence Crawford in 2015, for the WBO Light Welterweight Title but was stopped in the tenth round. Former WBC heavyweight champion, Bermane Stiverne, grew up and learned his trade in Montreal. WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson has fought most of his fights in Quebec and has seen little reason to fight elsewhere. Whenever he steps into the ring at the Bell Center, the arena is packed.
In 2015, Montreal native David Lemieux lost his IBF Middleweight Title to Gennady Golovkin. Despite the loss, Lemieux endeared himself to his Montreal fans by seeking out Golovkin and challenging the fighter that most others in the division were trying to avoid. Although Golovkin proved to be too much, Lemieux demonstrated that he was both willing and brave. At one point, Lemieux was hit while taking a knee. He shook it off and said nothing. If ever a fighter was looking for an easy way out, that was it. He could have easily made the claim that the illegal blow prevented him from continuing. Had he done so, he may have been awarded the fight by disqualification. Thankfully, that’s not what Montreal fighters do, nor is that what Montreal fans expect. Lemieux didn’t look for a way to earn an undeserved victory. Instead, he tried his best but came up short. His Montreal fans knew what he was up against in Golovkin and despite the loss, admiration and support for Lemieux has only grown.
According to Yvon Michel, Montreal is a city that supports all sporting events. Montreal’s athletes are seen as celebrities and boxing matches are seen as social events. He remembers seeing thousands of fans turning out to support Quebec’s Amateur Olympic Athletes in sports like speed skating and synchronized swimming. Being world class and representing Quebec has always been enough to elicit both pride and support from the Quebec faithful.
Another reason for boxing’s success in Montreal is the ability for promoters to work together. Yvon Michel and rival promotional company, Eye of the Tiger, see the benefit of working together in order to make the best match-ups possible. As a result, Montreal fans are never sitting around wondering what would have been. Matches that are hoped for are made. The two biggest promotional companies understand the principles of mutual prosperity and mutual benefit. They work together because when they do, all of Quebec benefits – the promoters, boxers, fans and the media. Unlike the majority of big city newspapers that never seem to cover any boxing news, Le Journal de Montreal dedicates an entire section of their online paper to covering boxing and other combat sports.
Former champions, Pascal and Bute are no longer the stars of Montreal as they once were. Both are now on the brink of retirement. Pascal has lost three of his last five fights, while Bute has lost four of his last five. For both men their best days are behind them. However, their contribution to the Montreal boxing scene will never be forgotten. Montreal fans are not fair weather fans. If Lucien Bute and Jean Pascal never win another fight, they will still be forever loved by the city of Montreal.
Despite the fact that Bute and Pascal are on the way out, the future of boxing in Montreal will continue to shine for years to come. Three of the Ring’s “100 Best Fighters in the World” call Montreal home; Adonis Stevenson, the WBC light heavyweight champion, undefeated light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev, and undefeated Eleider Alvarez, also a light heavyweight.
Rumors in Montreal are suggesting that Eleider Alvarez, a Montreal resident by way of Colombia, will be challenging Montreal resident and WBC Lightweight Champion, Adonis Stephenson for his title in Montreal in early 2018. The fight was originally rumored to be held in December but has been moved back because one of Montreal’s other top tier fighters is already in negotiations to fight at the Bell Center in December. David Lemieux appears to be set to take on WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders just before Christmas. Promoters in Montreal are living the dream. When the main event fighters are from the host city and are vying for a world title, tickets tend to sell themselves.
As in all things in life, success seems to keep opportunity flowing. Whoever wins between Alvarez and Stephenson will probably guarantee themselves main event status in Montreal at least for the next couple of years. Perhaps, Sergey Kovalev who has fought twice in Montreal would be willing to come back to chase a title? Should David Lemieux defeat Saunders that could open up a number of possible match ups. In the past, Lemieux has called out Canelo Alvarez and appears willing to step in against anyone at anytime. Artur Beterbiev has also announced that he is ready to challenge for a world title as soon as possible.
Besides the major fights held at the Bell Center a large number of smaller cards are held annually throughout Montreal. Montreal trained fighters such as, Yves Ulysse Jr., Steven Butler, Batyr Jukembayev, Oscar Rivas, and Custio Clayton are all hoping to keep the Montreal tradition alive by one day becoming world champions.
In a city where loyalty is rewarded with loyalty, and where both fighters and fans understand that love is a two-way street, Montreal may prove to be a prime boxing destination for years to come. If you consider yourself a fan of boxing, then “Bienvenue à Montréal.”
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada Adonis Stevenson will take on Andrzej Fonfara for Adonis Stevenson’s WBC Light Heavyweight
Title in the main event of World Championship Boxing on Showtime.
Former world champion Jean Pascal will be the lead fight of the undercard as he takes on undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez.
Two other light heavyweight stalwarts, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, will meet in a few weeks on HBO Pay Per View. It seems logical that the winner of Saturday’s Stevenson and Fonfara bout will likely face the winner of the pay per view bout between Kovalev and Ward, at least it should happen for boxing fans worldwide.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Jean Pascal (31-4-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (22-0); Light Heavyweight
Eleider Alvarez is an intriguing prospect with a successful amateur background that includes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pascal is an ex-champion that has faced some legends in the sport. He also had a successful amateur background and won the Canadian Amateur Championships seven times and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Alvarez will have about an inch and a half height advantage as well as a three and a half inch reach advantage. They’re both nearing the end of their primes, with Pascal being thirty four years old and Alvarez being thirty three years old.
Pascal has defeated the likes of Ricardo Ramallo, Yunieski Gonzalez, Lucian Bute, George Blades, Chad Dawson, and Adrian Diaconu. His losses have come to Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, and Sergey Kovalev twice.
Alvarez opened up a lot of eyes with his knockout in his last bout against Lucian Bute. He has also defeated the likes of Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, and Edison Miranda. Alvarez has never tasted defeated.
Both boxers have average power, Pascal has stopped eighteen of his opponents while Alvarez has stopped eleven of his opponents.
Alvarez is an intriguing prospect, he’s undefeated with a deep amateur background but older than the age most people would consider someone to be a prospect. But his career trajectory is on the upswing, while Pascal’s appears to be on the downswing. For that reason this writer has to give the edge to Alvarez.
Adonis Stevenson (28-1) vs. Andrzej Fonfara (29-4); WBC Light Heavyweight Title
This bout is a rematch of their bout in May of 2014 that saw Stevenson win a close and tightly contested decision.
Since that bout Stevenson has gone on a tear, including winning three of his past four fights by stoppage. Fonfara was knocked out viciously and quickly by Joe Smith Jr., but was able to bounce back from that by defeating former world champion Chad Dawson.
Both boxers had moderate success as an amateur. Stevenson won the Canadian National Championship in 2005 and 2006. Fonfara competed regularly on the European circuit. Neither boxer competed in the Olympics.
Stevenson has considerable power and has stopped twenty three of his opponents. Fonfara has seventeen stoppage victories. Both boxers have at times been stopped. Stevenson was stopped by Darnell Boone while Fonfara was stopped twice.
Stevenson has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. Fonfara has defeated the likes of Chad Dawson, Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency and Glen Johnson.
Stevenson started late as a professional but is currently thirty nine years old. Fonfara is ten years younger at the age of twenty nine. Stevenson will be giving up a three and a half inch height advantage. They have the same reach.
Their first bout was close, but Fonfara is coming off a knockout loss. If this bout goes the distance Fonfara has a chance at winning as stamina favors him. But this writer believes Stevenson will walk away the victor and hopefully chase after the winner of Ward and Kovalev.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Vargas, Fortuna, Crawford, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Vargas, Fortuna, Crawford, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 20th to September 27th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Top Rank Announces Broadcast Team for Pacquiao vs. Vargas
Manny Pacquiao has long been a mainstay for HBO Pay Per View Boxing, but they declined his next fight against Jessie Vargas due to the fact they already have a scheduled Pay Per View on tap for the month of November between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
Top Rank will be the provider of the Pay Per View, and they recently announced their broadcasting team.
ESPN reported that Top Rank will be employing Brian Kenny, Stephen A. Smith, and Timothy Bradley as analysts for the PPV and Charissa Thompson will be the host.
Crawford Guilty of Two Misdemeanors
Terence Crawford was recently in the news for removing his car from a local auto body shop and damaging a hydraulic lift and having an outstanding bill. Crawford was found guilty of criminal mischief as well as disorderly conduct. His sentencing is scheduled for December.
Juan Manuel Lopez Plants to Knock Out Wilfredo Vasquez
Former two-division world champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López plans to knockout bitter arch-rival Wilfredo”Papito” Vázquez, Jr., also a past world titlist, in their 12-round Special Attraction showdown Saturday, October 8, airing live on pay per view from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Guerra En El Clemente: Vázquez Jr. v. López, presented by Black Tiger Promotions, will be distributed by Integrated Sports Media live, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in the United States and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity. The event will also be available to watch across Canada on Fight Network, as well as via Fite TV app for iOS and Android devices or watch on the www.Fite.TV website. Suggested retail price is $29.95.
The Vázquez, Jr. vs. López main event is presented in association with Matias Entertainment and sponsored by Best Alarms and Municipio de San Juan.
The 33-year-old López (34-5, 31 KOs), fighting out of Caguas, Puerto Rico, is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight and featherweight world champion. From 2008 to 2010, “Juanma” was one of the top pound-4-pound fighters in the world, but he hasn’t fought in two years heading into his much anticipated confrontation with his fellow countryman Vázquez, Jr.
“I still think I have a lot left in the tank,” López confidently said from his Puerto Rican training camp. “This is the first fight of my career that I feel I owe to fans because of the history behind it. I don’t think there will be any rust because I have been training for many, months and I have been inside the gym working hard. Maybe the agility I had four or five years ago isn’t quite the same, true, but at the same time I am more mature and much more calm and more intelligent in the ring. I definitely feel that I am a better fighter than ever before.”
Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs), the son of the great three-time division world champion Wilfredo Vázquez, fights out of Bayamón whose best known boxing son is late Hall of Famer Héctor “Macho” Camacho. Vázquez became the vacant WBO super bantamweight world champion in 2010, knocking out previously unbeaten Marvin Sonsona (14-0-1) in the fourth round.
“I think my opponent is a very persistent fighter and a person who will do anything to meet his goals, even though that will make him behave improperly,” López added. “I think it will be a very aggressive fight, more of a brawl, and I’m sure the night of the fight I will be the stronger fighter. I will dominate him, round by round, and the first moment I have an opportunity to go for the kill, I will pressure him and won’t stop until I get a knockout.”
Javier Fortuna Returns with an Impressive KO
On Saturday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Sambil Commercial Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, former world super featherweight champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna returned to action with an impressive two-round blowout of fellow Dominican Marlyn Cabrera.
In his first fight since a surprise defeat last June to Jason Sosa that cost him his WBA World Super Featherweight Championship, Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) dropped Cabrera twice in the second round, eliciting the stoppage. It was Cabrera’s first loss as a professional.
Fortuna’s victory was one of three Sampson Boxing fighters to win Saturday night.
Undefeated 21-year-old Dominican super welterweight Jeison “Banana” Rosario (12-0, 9 KOs) destroyed formerly undefeated Carlos Jairo Cruz (now 17-1, 11 KOs) in two rounds and 22-year-old super featherweight Abraham “Super” Nova moved his record to 3-0, 2 KOs with a fourth-round knockout over Willy Morillo.
Fortuna looked sharp in his comeback bout, putting the explosive power and speed that makes him one of the most exciting fighters in all of boxing. With the victory over Cabrera in the books, the southpaw former champion will now be looking to regain his championship status.
Fortuna’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz, says his fighter has two options to consider for his next fight.
“Next we will either look for an elimination bout for the IBF mandatory contender to fight Jose Pedraza or we will look to face the winner of Jason Sosa vs. Stephen Smith in Monaco on November 12,” said Lewkowicz. “Javier wants to be champion again and he’ll fight anyone to get there.”
Rosario, a recent Sampson Boxing signee to a long-term promotional agreement, is a former amateur standout with a wealth of boxing talent. Cruz stood no chance against the Santo Domingo-based slugger.
“Jeison is a future star and I’m happy to have him in my stable,” continued Lewkowicz. “I will get him a
visa to fight in the USA and pay his IRS taxes, which I do for all my fighters.”
Nova, who was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, to Dominican parents, went 167-11 with 60 KOs as an amateur, winning the 2014 USA Nationals, the 2014 Independent World Cup in the Dominican, Gold at the 2014 Cheo Aponte Tournament, and the 2015 Olympic Qualifiers. He is also a five-time New York Golden Gloves Champion.
“Abraham went some good rounds and got the KO over a veteran with more fights,” said Lewkowicz. “I am happy with his performance and with the improvements he continues to show in every fight. He is a strong prospect with a bright future.”
Mike Reed vs. Aaron Herrera Added to October 14th Card in Philadelphia
Junior welterweight Mike Reed, one of the best prospects in the world at 140 pounds, has been added to the Friday evening, Oct. 14 boxing card at the 2300 Arena.
Reed, of Waldorf, MD, goes against Jose Aaron Herrera, of Mexico, in one of three eight-round attractions on the eight-fight card.
The other eight-rounders feature junior middleweights Tyrone Brunson, of Philadelphia, against Ismael “Tito”Garcia, of Vineland,NJ,and world-rated junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, ofPhiladelphia, against Orlando Rizo,of Managua, Nicaragua.
Reed, 23, a southpaw, is 19-0, 11 K0s, since turning pro less than four years ago. This will be his second appearance at the 2300 Arena. He earned a six-round decision over Samuel Amoako, of Ghana, on March 18 in the same ring.
In his last fight June 11 in Madison Square Garden, Reed stopped Abraham Cordero, of Mexico, in six rounds.
As an amateur, Reed won the 2011 National Golden Gloves championship at 141 pounds, one year after finishing second in the US National Amateur Championships.
“I’ve been watching videos of Aaron Herrera and he’s a tough, durable fighter with excellent ring generalship,” Reed said. “He’s taller than I am but so are most of the guys I fight. “It’s going to be a real fight because I know what he brings. I want to win this fight and work my way toward a match with the Olympian from Fresno (CA)–Jose Ramirez(18-0, 13 K0s). I would like to get him into the ring, but first comes Herrera and I have to deal with him in Philadelphia.”
Herrera, 27, turned pro in 2008 and is 21-5-1, 12 K0s. In his biggest fight to date, he lost a12-round decision to local favorite Jason Pagara for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title in 2013 in Cebu City, The Philippines.
Local favorites make up the undercard, highlighted by the fourth meeting between lightweights Victor Vasquez; of Philadelphia, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, NJ.Charles leads the series, 2-1, but Vasquez won the last time by knockout.
A pair of six-round lightweight contests features Anthony Burgin against Gerald Smith in an all-Philly showdown plus Steven Ortiz, of Philadelphia, against Daniel Tran, of Oklahoma City, OK.
Local junior middleweight Isaiah Wise faces James Robinson, of York, PA, over four rounds and middleweight Fred Jenkins, Jr., of Philadelphia, takes on lefty Ibrihim Shabazz, of Newark, NJ.
Local welterweight Hasan Young, who has not boxed in nearly two years, returns in a six-round fight.
Michael Spinks and Fitz Vanderpool Honored at Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame
A capacity crowd packed The Diplomat Party House to honor Michael “Jinx” Spinks and Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool at the recent 26th annual Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame (RBHOF) Banquet & Awards Night.
Spinks (31-1, 21 KOs) received the prestigious Integrity Award, while Vanderpool (26-8-4, 13 KOs) was presented the coveted Courage Award.
Rochester’s Johnny McCoy (Clarence Millard) was inducted into the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame. McCoy (77-30-14, 21 KOs), who passed away in 1978 at the age of 81, was one of the top flyweights in the world between 1916 and 1932. He was recognized as world champion by the state of California following a tournament to determine the winner of the vacant world title relinquished by Fidel LaBarba.
“This was another memorable banquet for the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame,” RBHOF treasurer/spokesperson Gino Arilotta said. “Everyone enjoyed the evening. We posthumously inducted Johnny McCoy and honored are award winners, Michael Spinks and Fitz Vanderpool. Hall of Famer referee Steve Smoger gave a wonderful speech. Each of these great men were so pleasant and they gladly signed hundreds of autographs and posed for so many pictures. These three humble men have my sincere respect.
“On Saturday, September 17th, we took the boxers along with Steve Smoger to a local radio station where they were interviewed on air. We also took them to one of Rochester’s super gyms, where Willie Monroe, Jr. trains. We showed them many important sites within the city. I also presented a city high school graduate, the Carmen Basilio Scholarship Award, which is awarded annually.
An International Boxing Hall of Famer (IBHOF), Spinks was the most dominant light heavyweight champion of his era, capturing the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Council (WBC) world titles, in addition to being a 1976 Olympic gold medalist.
Vanderpool is a former World Boxing Federation (WBF), WBC FECARBOX and Canadian welterweight champion. He took on all comers including Rochester’s only world champion, Charles “The Natural” Murray and world champion Fernando Vargas. Today, Vanderpool is a trainer in Canada who also gives countless hours of time and energy in Kitchener as a community volunteer.
October 20th Card Announced in Montreal
The “GYM 2016-2017 BOXING SERIES”, a “Presentation of Casino de Montreal in collaboration with Videotron” will officially begin October 20 and that professional boxing card has been announced today by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel.
In the 10-round main event, 2012 Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton (9-0, 7 KOs) will face the biggest challenge of his young career in his tenacious Mexican opponent, Ramses “El Faraon” Agaton (17-4-3, 9 KOs).
Clayton, based in Montreal since his professional debut, also headlined the “GYM-CASINO” series last season. In three series bouts held at the Cabaret du Casino in 2016, he stopped Frenchman Stanislas Salmon (25-3-2), American Hector Munoz (23-17-1) and Mexican Jose Emilio Perea (23-6-1).
“I work hard every week and I always feel better when I work out,” Clayton said. “I had a solid training camp in Montreal and a few days in Ottawa with my trainer. I’ll be ready!”
Agaton is a fast, skilled and aggressive southpaw who lost a tough, majority decision to the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) welterweight champion, Konstantin Ponomarev (28-0), of Russia, last November in Las Vegas. Agaton has notable victories over Ronald Montes (16-0), Alejandro Barrera (25-1) and Alvaro Robles (17-2-2).
Charismatic Marie-Eve Dicaire (4-0, 0 KOs), of St-Eustache, will step into the ring in a 6-round fight for only the second time of her career versus Karla Zamora (3-2-0, 1 KO), of Mexico, in the co-feature.
Dicaire will be fighting at Cabaret du Casino for the fourth time having already defeated Manitoba’s Christina Berry (0-2-0), Mexican Martha Patricia Lara (9-4-0) and American Ashleigh Curry (7-9-4) in her previous appearances in her previous fights there.
“The Casino is becoming my home, ” the 30-year-old southpaw commented. “I cannot wait to box again This is the longest I’ve been without climbing into the ring and everything is good to the point. I am transformed! I look forward to applying the new details worked on in the gym.”
A protégé of world light heavyweight contender and 2-time Russian Olympian, Artur Beterbiev, pro-debuting super bantamweight Vislan Dalkhaev (7-0-0, 2 KOs) will try to continue his demolition work in the pro ranks against Rodrigo Adrian Campos (10-4-0, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in a scheduled 8-round fight.
During his illustrious amateur career, Dalkhaev’s major accomplishment was defeating 2-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, of Cuba, at a 2010 tournament in Kazakhstan. Ramirez recently beat American star Shakur Stevenson championship final of the bantamweight (56 kg) division at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil this past summer. Based on his rich amateur pedigree, Dalkhaev has a very promising pro boxing career.
“Vislan is very impressive in training and he is improving with every bout,” his trainer Marc Ramseynoted. “We see consistent development by him,”
Twenty-two-year old Dario Bredicean (9-0, 3 KOs), who is trained by the Grant brothers, will also be in action against tough Frenchman Baptiste Castegnaro (8-9, 4 KOs).
An American of Romanian descent who was discovered by former world champion Lucian Bute, Bredicean fought twice at the Casino last season, winning impressive decisions over Mexican Jaudiel Zepeda (12-14-1) and Quebecer François Miville (7-4).
Patrice Volny (2-0, 1 KOs), of Montreal, will fight for the third time at the Cabaret of the Casino de Montréal. Spectacular in his two previous appearances there, where he delivered a brutal KO overMichel Tsalla (1-11-2) and dominated Charles Hauver (pro debut), he will trade blows this time with pro-debuting Cuban Oscar Masso Cando, who is a veteran of 250 amateur fights and now lives in Lévis, Québec.
Lightweight Dwayne Durel, of nearby Laval (4-0-0, 2 KOs), is a former kickboxer, also trained by the Grant brothers, who also will be on the card against a rival to be determined.
PBC on Spike TV Results: Stevenson Wrecks Williams in 4
PBC on Spike TV Results: Stevenson Wrecks Williams in 4
By: Matthew N. Becher
Live from the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, Premier Boxing Championship showcased a night of Light heavyweights, including one of the reigning world champions.
Photo Credit: Dave Nadkarni/Premier Boxing Champions
In the lead up fight, Eleider Alvarez fought for a chance to become the #1 contender to fight for the WBC Light Heavyweight belt. Originally scheduled to fight former champion Chad Dawson, Alvarez would need to get past a late sub in New Zealand native Robert Berridge.
The Main Event was another title defense for the WBC Light Heavyweight champ, Adonis Stevenson. Stevenson has defended his belt 7 times, but has since been stripped of his Ring Magazine title, due to not fighting a top 5 divisional foe in 2 years. His opponent, Thomas Williams Jr. fought his way to the title by knocking out Edwin Rodriguez.
Eleider Alvarez (19-0 10KO) v. Robert Berridge (27-4-1 21KO): Light Heavyweight
Alvarez comes from a highly touted amateur background. He was an Olympian for his native country of Columbia in the Beijing games, and he came out early showing off his boxing skills. Berridge, who came in on late notice from New Zealand, is a brawler who tried to make the fight awkward from the beginning. Berridge did not want the fight fought at a distance, because Alvarez had the skill and length to his advantage. It ended up being fought on the outside anyway.
Berridge was never comfortable in the ring, possibly from the late notice, more likely due to his skill level not being the same as Alvarez. Alvarez on the other hand, could not capitalize on the lesser known opponent and make a statement. This may have played out completely different had Chad Dawson not get hurt before this fight.
Alvarez UD10 99-90, 98-92, 98-92
Adonis Stevenson (27-1 22KO) v. Thomas Williams Jr. (20-1 14KO): WBC Light Heavyweight Championship
In the front row sat two Light Heavyweight contenders, Artur Beterbiev and Lucian Bute, both watching their fellow countryman and also scouting a possible future opponent in Stevenson.
The fight started off quick, with Stevenson establishing his straight right hand jab, and following up with the big left hand. In the end of the round, the big left hand landed to the back of the right ear of Williams, putting the challenger down for an eight count.
Williams was down, but not out. Keeping his hands up, and picking his shots from different angles, Williams was able to land some pretty heavy shots of his own. Some staggering the champ.
The fourth round was a brawl. Both fighters traded power punches, the crowd was on its feet, and Thomas Williams Jr. just couldn’t take anymore. A huge left hand landed on the chin of Williams and he was not able to get back to his feet.
Stevenson KO4 2:54
PBC on ESPN Preview: Perrella vs. Grayton, Beterbiev vs. Maderna
PBC on ESPN Preview: Perrella vs. Grayton, Beterbiev vs. Maderna
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada will be the host site of another Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on ESPN.
Al Haymon’s company will televise at least two bouts on Saturday night. HBO will be televising a competing card around the same time as the PBC card.
The following is a preview of both the televised bouts.
Bryant Perrella (13-0) vs. David Grayton (14-0); Welterweights
The first bout of the evening will be between two rising prospects that have yet to face any significant competition at this point in their careers.
Grayton has significant power, as he has stopped ten of his opponents. Perrella however, has stopped twelve of his opponents and his last ten victories were by KO or TKO.
They are both of a similar age, Grayton is twenty eight years old and Perrella is twenty seven. They both had successful amateur careers. Grayton is a former national golden gloves champion, and he even defeated Errol Spence as an amateur in 2010. Perrella was a bronze medalist in the National Police Athletic League Tournament in 2010.
Neither boxer has faced anyone of note in the amateurs. Grayton has only defeated two people with winning records, Martin Wright and Daniel Souza Santos. Every other opponent he has faced has losing records. Perrella has defeated the likes of Ramon Ayala and Patrick Boozer, but his professional resume is only slightly better.
On paper, this is a tough fight to pick. Not much is known about either boxer as a professional. However, a slight edge will have to go towards Grayton since he was able to defeat Errol Spence Jr. as an amateur and was a former National Golden Gloves Champion.
Artur Beterbiev (9-0) vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (23-2); Light Heavyweights
Artur Beterbiev is a young gun in the light heavyweight division that is on the fast track to a world championship.
Beterbiev is from Dagestan and is of Chechen Descent, but he currently resides in and fights out of Montreal, Canada. Most of the fans in attendance will likely be supporting him.
Beterbiev was very successful as an amateur in Russia and won a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships and a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. He even beat Sergey Kovalev as an amateur.
Maderna also had a successful amateur career, but not on the same level as Beterbiev. Maderna competed for Argentina in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Beterbiev has won every fight by stoppage as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Johnson, Gabriel Campillo, and former world champion Tavoris Cloud.
Maderna has fifteen stoppage victories to his resume. He has not been very active and only fought once in 2015 and zero times in 2016. He has lost to the likes of Thomas Oosthuizen and Edwin Rodriguez. His resume lacks any big victories, but his best ones to date have come against Ronaldo Mansilla and Jose Alberto Clavero.
Beterbiev will be giving up about three inches in height and five inches in reach to Maderna. He is also two years older than his opponent.
But this will be an easy fight for Beterbiev and it should end in another knockout victory for him.