By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
They are two boxers with similar stories. Montreal welterweights Antonin Decarie (24-1 7KO) and Jo Jo Dan (27-1 15KO) both are ranked top ten, both have managed to fly largely under the radar fighting almost exclusively in Montreal, and both traveled to Europe last year to fight for interim world titles last year and suffered questionable decisions.
Both will also be featured on the February 11th edition of “Fast and Furious” at the Bell Centre in Montreal and broadcast on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and promoted by Group Yvon Michel (GYM). Decarie ranked #8 (WBA) will be facing off against Shamone Alvarez (21-3 12KO) while Dan who carries a #3 (WBC) ranking will be put in with former Contender series star Steve Forbes (35-8 11KO).
Decarie was to have faced Alvarez previously but the fight fell through due to injury and now the pair are finally meeting up. Decarie has been able to put a win under his belt since traveling to Paris last May and losing a narrow decision to Souleymane M’baye for an interim WBA belt. The boxer who is trained by Marc Ramsay, trainer of world champion Jean Pascal, hopes that a victory against Alvarez will move him that much closer to joining his stable-mate as world champion. “In 2011 I want to join my good friend Jean Pascal as world champion and I know that a victory versus Alvarez will help me open some doors in getting there.” Alvarez has lost three of his last five, the only losses of his career, two of those coming in world title elimination fights.
While many might argue that Decarie may have been a victim of some home cooking while in Europe in what was a close fight versus M’baye, most feel that Jo Jo Dan was outright robbed in losing a split decision to Selcuk Aydin in Turkey. Dan was down in the first round but came back nicely in a battle of undefeated fighters in June. Like Decarie, Dan has also posted a victory since the title loss. Dan has been designated by the WBC to participate in the next WBC elimination fight to meet champion Andre Berto. In Forbes Dan gets a cagey veteran and former world champion who has faced off against the likes of both Berto and Oscar De La Hoya.
Also featured on the card will be the return of Columbian prospects heavyweight Oscar Rivas and light-heavyweight Eleider Alvarez. Both made quite the splash when they first appeared on the scene in 2009 but lay dormant for all of 2010 while visa and immigration problems were worked out. Kevin Bizier, NABA super-featherweight champion Arash Usmanee, Nicholson Poulard and Ahmad Cheikho will also be featured on the card.
Tickets are available at the Bell Centre, Evenko, and through GYM.