By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Former junior-middleweight champion Joachim Alcine (32-1 19KO’s) took another step towards a shot at a second world title with a hard fought victory over Christophe Canclaux (40-3 25KO’s) of France, winning a unanimous decision that read 117-110 on both Montreal judge’s scorecards while Charles Chenouf of France had it a lot closer at 115-113 Saturday night at the Montreal Casino.
This was the second fight back for Alcine since losing his WBA title to Daniel Santos in July 2008 by way of sixth round knockout. Alcine has clearly knocked off some of the ring rust that so prevalent in his first fight back in September versus Eric Mitchell.
“It was an intense bout,” said the victor afterwards, “I’m very pleased with the result, I was happy compared to my performance in my last bout, but I feel I can be better than that.”
The Laval Quebec fighter controlled most of the action from the middle of the ring against a very tough aggressive Canclaux who looked to be fighting the last half of the fight with a possible broken jaw.
“I didn’t expect him to be so rough,” said Alcine. “He was very dirty, always hitting me behind the head.”
Canclaux was clearly the aggressor to start the fight, bull-rushing the Montreal fighter every chance he got and hitting behind Alcine’s head on numerous occasions and being admonished by referee Marlon Wright numerous times, receiving two official warnings. With the antics continuing into the next round, Wright had little choice but to deduct a point from the French fighter.
With Canclaux racking up the warnings and having already been deducted a point, Alcine was able to start to control the action in the second round, establishing distance between himself and his hard charging opponent, landing some solid right hands in the process.
A fairly even third round gave way to a fourth that had referee Marlon Wright pleading with Canclaux to stop the blows behind the head, hoping that the fighters settle things inside the ring and not have the bout decided on point deductions or disqualification. The round saw the Haitian born Alcine stumble his opponent with a right hand and sneak in a pair of effective lefts while Canclaux was pinned on the ropes. The former European champion did his best to jump inside and administering some good work to the body but the pace looked like it was affecting the fighter who was breathing hard as he returned back to his corner.
Alcine was able bring things back to the center of the ring in the second half of the fight, firing off his jab and looking more like the fighter who recently wore the WBA world championship belt.
The victory against Canclaux who was rated top-ten going into the fight by three of the major sanctioning bodies is expected to propel the Montreal back into rankings and into the mix for a second world championship. He is expected to be ranked third by the WBC according to promoter Yvon Michel and winning the WBO Intercontinental belt should also place him close to the top with that organization as well. Canclaux was ranked #4 by the WBC, #6 by the WBA and #9 by the IBF and was European champion between 2003 and 2007.
With Alcine controlling things effectively in the centre of the ring and starting to put his shots together, Canclaux often had a hard time following up anytime he would land anything effective, too tired to press the action further. Alcine ate a big left in the seventh but did an effective job of tying his opponent, preventing any further damage.
Alcine managed a huge right hand in the 8th that brought roars from the casino crowd and showed the power differential between the two a round later when the pair exchanged simultaneous rights with the hometown fighter able to drive Canclaux into the corner with his shot.
In fact, while not scoring any knockdowns on the night, Alcine’s power was written all over his opponents face who had a badly swollen and bruised left cheek and a suspected broken jaw. Canclaux was taken to the hospital after the fight.
The former world champion was able to stumble Canclaux a number of times down the stretch but was forced to the scorecards as the Frenchman put on a tenacious performance, able to absorb the best Alcine was able to offer and coming back a number of times.
* * *
Cruiserweight Troy Ross (22-1 16KO) destroyed Daniel Bispo (21-12 15KO) at 1:12 of the first round. The former ‘Contender’ star landed six left hands, the first one to the body hurting the Brazilian fighter and the last one in the same spot to put him down for the count of ten. Ross who is ranked by all four major sanctioning bodies (#11 WBC and WBA, #5 IBF, and #8 WBO) remains hopeful of title shot will likely be in pursuit of the vacant IBF title. “Anyone they want to put in front of me, I’ll be ready,” said Ross after the fight. The once durable Bispo has been stopped five times in his thirty-three fight career but seems now on the downside having suffered his fourth early ending in his last five losses.
A blistering performance earned lightweight Tony Luis his 8th victory in as many tries against Isaac Bejarano of Mexico. This one was set at a frantic pace with Bejarno matching the speed of Luis in the early going but not being able to keep up with the Cornwall fighter as the progressed. Luis was able to take the Mexican out of it in the fourth round with a brutal body assault that had the fighter noticeably wilting, unable to keep up, absorbing blow after blow to the midsection. Luis almost closed out the show in the final round, wobbling Bejarano, but unable to take him down. Scores on the fight were 59-55, 60-54 and 60-54.
Logan McGuinness (9-0 4KO) slowly amped up the pressure all night to score a convincing 79-72, 79-71, 80-71 over trial-horse Cesar Soriano, knocking down the Mexican fighter in the fifth round and closing strongly. Soriano has become somewhat of a regular in Montreal, having been an opponent for Kevin Bizier, Dierry Jean, Jo Jo Dan and Ali Chebah, going the distance each time. Mark this one down as one the best performance against Soriano who falls to 20-25. Both fighters were coming up short on their punches in the early going, but as things progressed, showed his speed and got the better of the exchanges, wearing down Soriano and hurting him to the body and keeping on him until he was forced to take a knee. Soriano was cut over the right eye and was a beleaguered tired fighter down the stretch, teetering on the ropes in the final round but holding on enough to make it to the final bell. Heavyweight Wayne John got through the mandatory test that is Stephane
“Brutis” Tessier, coming back after a two year absence to score his second victory in as many fights. Scorecards read 39-36, 39-37, 39-37 for John. Almost all Canadian heavyweights and some of the world’s best including Alexander Povetkin have met up with Tessier and exactly two have been able to stop him despite his now 3-24-1 record. John who towered over the 5’10″ Tessier began well enough, moving well, firing out the jab and landing solidly in the early going earning a 10-8 score on one of the judge’s scorecards. John landed a thudding body blow in the second to the ample midsection that had his opponent wincing, protecting the spot for the next two rounds, using his head as his best defence to ward off the oncoming blows. Tessier though kept coming forward, kept throwing left hands, and in the fourth round started seeing some results for his tenacity. John was tiring and Tessier was sensing the opportunity and started to come forward with an urgency, still landing the left and throwing the uppercut when close in. The last half of the round saw any semblance of defence go out the window with Tessier taking whatever John had to deliver, blinking, and coming forward and landing his own shots. It was enough to win the round, but not the fight.
Lucia Larcinese evened her record at 4-4-1 with a 60-54, 60-54, 59-55 over Karen Dulin (1-4) of Connecticut. What punches there were belonged to Larcinese who was fighting in her hometown of Montreal for the first time with Dulin content to try and tie-up her opponent throughout the six round contest.
Arash Usmanee (4-02KO) headed east from his Alberta home and got his toughest test to date, scoring a 39-37 unanimous decision on all three scorecards over a tough Willshaun Boxley(5-3 3KO) of Coon Rapids Massachusetts. The bout was announced at ringside as a majority decision but scorecards handed afterwards revealed the Red Deer fighter winning on all cards. Usmanee controlled the bout, using his jab and bing the busier fighter throughout. He did fall victim to a fluid right hand of Boxley who was able to land out of clenches, pushing the Canadian fighter off to establish distance. Usmanee seemed to figure things out in the third where it was him landing to the body when the pair was in close and pushing the action against the American fighter who had cut open over his left eye.. Tired and bleeding, Boxley did make things interesting in the last round, once again landing some big right hands that caught the attention of Usmanee.