By Dave Spencer at ringside
Last minute replacement Martin Berthiaume (14-4-2 8KO) gave it all he could for five rounds, but couldn’t answer the bell for the 6th round versus Sebastien Demers who moved to 27-2 and scoring his 10th stoppage with the victory as the main event at the Casino de Montreal Saturday afternoon. Demers was originally scheduled to have fought Jose Luis Zertuche but that match-up fell through when it was discovered that the Mexican fighter was still suspended by the California Commission dating back two years to his fight with Kelly Pavlik. Zertuche has fought twice since then in his native Mexico.
With Berthiaume taking the fight on short notice and fighting for only the second in almost two years, it was almost inevitable that despite never been stopped in career, this one would not go the full ten rounds. “He tried wit the big punches early,” said Demers afterwards, “But I knew that with pressure he’d tire himself out eventually.”
Demers knows the danger of taking a last minute opponent after he dropped a split decision in similar circumstances last summer. “I just tried to catch him well, go to the body a lot, and apply pressure.” When asked if he takes a lot from a fight such as this, Demers answered, “Not really, I don’t like when opponents get switched at the minute. I just go in there and not get injured. I know I’m better than somebody like Berthiaume, I just have to go in there and prove it.
“We’ve sparred over 100 rounds over the years,” said Demers of his opponent. “We often had wars together in the gym. Obviously I knew him pretty well in there, but of course, he knew me.”
Demers was able to put fourth a solid effort, with few mistakes, knowing that if he sustained his attack, the end would come. Berthiaume meanwhile just looked like he was having a bad day, vocalizing he shot he took and each one he delivered, providing a running commentary of the action.
“I look forward to getting back as soon as April,” Demers told Fightnews. I’ve been to world championship fight and I know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work and some more fights to get back there again.”
In the most exciting fight of the afternoon, Walid Smichet (20-5-3 14KO) scored four knockdowns over the course of eight rounds to score a 78-71, 77-71, 77-71 over Joshua Snyder (8-4-1 3KO) of Berlin Maryland. A crunching left hook put Snyder on his backside in the first round and it looked as if it was going to be short afternoon when Snyder went down two more times in the second. But Snyder kept getting up and coming back, eventually winning three of the eight rounds on the day. “He’s got an exciting style,” said cornerman Otis Grant. “It’s not necessarily a good thing all the time, but it is an exciting thing for the fans. He can make easy fights tough sometimes.”
In what was the North American debut for both fighters, middleweight Julien Marie Sainte (18-2 12KO) from France was upset by Tyan Booth (11-5 2KO) from Sheffield England by scores of 77-75, 77-75, 75-77 in a split decision victory. Sainte was unable to solve the puzzling Booth who constantly switched from orthodox to southpaw and dangled his jab out to confound his opponent who too often came up wide and couldn’t find a way inside. Booth managed to constantly connect over Sainte who carried his hands low and couldn’t find a way inside, albeit with nothing devastating, just enough to frustrate him and not let him find his distance. Booth tired over the course of the final three rounds but by that point the deficit was just too big for Sainte who has now lost two of his last three.
Mark another knockout victory for middleweight David Lemieux who made it 14 early finishes in as many tries as he easily dispatched Mexican Luis Roberto Reyes (6-7 5KO). Lemieux scored three knockdowns in 2:34 of the first round and overmatched who is now 0-4 in his visits to Canada.
Logan McGuinness (5-0 3KO) rode three knockdowns on his way to a TKO victory at 1:28 of the fourth round over Jean Charlemagne (1-9-2). McGuinness scored early with a pair of first round takedowns including a right hand to the body about twenty seconds in. The Orangeville fighter becomes only the second fighter to stop Charlemagne who despite his feeble record, usually goes the distance. The end came after a massive uppercut by McGuiness was all the evidence for both the corner of Charlemagne to start climbing the steps and referee Mike Griffin to stop the action.
Lightweight Tony Luis moved to 5-0 scored a unanimous decision win over Carlos Martinez. Scores were 40-34, 40-35, 40-36 in a fight which saw no knockdowns but saw go at full energy for the duration. Martinez was red and swollen by the end of the action in what was probably the best fight from start to finish in his young career thus far.