By Dave Spencer at ringside
The WBC light-heavyweight belt changed hands Friday night, but not postal codes. Jean Pascal (23-1 15KO) was able to walk away with 115-112, 116-112, 116-111 decision over Adrian Diaconu (26-1 15KO), taking his cross-town rival’s belt and bragging rights in what was an extremely exciting fight in front of 13,569 ravenous Bell Centre fans. Pascal scored a knockdown in the 5th round over a back peddling Diaconu. The Romanian-born Diaconu had trouble catching up with the fleet footed Pascal and was rarely allowed more than one shot at a time. Pascal who moved up from super-middleweight put in an incredible effort on the inside against the strong Diaconu. Pascal was able to answer back and go to the body and throughout the contest.
Cruiserweight Troy Ross (22-1 15KO) fighting for the first time since his Contender triumph took care of business at The Bell Centre in Montreal with a 98-91, 99-90, 99-90 victory of Michael Simms (20-11-1 13KO) of Sacramento California. Ross was able to outslug the bigger Simms on the inside and outbox on the outside, delivering fluid hard shots throughout that never let his opponent get going. Ross suffered through a swollen eye from the fourth round on but it did little to slow his attack. Simms was able to target the area and sting him a couple of times in the seventh, but the shots were far to few and not followed up with anything to do any sustainable damage. Simms did his best to open up in the final two rounds but paid for it as Ross drove him into the ropes where referee Michael Griffin called an eight as time was running out in the fight.
In the shocker of the night so far, bantamweight Sebastien Gauthier (17-2 12KO) suffered his 2nd defeat at the hands of Mario Macias-Orozco (13-5 8KO). Gauthier got the best of the Mexican fighter in the early going but was put down by a perfect left hand counter and lost by TKO at 2:20 of the second round. Gauthier made it to his feet and referee Gerry Bolen gave the Quebec fighter every chance to show him something but was forced to call the fight.
Middleweight David Lemieux set a new Canadian record with his 16th knockout in his 16th fight as he destroyed Martin Avila (10-6 4KO) at 1:17 of the 2nd round after knocking down the Mexican down a total of four times. Lemieux set the tone early as he unleashed a right to the body early with a thundering hook that was heard throughout the arena. Avila was able to sustain that blow but the punches kept coming as Lemieux continued to attack the body.
Pier-Olivier Cote (7-0 5KO) was impressive with a TKO victory at :45 of round six over an over-matched Jean Charlemagne(1-10-2). Cote dropped the trial-horse a total of three times in the fight, in the third, the end of the fifth, and a final time in the sixth. Charlemagne was able to beat the count but referee Alain Villeneuve examined the gasyy eyed fighter and deemed him unfit to continue.
Welterweight Kevin Bizier notched his 5 win in as many tries with a 40-36 win on all three scorecards over Cesar Soriano (19-24 13KO). It was the 4th trip to Montreal for Soriano who has lost all times but has gone to the scorecards each time. Bizier offered a varied attack and looked impressive but Soriano was able to hold and grasp enough that the judges were needed at the end of four rounds.