By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Click the photo to go to the next photo
When asked what fans tuning into this weekend’s “Latin Fury” should know about Olivier Lontchi, the undefeated fighter who meets Juan Manual Lopez for the WBO super-bantamweight title simply said, “Watch me. Watch me fight. I don’t know the result, but I know it’s going to be an amazing fight.”
Lontchi travels outside of Canada for the first time where he has gone 18-0-2 as a professional and steps up about as far as you can go, headlining a pay-per-view bout (Super Channel in Canada) against a rising powerhouse star in Lopez who has seen fights end early in 23 of his 25 victories. Amazingly 17 of those knockouts have come within the first three rounds. The Cameroon born Lontchi has a more modest forty-percent knock-out percentage with many of the triumphs coming later in fights, including him winning the Canadian featherweight championship versus Jason Adams in the 9th round with what was awarded ‘Knockout of the Year’ in Canada for 2006.
Asked if he figured it would be to his best advantage to make it to the later rounds where his power is more likely to prevail, Lontchi said, “Yes and no. It would be good to go deep but we’ll see how the fight goes. I’m different than anybody he has seen in there before and he’ll be different for me. We both punch hard. I’m going to have to fight a smart fight.”
For Lontchi, his first title fight is the culmination of a lot of patience, a pro for five years, Lontchi saw others within the organization debut after him and get title shots. But after opening umpteen shows, Lontchi finally gets his shot Saturday. “I’ve had an amazing couple of months,” said the 26 year-old about his training, “But this fight is more than that, it’s not just about two months, it’s about the five years of hard work since I came to Canada and became a professional.”
And will fighting outside of Canada bother the Cameroon born Fighter? “Not at all. It’s a chance for more people to see me, there will be people screaming for the other guy, but that’s good, I look forward to it.”