By Robert Coster
His fans in Montreal have no doubts about him: they believe rising boxer Dierry Jean has all it takes to be the next Haitian-Canadian to win a world title, following the footsteps of Joachim Alcine and Jean Pascal. The 29-year-old junior welterweight, unbeaten in 19 fights (with 13 KOs), is not one to disagree with that assessment. Getting ready to face tough, seasoned Francisco Lorenzo on October 20th in Montreal, Jean likes to mention that “In French, there is a saying: never two without three.”
Dierry Jean immigrated from Haiti at the age of ten. His parents had passed away and he was raised by his grandparents, growing up in Saint Michel, the toughest neighborhood in Montreal. Jean remembers, “At age 15, I saw somebody get killed right in front of me.” Dierry seemed headed for trouble, growing up in such a violent environment but, at age 18, he had the great luck to meet Joachim Alcine who convinced him to move away from the mean streets of St Michel into the boxing ring. “Boxing saved me,” says Jean, “but my older brother Reginald wasn’t so lucky.”
As an amateur, Dierry Jean soon made a name for himself, racking up a 46-9 record, winning a Canadian national title and two Quebec Golden Gloves Championships. With only 20 fights, Jean had the opportunity to represent Haiti at the 2003 Olympic qualifications in Mexico. In 2006, Dierry took the big jump into the pros.
Questioned about his style, Dierry likes to define himself as a boxer-puncher, one who loves to combine sleek moves with speed and power with Floyd Mayweather as a model. He may very well need all his skills next week against former contender Lorenzo (37-10, 17 KOs), a rough and cagey veteran who has been in with the best.
“Nobody has stopped Lorenzo – not Humberto Soto, nor Erik Morales. I’d like to be the first one to do so,” says a confident Jean, “it would send a message: this guy can not only box, he can punch.”