By Dave Spencer — Fightnews Canada
With trainer Howard Grant suspended for this Friday’s IBF championship contest between Hermann Ngoudjo and Juan Urango, a surprise replacement has been named to replace him. Promoter Yvon Michel will be donning the silks and will assisting Howard’s brother, former world champion Otis Grant along with veteran cutman Bob Miller. “This obviously is an important fight,” said the promoter, “If Hermann thought he’d have a better chance of winning by me carrying a water bottle, I would do it for him.”
Michel was a staple in former world champion Eric Lucas corner and last worked ringside in 2004 as the comeback of Otis Grant was launched, but has never been too far from the ring. In Ngoudjo’s previous attempt at a title, one year ago in Atlantic City versus Paulie Malignaggi, Michel was never far away from his fighter in a very close fight, circling ringside, shouting encouragement.
“Otis is certainly the leader and will be chief second,” Michel told FIghtnews, “We’ve all worked with each other before so we won’t be pushing each other going up the stairs. The situation is a temporary one and I look forward being there.”
Ngoudjo’s regular trainer Howard Grant is suspended until March 31st and was informed Tuesday that his attempts at an appeal had been rejected. Grant was suspended in December; two months after pushing referee Marlon Wright following Librado Andrade versus Lucian Bute fight in Montreal. Grant’s fighter Andrade had scored a last second knockdown of the champion Bute and the trainer was of the opinion that the fight should have been stopped. Besides Ngoudjo and Andrade, Grant also trains Joachim Alcine, Olivier Lontchi, Adonis Stevenson, Walid Smichet, Ali Chebah, and Phil LoGreco.