By Dave Spencer
Don’t be expecting to see any Canadian title fights any time soon. According to both promoter Yvon Michel and Ed Pearson of the National Championship Committee (NCC) a $5,000 non-refundable deposit payable to the Quebec Commission for any championship fights held in the province. “I don’t see us having any Canadian title fights anytime soon,” said Michel. “It was a good way to have our young fighters progress and fight for something, but not at that cost.”
The move was made as an apparent transparency move by the Quebec regulatory board to make it so that payment of officials came from the Commission, not the promoter. “Our cost of a world title fight is approximately $10,000 and is split between the two promoters,” said Michel that he might be saving money as a result. “But it costs about $500 to do the same for Canadian belt, I’d be losing about $4,500 for every other title fight.” The $5,000 figure obviously appears to be the average amount that it costs to stage a title fight inside the province, but with such prohibitive costs, expect all minor fights to disappear until the problem is rectified, something that Michel Hamelin, head of Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux is aware of and is working on.
Michel has been the master over the years of using various belts to gain recognition and rankings for his fighters. Otis Grant, David Lemieux, Eric Lucas, Jean Pascal and countless others all captured the belt and built upon it to raise their stature, often to the world championship level.
Ed Pearson lamented over the possible loss of what historically the most active region in the country. “We’ve had some great fights there over the years and it has served the boxers well and benefitted them,” said Pearson, “But we really can’t say it has done them five thousand dollars worth of good.”