By Hans Olson
Still nursing the Froch/Bute hangover, the Quebec region’s boxing scene received a shot in the arm when it was officially announced Tuesday that Jean Pascal vs. Tavoris Cloud was set.
The fight—which on paper looks appears to be a damn good one—will air live on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday, August 11.
“First, I want to thank Tavoris Cloud for giving me the opportunity to fight for his IBF light heavyweight belt and to prove who I really am in the ring,” said Pascal in the presser.
“He has shown true class seeking out the best challenger in the division and for this he has my full respect. Our styles make for the best, most explosive and spectacular fight possible in boxing. Having been away from the ring for more than a year, I am hungrier and more determined than ever to get back on top. Don’t miss it August 11 in Montreal. I am going to get back on the throne for good.”
Cloud, who won a controversial split-decision victory over Spain’s Gabriel Campillo back in February, looks forward to coming into enemy territory.
“This fight with Jean Pascal is a bout I’m looking forward to,” said Tavoris. “It’s going to be what I call a ‘Release the Kraken’ match. Everybody knows I come to fight. What I like about Pascal is that he doesn’t fool around either. When I look for him, he will be there, and the same goes for me. Fans like to see leather thrown with bad intentions, and that’s what they are going to get in Montreal on August 11.”
In the evening’s co-feature, power punching phenom Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will take on an opponent to be determined.
Earlier this week, the IBF ordered a fight between Stevenson (rated #2) to face Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (rated 3#) for its #1 ranking. It doesn’t appear that Rodriguez will take the fight for a number of reasons—a pending date with HBO in September the primary one.
Other names who were in the mix to fight Stevenson were South Africa’s Thomas Oosthuizen, and Chicago’s Donovan “Da Bomb” George.
Oosthuzien–like Rodriguez in the stable of promoter Lou DiBella–intends to go in another direction.
George’s side is reportedly interested in the fight, but there is some concern over past legal issues preventing his ability to fight in Quebec.
More details are expected in the coming days.
New Tiger Blood!
Eye of the Tiger Management signed two promising young prospects to its ranks earlier this week: Schiller Hyppolite (4-0, 2 KOs) and Chris Plaitis (1-0).
Both are Montreal residents.
“I ask my boxers to be serious, hard workers and above all, to invest fully in their sport,” said Camille Estephan, Eye of the Tiger’s president, in a press release.
“From this perspective, Hyppolite, who has an impeccable attitude and work ethic, will be a great asset to the team.”
Schiller Hyppolite has steadily improved in each of his first four fights, fights that were featured on undercards of notable headliners Lucian Bute and Adonis Stevenson.
Chris Plaitis, brother of the 17-2-1 Manolis Plaitis, is a slick southpaw many were impressed with in the amateurs. In an earlier interview with Boxing Insider, Estephan described Chris’ talent to that of a “[Paul] Spadafora in his best days.”
Chris had a successful professional debut a few weeks back on the undercard of Dierry Jean vs. Lanardo Tyner in Pointe-Claire, controlling Hungarian Csaba Toth to win a unanimous 4-round decision.
Jo Jo Dan Back in the Gym
“Jo Jo Dan is right now training full-time, two sessions a day,” told promoter Chris Ganescu of Gankor Promotions to Boxing Insider earlier this week.
Dan, who suffered a broken jaw during his close decision loss last year to Selcuk Aydin, has rested and now is looking to get back in action.
“We got the okay from the doctor to fully train,” continued Ganescu. “He hasn’t done any sparring yet, but other than that we’ve been doing everything in the gym. Hopefully, he’ll start sparring in the next week or so, and if everything goes okay, I expect him to be back in the ring by July or August.”
Jo Jo Dan will remain at 147 lb.
“We discussed that, and he feels comfortable at 147,” said Ganescu.
“We’re working on strength a bit more, and he’ll be a more explosive fighter.”
“The Shark’s” Retirement
Although it’s been a few weeks since Adrian Diaconu officially announced his retirement, Boxing Insider inquired to his former promoter, the aforementioned Chris Ganescu, about life after boxing for the man nicknamed “The Shark.”
“I talked to him, and he told me that he’s very serious about this. He stopped training a few months ago, he’s turned the page and he went over to Yvon Michel and discussed with him his decision that it was better for him to retire. He lost interest having not been offered a big fight…so he had no reason to pursue his career. He’s been around boxing since he was 9 years old and he wants to spend more time with his family.”
A former world champion, and one that also represented Romania in the Olympics, Adrian compiled a record 27-3 with 15 of those wins coming by way of knockout. His two-fight series with Jean Pascal was huge in the region; in fact, the first bout was historic in that it was the first time that two Quebec-based fighters fought for a world championship against each other.
Diaconu had won an interim WBC belt in his native Romania against Chris Henry, and eventually was elevated to full champ when Chad Dawson vacated. Ironically, Diaconu’s last fight was against Dawson in a losing effort last year on the undercard of Pascal/Hopkins II.
“I know he told me that he’s going to go work,” said Ganescu when asked what Diaconu’s plans are in his post-boxing life. “He’s going to go work like everybody else.”
Boxing Insider wishes “The Shark” the best in his retirement and future endeavors.
Thanks for the memories and thrills Adrian.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow @hansolson