On Friday Night from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, Groupe Yvon Michel in association with Casino De Montreal, ESPN and Videotron presented ESPN‘s “Friday Night Fights.” In the 10-round welterweight main event Antonin Decarie (25-1, 7KOs) of Montreal, Quebec, took a step towards becoming another Canadian favorite dismantling American Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (21-4, 12KOs), by unanimous decision on a night that saw the Canadians send the Americans home defeated.
Ranked #8 by the WBA and coming off a majority decision victory over “Friday Night Fights” alumni Irving Garcia in which he was crudely cut over the right eye, Decarie was headlining his first card at home. The Canadian looks to gain a following like his fellow countrymen IBF super middleweight titlist Lucien Bute and WBC, IBO and Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.
All but two of 28-year-old Decarie’s fights have been in Canada, he lost his only fight last May when he traveled to France losing to Souleymane M’Baye by 12-round unanimous decision for the interim WBA World welterweight title.
34-year-old southpaw Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez gives back to his community as he works full time as a mentor and behavioral assistant which he has been doing throughout his career. He’d never been beaten up, competitive in all his bouts and was coming off a close decision defeat to Delvin Rodriguez.
Decarie relayed before the fight that he thought 34-year-old Atlantic City, New Jersey, native Shamone Alvarez would start quick and he was right as “The Truth” entered the bout distributing many right hooks to the head and body as well as the straight left at the ceiling. Decarie got clipped with two of those lefts upstairs as he tried to keep space between him and Alvarez with repeated jabs and movement. Decarie was light on his feet and trying to time his overhand right as he opened up and landed a nice combination of left hooks and right crosses. The boxers kept finding themselves tied up with Alvarez holding Antonin’s left arm as the Canadian racked away at the American’s left side with his free right hand, in a good opening round.
Decarie was unloading heavy blows and was landing stiff right hands and left hooks to Shamone’s chin as Alvarez’s attack consisted of many jabs followed by the straight left as he continually chipped away with the lighter punches. Decarie was brawling, Alvarez was boxing and they were sharing the squared circle taking turns advancing.
Decarie was getting the better of the action connecting on some very hard left hooks and rights to the mouth of “The Truth,” in the 3rd round. Alvarez was busy but the Canadian was busier connecting at a higher rate with the denser strikes. By choice Alvarez stood on the outside throwing his punches from too far away weakening his blows and Decarie caught him at the end of the 4th with solid strikes up top as well as his dome that wobbled Shamone.
It was more of the same in the 5th; Decarie was knocking the American around the ring with heavy artillery and at 1:38 of the period Decarie shot a straight right that split the guard of Alvarez knocking him to the canvas for the eight count. Decarie stayed composed once the fighting resumed and landed more rights, albeit wide winging one’s, to the head as well as punishing blows to the torso of Alvarez that were hurting him. Shamone survived the round and even landed a few straight lefts but would shake out his left hand every time he landed it as if it was possibly injured.
Halfway through the 6th in a pretty uneventful round the Canadian landed a right hand bomb that sent spit flying out of Alvarez’s mouth and followed it up with numerous right hands and left hooks to the jaw. Alvarez was following Decarie around the ring and getting picked apart while falling way behind.
Alvarez was having a good 7th as they were going back and forth until Decarie landed another resounding right hand that had Shamone retreating. Moments later Antonin blasted his foe with yet another right hand that staggered Alvarez and followed with more punishing punches. A cut opened up over Shamone’s left eye in the 8th round right before he was hit hard with a right hand right on the button that floored Shamone as his feet got caught up and it was ruled a knockdown correctly by referee Marlon Brando Wright.
Decarie fought judiciously in the final two rounds ensuring a victory over Shamone who could never get anything going and the scores read 97-91, 99-89 and 98-90 for Decarie en-route to a unanimous decision win over the outclassed Alvarez.
Decarie’s win was impressive over a good fighter as he improves to 25-1 with seven stoppages and should do much for him in garnering the attention of his countrymen and women.
Alvarez has now lost three of five and finds himself in need of improvements as he falls to 21-4 with twelve knockouts.
In the evening’s 10-round welterweight co-feature Romanian southpaw Ionut “JoJo” Dan Ion (28-1, 15KOs) of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, left the ring with a technical unanimous decision victory over American veteran 33-year-old Steve “2Pound” Forbes (35-9, 11KOs), after the brawl was stopped early due to a cut sustained by Forbes.
29-year-old Dan, the taller man, came out fighting from the outside using his height to keep the smaller Forbes at a distance as he jabbed frequently and danced light on his feet. JoJo’s attack consisted of right hooks and left crosses upstairs all behind the jab while Forbes also utilized his jab and unleashed a number of overhand rights with little success. JoJo Dan picked his spots judiciously gambling nothing as he caught Forbes with a straight left to the mouth to close out round one.
Steve was the aggressor moving forward while JoJo fought going backwards circling to the right to stay away from Forbes right hand. Dan commenced to going to Steve’s mid-section with straight lefts while Forbes made adjustments stepping back a little so Dan couldn’t time Forbes with counter punches as he came in, forcing JoJo to move forward and be more aggressive. The strategy worked for “2Pound” as he landed several right hands to the mouth of Dan taking the second stanza.
In the 3rd Dan picked up the pace and went about throwing combinations and landed a nice right hook – left uppercut to the torso. The Canadian would jump in when he threw right hooks to the body and they started clinching frequently from that point on and the round also saw Forbes pace quicken as the pugilist exchanged heavy leather
The good action continued in the 4th as the combatants went back and forth with power shots. Forbes was landing left hooks to the body and head of the Canadian who was dispersing many right hooks and straight lefts high and low. Dan was the busier man but Forbes made his blows count as the rounds were close. In the 5th Dan took advantage of his size and got more physical using his body to rough up the smaller American.
At 2:35 of the 6th Forbes rushed in on Dan who’s head was down and Steve’s forehead clashed with the top of JoJo’s head opening up an ugly gash over Forbes left eye which resulted in the bout being stopped by the ringside physician. The fight was competitive and close but Dan clearly had the advantage and when the score cards were announced JoJo Dan won a unanimous decision with scores of 58-56 across the board.
JoJo has now won two in a row after suffering his lone loss when he left home to fight fellow prospect Selcuk Aydin for the WBC Silver welterweight title in Turkey. This was a hard fight to assess Dan going forward because it was a close fight stopped early right when it was getting heated. JoJo boxed well though and more importantly he went home with the victory against a very respectable adversary as he improves to 28-1 with fifteen kayo’s.
Stevie “2Pound” Forbes came to fight but unfortunately he returns home unsuccessful falling to 35-9 with eleven knockouts. This was Forbes sixth loss in nine scraps and to add insult to injury he had to forfeit 20% of his purse for coming in .14 pounds heavy. In Canada they do let you step off the scale to try and lose the excess weight then re-weigh which would have been very easy to do for Forbes as it was only .14.
To round out the televised portion of the card 26-year-old Montreal, Quebec, CA, resident by way of Kinshasa, Congo, Ghislain Maduma (3-0, KO), hit 28-year-old Isaac “Pollo” Bejarano (9-9-1, 7KOs) of Mexico, with everything but the kitchen sink as he punished the Mexican en-route to a unanimous decision victory with tallies of 40-36, 40-36 and 40-34 to remain undefeated in four rounds of lightweight boxing.
During the evening’s telecast commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas said he always wanted to see a southpaw in 3D and he will get his chanced as next weeks “Friday Night Fights,” telecast featuring southpaw knockout specialist and hometown fighter, WBA #9 ranked undefeated Fernando Guerrero (20-0, 16KOs), and undefeated welterweight Shawn Porter (17-0, 13KOs), in co-main events from Salisbury, MD, at the Wicomico Civic Center, will be broadcast in 3D for the first time in the United States.
The broadcast will also be on ESPN2 and ESPN 3D is available in the United States to approximately 62.5 households and has carriage agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, DIRECTV and Time Warner Cable.