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Canadian Invasion?

When most modern boxing historians think of Canadian boxers they usually name George Chuvalo first and if they’re really historically astute they’ll cite Sam Langford as the greatest. Being that I came of age as a boxing fan in the 1980s, I usually think of the Fighting Hilton brothers. I think of Matthew Hilton in particular as he had a bigger fan base than his brothers and certainly accomplished more. I recall his bout with Buster Drayton in Montreal and the crowd just rocked. Canadians are admirably serious about their boxing heroes and are great fans. Furthermore,  there has been a recent influx of talent (Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute) so they are starting to get some recognition on the world scene. This Friday, two Canadian contenders will be featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights as they go to the always raucous Bell Centre in Montreal to give us bouts involving Antonin Decarie and Ionut Ion.

Decarie has a 24-1 record with 7 knockouts. His one loss was against the ancient Souleymane Mbaye of France in which he lost a bid for the vacant WBA interim junior welterweight belt. Decarie was dropped in the fourth and going by the judges’ scorecards managed to win only three rounds. Three years ago there was talk of him taking on a comebacking Arturo Gatti for the Canadian belt until Gatti met his demise in Brazil. This past October, Decarie appeared lucky to get past Puerto Rico’s Irving Garcia. All of this despite Decarie being on the receiving end of high tech training which supposedly “trains the brain” for faster reaction times.

I say give me roadwork, sparring, and an old school trainer.

Decarie looks like the second coming of Stephane Oulette. Which means he’ll make some money fighting nobodies on the Canadian circuit but will fail spectacularly when faced with the slightest uptick in competition.

Ionut Ion (aka Jo Jo Dan) is another Romanian transplant (Bute, Adrian Diaconu) making his way as a pro in Canada. Like Decarie, he is a powder puff puncher and sports a 27-1 record with 15 knockouts. His one loss was via split decision to Seycuk Aydin. The bout took place in Aydin’s native Turkey and according to Internet reports Ion was robbed. Nonetheless, he is a light hitting southpaw in a division (welterweight) that seems to be getting more stacked by the day.  Tomorrow night, Ion takes on the prehistoric Steve Forbes and should win an easy decision. Doesn’t take a genius, however, to figure out he won’t become a force in the division.

Going to take a pass on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights tomorrow.

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