Pascal’s clash with Alvarez looks to revive boxing interest
A clash of local contenders Jean Pascal and Eleider Alvarez and a title defence by Adonis Stevenson may be just what was needed to shake Canadian pro boxing out of the doldrums.
Fans who have had little to get excited about, except perhaps David Lemieux’s re-emergence as a middleweight contender, have been buying tickets for the June 3 card at the Bell Centre that will also feature rising welterweight Custio Clayton of Dartmouth, N.S. against an as-yet unannounced opponent.
“The lineup is the best on paper since we did Pascal versus (Lucian) Bute,” promoter Yvon Michel said Wednesday of the 2014 fight between former world champions from Montreal, won by Pascal. “That fight wasn’t as spectacular as people expected.
“But it’s a great lineup and there’s also a very solid undercard. We’ve seen it in the sales. There are no ringside seats left. We’re selling more in the stands. There will be a lot of people watching on TV as well. We have all the ingredients of a great show.”
Michel has been on the defensive of late. A report last week said Clayton (110) is growing impatient at not getting the fights he needs to move up the rankings, while Russian-born light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev (also 11-0) has gone to court to have his contract terminated so he can find a new promoter.
“We have no problem with Custio,” said Michel. “Beterbiev believes the contract is terminated. We don’t agree. It’s nothing personal. I have a good personal relationship with Artur, but we don’t agree so someone else will make the call.”
He hopes a strong fight card will get everyone excited again.
Both the main event and the co-feature are light heavyweight bouts, with the winner of Pascal-Alvarez becoming mandatory challenger for Stevenson’s World Boxing Council title.