Pas­cal’s clash with Al­varez looks to re­vive box­ing in­ter­est

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY BILL BEA­CON

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.

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