Montreal fight fans got some bang for their buck tonight as Eye Of The Tiger Management staged a lively card of fistic action that bodes well for the future of Camille Estephan’s stable of talent. None of the Montreal-based fighters lost tonight, though one in particular was fortunate in that regard while another had to get off the canvas to secure his victory. And once again, Steven Butler looked like a future star.
The night got off to an action-packed start with an absolute slugfest between female rivals Vanessa Joanisse (2-0) and New Brunswick’s Annie Mazerolle (2-2). The heavyweights had clashed two months ago in Mazerolle’s home province and the result was the same the second time around: a decision win for the warrior from Saint André Avellin. Neither fighter paid much attention to defense as they stood toe-to-toe and exchanged bombs. The Quebec fighter was both more active and accurate, though she ate more than her share of leather before the final bell.
Next, in his third attempt, super-lightweight Batyr Jukembayev (1-0 1KO) finally registered his first professional bout after both of his previous tried were declared no contests. The talented Kazakh dominated Kamil Wybraniec (3-3), forcing a stoppage at 2:42 of the opening round. Batyr scored three knockdowns, a devastating body shot sending Wybraniec to the canvas for the final time, and finally the former amateur champion has his pro career underway.
Montreal’s Mathieu Germain made short work of Hungarian Adam Mate (21-9) as he scored three knockdowns to force a stoppage in the opening round. A right hand to the body scored the first knockdown and the outcome was decided right then and there. The undefeated super-lightweight, also known as “G-Time,” moves to 7-0.
Undefeated super-welterweight prospect Mian Hussain won an eight round decision over tough Edgar Ortega (16-5), but did not exactly look world-class in the process. He controlled much of the fight with accurate punches but appeared reluctant to really take charge, his lack of aggression almost leading to disaster as his Mexican opponent came back to inflict a nasty cut on Hussain’s left eye in round five and have his best work in round seven. That said, Hussain clearly did enough to deserve the unanimous verdict.
Louisbert Altidor (4-0) was too much for Adam Green (13-6) who was fighting for only the second time in more than eight years. The 35 year-old Green started aggressively but some hard body punches from Altidor got Green moving the other way. All three judges gave Altidor all four rounds and a unanimous decision win.
Manny Pacquiao sparring partner Ghislain Maduma (18-2) was coming off a controversial defeat last October in Madison Square Garden and needed a strong showing and that’s exactly what he posted as he won every round against tough Cesar David Inalef (20-6-2) of Mexico. Maduma scored a knockdown in round three and looked very sharp. Or, as Manny Montreal put it: tactical, skillful and precise; it was a solid performance and, with Freddie Roach now helping to train Maduma, hopefully a major step towards bigger opportunities.
Super-middleweight contender Schiller Hyppolite (21-1) had to get up off the canvas for the second bout in a row, but then more than made up for that with a one shot fifth round knockout over Pablo Zamora (32-14-1). Hyppolite was down hard in round two but he rebounded nicely and by round four he was in control of matters. A vicious right hand put Zamora down hard in the following round and the Argentinian’s corner signalled surrender.
In a thrilling and hotly contested battle, Dierry Jean (29-2-1) salvaged a split draw against Ricky Sismundo (30-9-3), a tough Filipino warrior who fights out of Japan and who almost stopped Jean in round four. Both men landed their share of hard punches, but Sismundo’s appeared to have more power. A right hand put Jean down hard in the fourth and the Montrealer had difficulty rising. Still hurt, he was dropped again later in the round. Jean bravely fought back but his left eye was soon swollen while Sismundo kept landing heavy blows. Some at ringside felt Jean was fortunate to get the draw, though in fairness to the hometown fighter, it was a legitimately close battle.
Finally, in the main event, two undefeated super-welterweights battled with Steven Butler again looking sensational as he dominated Ferdinand Pilz (16-1) of Germany. The impressive aspect of the performance was how Butler just kept turning up the intensity as the rounds went by. In round seven he was clearly in total control as Pilz just kept taking heavy shots. The German was decked twice in round nine, which forced his corner to throw in the towel though it should be noted that Pilz rose from both knockdowns. Butler looked as sharp as ever and improves to 16-0-1.
All in all, a fun and entertaining card which gave further proof that, David Lemieux aside, the fighter who is going to become the brightest star in the Eye Of The Tiger stable is Butler. It’s time to start testing him against truly world-class opposition as he moves closer to a shot at a truly legit world title.
— Robert Portis
Photos by Bob Levesque.