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“We Want More”: 10 Local Fights to Make

Laurent Poulin - Boxingtown Québec

Photo: Vincent Ethier – “Local fights are like the podcast of Laurent Poulin, you never get enough of it” – Vincent Tremblay, a man of culture.

Reader’s Mail: “Hi Laurent, I notice lately that our Quebec promoters want to restore the nobility of local fighting. Can you give me a top 10 list of logical and feasible fights that could happen in 2024?” – Michelle Boisvert, reader.

My answer: “You’re right, Michelle. Camille Estephan doesn’t hide it; he wants to give Quebec audiences the fights they’ve been asking for years. With Ramirez-Ziyatdinov, Butler-Rolls, Bazinyan-Phinn, and now Butler-Volny, we’re spoiled. But why stop there? So, I’m putting together your top 10.”

10. Martine Vallières-Bisson (6-2) vs. Bree Howling (6-0)

MVB shares the top spot with Elizabeth Hosking as Longueuil’s greatest athlete. Besides being my best friend, she beat cancer and is now ready to return to the ring. Martine has never turned down an opponent since turning pro, so why not match her against Calgary boxer Bree Howling, who has already been associated with a future world champion by Antonin Décarie?

MVB speaks fluent English; I could even host a fiery face-off.

9. Jhon Orobio (7-0) vs. Mohamed Soumaoro (14-3)

Nicknamed ‘Black Buffalo,’ Mo Soumaoro has impressed against very high-level boxers. He always charges forward and is very physical, making him the perfect test for facing a prodigy like Orobio, who dispatches competition like removing a temporary shelter in April. Two explosive boxers who have never backed down in their careers, this fight is already approved as a future fight of the year in Canada before even throwing the first punch.

8. Moreno Fendero (4-0) vs. Lancelot Proton de la Chapelle (12-1-1)

LPC not only has the most distinguished name in professional boxing, but he also has a knockout victory over Brandon Brewer. In the semifinals at the Montreal Casino with all of France watching on Punching Grace, there are golden opportunities with this French match. It would also allow Fendero to end 2024 on a high note.

Long live France and this duel between Beuzeville and Besançon!

7. Artur Biyarslanov (14-0) vs. Petros Ananyan (18-3-2)

Petros Ananyan has previously lived in the Toronto area, making him a local. While the world fears Subriel Matias, Ananyan dared to beat him and send him to the canvas. I insist and repeat that Biyarslanov is the best 140 in the country and belongs in the top 7 of the division, so he must accept this kind of challenge based on my personal ranking.

6. Kim Clavel (18-2) vs. Sara Haghighat Joo (3-0)

Sara HJ will become the WBA regular champion at the end of the month with a victory over Maria Guadalupe Bautista. It’s the perfect opportunity for an Ontario/Quebec classic and Yvon Michel vs. Tyler Buxton.

“I approve of this fight” – Marie-Eve Albert, from the 120 Secondes podcast.

5. Jean Pascal (36-7-1) vs. Ryan Rozicki (20-1)

I’ve heard from a reliable source that my friend Jean Pascal is in Connecticut, where he trains three times a day, seven days a week, and 31 days a month. According to my source, he also wants to face Ryan Rozicki in his second fight of 2024 to complete a world championship against Badou Jack. Pascal vs. Rozicki is worthy of a spectacle like *Joho Pyro in 2023 in Montreal.

*It’s the pyrotechnician who won both Quebec lottos in 2023.

4. Alexandre Gaumont (9-0) vs. Brandon Cook (26-2)

Steven Butler was 21 when he faced Brandon Cook; Gaumont is now a respectable 28. This fight, presented in Gatineau and taking advantage of the presence of people from both provinces, would be a great celebration for boxing. Cook is active and no longer loses; I see a 50/50 fight and why not a future trilogy between the two boxers.

3. Mponda Kalunga (11-2) vs. Derek Pomerleau (8-0)

Kalunga is now part of the powerful team managed by the formidable Yves Lévesque. Mponda is very active on social media and is calling for a challenge. I could see Yvon Michel or Yan Pellerin organizing this fight, which looks like a final at the Montreal Casino. Yukon vs. Quebec, but above all, a fight where you have to be clever to identify a winner in advance.

2. Wilkens Mathieu (8-0) vs. Shakeel Phinn (26-3-1)

I predict a victory for Bazynian over Phinn by a fairly wide decision, but it won’t affect Shak’s value. Wilkens is becoming a man, and the 6 and 8-round fights will soon be behind him.

If it were up to me, I would pit the two men against each other at the Manège militaire of Quebec City Military a few days before Christmas.

1. Cody Crowley (22-0) vs. Steve Claggett (38-7-2)

We’re going all out; I feel Crowley will be defeated by Jaron Ennis, and Steve Claggett will put up a good fight but won’t overcome Teofimo Lopez. So, we have a perfect crossroads fight where the winner is parachuted into the rankings and the loser… well, they go back to the undercard. This fight wouldn’t be for the faint-hearted.

One day, Régis Lévesque explained to me that there’s nothing simpler than “promoting” a local fight. If it ends in a draw… you go for a rematch; if it’s controversial… you aim for a trilogy.

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