Stevenson vs. Gonzales – Voluntary IBF #2 Eliminator, Getting in Line to Face Lucian Bute
Many of Canada’s best boxers will be in action February 18, highlighted by the return of world super middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, on the stacked “Fast & Furious Boxing Series” event, presented by Mise-O-Jeux and Videotron, at Bell Centre in Montreal.
The power puncher Stevenson (16-1, 13 KOs), fighting out of Longueuil, Quebec, is more powerful than a locomotive. He is coming off of a sensational ninth-round technical knockout victory over Aaron Pryor Jr. last month for the North American Boxing Association (“NABA”), North American Boxing Organization (“NABO”) and International Boxing Federation (“IBF”) Inter-Continental super middleweight titles.
A great puncher and entertaining fighter, Stevenson is rated No. 8 by the World Boxing Association (“WBA”), as well as No. 15 by the World Boxing Council “WBC”) and IBF. Adonis will defend his IBF Inter-Continental belt against former NABF champion Jesus “El Martillo” Gonzales (27-1, 14 KOs) in the 12-round main event.
More important, Stevenson-Gonzales will also be an IBF super middleweight voluntary eliminator fight for the No. 2 rating. The victor of this fight will be very close of a world title opportunity by earning the # 2 position in the IBF world ranking of the division ruled by Lucian Bute.
A slick southpaw out of Phoenix (AZ), Gonzales was a great amateur boxer. His style has been compared to the legendary Marvelous Marvin Hagler. He is rated No. 12 by the IBF and No. 14 by the WBC. He is riding a 10-fight win streak into the Feb. 18th fight that clearly has future world title fight implications and at 27 years old, he is at the top of his game!
For his part, Gonzales has long been clamoring to face one of the big names in or around his division. With nobody else stepping up to the plate, he’s trying to force the issue by taking on another guy looking for his opportunity, with the winner putting himself close to position to face the IBF champion, Bute.
“The winner of the Stevenson-Gonzalez voluntary eliminator fight will better position himself for a world title fight in 2012,” promoter Yvon Michel said. “Stevenson is targeting the IBF belt. To succeed he has no intention of hoping for a favor, he will do it the old fashion way, he will earn it! This is the reason why a win against Gonzales is a must at this point of his career.”
This highly-competitive card is absolutely loaded from top to bottom with champions, contenders and some of Canada’s best boxing prospects in action.
One prospect on the fast track in the light heavyweight division is unbeaten Montreal favorite Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (7-0, 5 KOs), the reigning NABO title-holder from Colombia and 2008 Olympian. Alvarez faces former USBA champion Otis “Triple OG” Griffin (23-9-2, 9 KOs), winner of Oscar de la Hoya’s The Next Great Champ television reality show, in the eight-round co-feature.
Another undefeated Montreal fighter is light welterweight Dierry “Douggy” Jean (20-0, 13 KOs), a red-hot prospect who is matched against former English champion, southpaw Ryan Barrett (25-9-3, 5 KOs), in an eight-round bout.
Former NABA super featherweight titlist Arash Usmanee (16-0, 8 KOs), also fighting out of Montreal, by way of Afghanistan, squares-off against inappropriately named Danish invader Innocent Anyanwu (21-3-2, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
In another intriguing eight-round match, unbeaten 2008 Colombian Olympian Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas (8-0, 5 KOs) takes on former Croatian kick-boxer Ivica Perkovic (15-12, 11 KOs).
Popular featherweight Tyler Asselstine (8-0, 5 KOs), a decorated amateur boxer who was a member of the 2009 Canadian National Team, has been billed by some as a younger, smaller version of fellow southpaw, Lucian Bute, or “Bute-light.” From Ontario but a fixture fighting in Montreal, where six of his pro fights have been held, the 25-year-old battles Andras Varga (5-1-2, 0 KOs) in an eight round bout.
Also scheduled to fight on the undercard is Quebec heavyweight Didier Bence (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Stephane “Brutus” Tessier and light welterweight Ghislain Maduma (5-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jeremy Abbott (3-2, 2 KOs) in a pair of six-round bouts; as well as super featherweight Baha Laham (7-0, 2 KOs) vs. Csaba “Little Tyson” Toth in a four-round match. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, starting at $60.00, are available to purchase at the Bell Center, at www.evenko.ca, or GYM’s office (514-383-0666). Go on line www.groupeyvonmichel.ca for more information about the Feb. 18 show.