Antonin Decarie has been on many an undercard at the Bell Centre in Montreal, and has patiently bided his time while Herman Ngoudjo, and Lucian Bute and Adrian Diaconu topped the bill. Decarie made the leap to the bigtime, topping the Friday Night Fights show, and did nothing to embarrass himself. He had his way with Shamone Alvarez, scoring two knockdowns and impressing the judges to the tune of a 97-91, 99-89 and 98-90 victory.
Decarie (from Quebec; 24-1 entering; age 28) weighed 147 pounds, while Alvarez (from Atlantic City; 21-3 entering; age 34) was also 147 pounds on Thursday.
In the first, Alvarez started fast. Both worked the jab, but Alvarez coupled his with a follow up, often a straight left. Decarie closed the distance in the second, trying to cramp the American some. A little nick appeared on Alvarez' right eye in the third. Decarie did a good job with his placement, dropping in rights to the body. He buzzed Alvarez at the end of the fourth, when Decarie banged his skull into Shamone's chin.
In the fifth, Decarie dropped Alvarez, off a right hand following a jab, with 1:30 to go. He tortured Alvarez with left hands to the body, just to drain him that much more. In the sixth, Decarie just looked fresher, ready to close it out. Alvarez' reflexes were a step behind, a notch slower. You could see the mileage on him. His tendency to lean forward, get caught on his toes, did him no favors. Blood streamed out of Alvarez' left eye by the end of the eighth, and then a right on the button gave Decarie another knockdown, as Alvarez' glove touched the canvas, right before the bell. In round nine, the cut opened up again. Alvarez didn't fold; to start the tenth he tried to advance, and score. But he need a KO at this point, yet he didn't have the fuel left to go for broke for the whole three. We'd go to the cards.
Overall, I'm left wishing Decarie had more pop in his mitts. He's average in that department, but an inability to put legit fear into the hearts and minds of the "A" players in the division could well keep him from getting over the hump, from headliner, to titlist.
Jo Jo Dan snagged a technical decision win over vet Steve Forbes in a welterweight tangle. The lefty Dan is a patient type, who possesses not much in the way of power, but is technically sound.
Jean Pascal sat down with Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore during this fight. "That was a close fight," he said, referring to the December draw with the ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins. "We're going to make everything clear next time." They will do it again on May 21st, site TBD.
A clash of heads, which occurred when Forbes leaped in, caused a gash on Forbes' left eyebrow, so they went to the cards early in the sixth. It was a nasty slice; it looked like the open wound one sometimes sees when someone contracts a staph infection. The scores after five complete and a portion of the sixth were: 58-56, 58-56, 58-56.
SPEEDBAG The Feb. 18 FNF will be shown in 3D FYI. This will be the first boxing event offered in 3D in the US. How many of you have a 3D TV? I do not. Maybe by 2014 or so...
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV