New York, NY (12/3/13) - Fresh off his thrilling 12-round split decision victory over hometown favorite and previously undefeated Kevin Bizier in Quebec City this past weekend, IBF #2 and WBC #6-rated welterweight contender Jo Jo Dan (32-2, 17KO's) is looking to land a much deserved world title opportunity sometime in 2014. The 32-year-old Romanian, who has been calling Canada home since late in his decorated amateur career, is hoping that one of the belt-holders in the loaded 147lb. division will step up and give him a shot.
"I am back at the top level," said an excited Dan following his victory over Bizier. "I am very satisfied with this win. Bizier was an undefeated, highly ranked fighter, and I came here and pulled out the decision in his backyard. My determination and experience were the difference in the fight."
"After Saturday night, Jo Jo Dan has clearly established himself as one of the best welterweights in the world and proven that he is championship material. It is time for him to get his opportunity. I hope that everyone who hasn't already seen his fight with Bizier gets a chance to watch it and see for themselves what kind of warrior Jo Jo Dan truly is," saidpromoter Lou DiBella.
In the bout with Bizier, Dan set a blistering pace right from the start, taking the fight directly to his opponent. Dan didn't let off the gas throughout, constantly pressing the action. Bizier had success of his own, landing hard shots against the southpaw Dan, but each time Bizier would score, Dan would fire off ferocious combinations on the inside to not let Bizier get the upper hand. The action-packed fight brought the near capacity crowd to their feet multiple times, and the fighters ended their grueling 12-round battle going toe-to-toe in the center of the ring.
It was the third consecutive victory for Dan following two close decision losses in world title opportunities to Selcuk Aydin in Aydin's home country of Turkey in 2010 and 2011. After the second loss, Dan was out of the ring for nearly a year before signing with DiBella Entertainment. Promoter Lou DiBella brought Dan to New York, featuring him on back-to-back Broadway Boxing cards at Roseland Ballroom, which were Dan's first bouts here in the US. The two wins propelled Dan back into the world ratings and set him up for the bout against Bizier this past Saturday.
"Jo Jo did a great job on Saturday night, winning two titles and becoming the #2-ranked contender in the IBF with his victory over the top-rated hometown favorite Bizier. The local media is calling it Quebec's 'Fight of the Year'. Fights like these are great for boxing. You had two warriors and gentlemen of the sport going toe-to-toe and giving the fans exactly what they want and deserve. Maybe, down the road, we can do this fight again, but next time with a world title at stake and main event status. In the meantime, we are looking for the biggest fights possible and trust that our promoter Lou DiBella will get us those opportunities. When those opportunities present themselves, as he did on Saturday night, Jo Jo Dan will be ready to make the most of it," said longtime manager Chris Ganescu.
With the impressive victory, there are a lot of options out there for Dan. He is highly rated in both the IBF and WBC and holds both the NABA and IBF Inter-Continental welterweight titles. A bout against the winner of this Saturday's all-Brooklyn bout on Showtime between Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah, a shot against hard-hitting Argentine WBC Silver welterweight champion Luis Carlos Abregu or even a IBF title eliminator against undefeated Kell Brook all make sense. But if you ask Dan, he isn't being picky.
"I just want my shot. I proved and solidified on Saturday what my team and I have felt for a very long time, that I am one of the best 147lb. fighters in the world. I deserve another shot at a piece of the welterweight crown. I don't care who it is. I trust my team will get me the best opportunity possible, and I have no doubt in my mind that I will be ready."
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV