(Shawinigan) Two hooks from the left of David Lemieux, two visits to the mat for Francy Ntetu. In the fifth round, the referee ended this fight where Lemieux had never been worried.
A thunderstorm as sudden as it was violent - a little hail as a bonus - struck en route to Shawinigan. A bit of what Ntetu must have had the impression of going through in the ring of the Center Gervais Auto.
David Lemieux (42-4, 35 KOs) had already had a clear ascendancy in the first three rounds. But in the fourth, it became very difficult for Francy Ntetu (17-4, 4 KOs). It seemed like a matter of time then. The former IBF champion of the means nevertheless wanted to pay tribute to his opponent after the fight.
“I didn't think he would complete five rounds. He was brave, he had rage, he wanted to prove himself, he said. He didn't just come and get a check. "
In fact, Ntetu went within a minute of a double check. Lemieux, who was in his second super middleweight fight, had promised to give him his purse if he reached the sixth round. It ended at 1.58 minutes from the fifth.
Francy Ntetu, last to parade in front of journalists late in the evening, was both satisfied and disappointed with the turn of events.
“I came to win, he said. But he put a lot of pressure on me quickly and he hit me with some solid punches. He came to congratulate me afterwards and I felt respected. The referee arrested me for my health. We can't be against that. "
At 38, he says he is not thinking about retirement just yet and is open to fighting on the local scene.
It was a return to action for Camille Estephan's Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) group, due to the pandemic, after long months of waiting and a standoff with Public Health for the resumption of combat sports. The gala was held behind closed doors.
Let's talk about this in camera. The absence of spectators in the stands gave a very strange - and quiet - atmosphere to the evening.
Starting with the house announcer, who set the table in monkish silence before the first fight.
And what about the entry into the scene of the boxers, normally a strong moment when the excitement wins the enclosure. The athletes knew what to expect. Still, being greeted by rare cameras, a few employees, a few tables for journalists ... Surely not the usual adrenaline rush.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY VINCENT ETHIER, EOTTM
View of Center Gervais Auto, in Shawinigan, Saturday
But it was especially from the first shots that the void was most felt in the amphitheater. No fans, no reactions. No system in his house could faithfully transmit the noise produced by a punch from David Lemieux when there is not the slightest murmur in the room to dampen it.
"The Madison Square Garden filled compared to tonight, for sure it's different," Lemieux commented about it. But we have a job to do and, crowd or not, I have fire in me. "
The boxers were able to get back to work. And that's probably all that mattered to them.
Makhmudov ... in seconds
Earlier, heavyweights clashed between the two super middleweight fights. And it was not very long.
PHOTO VINCENT ETHIER, EOTTM
Arslanbek Makhmudov retained his NABF heavyweight title by defeating Ontarian Dillon “Big Country” Carman.
Arslanbek Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KOs), known as “The lion”, Montrealer from Russia, protected from EOTTM, retained his NABF title by defeating Ontarian Dillon “Big Country” Carman (14 -6, 13 K.-O.) by stoppage of the referee ... 27 seconds from the first round.
In fact, the scorecard indicates more of an abandonment. Carman left the precinct in a hurry, furious at the official's decision. He spoke to journalists by cell, claiming to be the victim of a "misunderstanding" with the referee.
Either way, Carman had brought his knee to the ground, caught by a strong left hook to the head. He had suggested to the fans not to blink their eyes during this duel. Maybe he forgot to put his advice into practice.
At the weigh-in on Friday, Makhmudov had the scale swinging at 263 lbs, 25 more than his rival.
Very short working evening for Lexson Mathieu
At the start of the evening, Quebecer Lexson Mathieu (9-0, 8 KOs) did not have time to sweat much more. At 1.34 minutes into the first round, his opponent Tim “The Irish” Cronin (12-5-2, 3 KOs) was on the floor and he did not get up. A blow to the perfect body. The first two fights of the evening will therefore last only two minutes. In all.
PHOTO VINCENT ETHIER, EOTTM
Lexson Mathieu becomes the youngest boxer with an NABF super middleweight belt in history.
"In the body, it's not forgiving," the 21-year-old boxer calmly commented after the fight.
Mathieu becomes the youngest boxer with an NABF super middleweight belt in history.
As his nickname, “The Next” unequivocally indicates, there is a lot of hope in Mathieu, who has made a strong impression since the start of his professional career.
The boxer from Quebec had told The Canadian Press that he did not like to face tall opponents, because of their reach, even more when they are experienced. And that's exactly what he had in front of him on Saturday night in 36-year-old Ontarian Tim Cronin, four inches past him.
Obviously, Mathieu had a plan to get around this problem.
Cronin was knocked out. for only the second time in his career.
All boxers and coaches must now remain in isolation for 10 days, under the organization's protocol which has been agreed with public health authorities.
EOTTM has not skimped on health measures. If there was the slightest particle of coronavirus at the Center Gervais Auto in Shawinigan, it was certainly knocked out.