Boxing fans right across this province are sure to remember the date of Saturday August 24th for a long time to come. In “The Sport of Champions”, a lot of fights come and go with some still being talked about even years after the final bell. Ask any boxing fan about what fight they remember the most, and chances are a famous fight will come to mind. Fights like Ali-Frazier, Ali-Liston or a number of fights involving the great “Hands of Stone”, Roberto Duran are just a few that will come to mind. Canadian fight fans will be quick to recall the first World title fight between “The Fighting Fisherman”, Yvon Durelle and “The Old Mongoose”, Archie Moore, fought on December 10th 1958 at the Old Montreal Forum or maybe the 15 rounder between Muhammad Ali and Toronto’s George Chuvalo fought on March 29th 1966 at the famed Maple Leaf Gardens in front of a packed house with the World Heavyweight championship on the line. Ali would win a hard-fought decision over Chuvalo who’d also face the likes of Frazier, Foreman, Terrell, Bonavena, Patterson as well as Durelle during his amazing 93 fight career. (Only Frazier and Foreman would stop the solid chinned Chuvalo). A number of other fights are still talked about years after they were fought. Come August 24th, a fight here in New Brunswick could have fans on hand still discussing the outcome for a long time to come.
Richibucto’s Dominic “Don’t Blink” Babineau first took up the sport of boxing at the age of 9 and from there, he’d go on to win 45 of 48 amateur fights. Along the way, he’d win two Canadian Amateur championships, as well as capturing Gold at the 2007 Canada Games. After taking a few years off, Babineau would make his return and take the sport by storm. Making his Pro debut on March 8th 2014 in Moncton, Dominic would score 6 straight wins (4 by knockout) before losing a close split decision to Justin Hocko on December 2nd 2016 in Edmonton Alberta. Since that heart-breaking loss, there’s been no looking back, nor has the hard punching “Don’t Blink” as he’s known in the ring left it up to the judges to decide the winner of his fights. The heavy fisted Babineau has scored 5 more knockouts in a row as he’s built himself into one of the country’s hottest prospect with his record now standing at 11 wins (9KOs) with only the loss to Hocko being a blemish on his record. “Don’t Blink” would capture both the Canadian Professional Boxing Council (C.P.B.C) Atlantic Canadian and C.P.B.C International Super-Featherweight championships. Presently ranked number one in Canada by the Canadian National Boxing Authority, Babineau is about to take the next step forward in his promising ring career when he faces Nova Scotia’s Joey Laviolette on August 24th in Richibucto in a bout for the C.N.B.A Canadian Super-Featherweight championship.
Laviolette has a Pro record of 11 & 2 (7 KOs) and the upcoming fight between the two flashy, hard punching pair is already being looked at as the possible best fight of 2019 in Canada. The fight between the two huge crowd favourites has been talked about since both made their Pro debuts. Laviolette is also a former Canadian Amateur champ who’ll be looking to add a Canadian Pro title to his resume with a win over “Don’t Blink”. It’s been a number of years since there’s been this much interest in a fight taking place on Canadian soil. “Don’t Blink” had the following to say about his upcoming fight against Laviolette in front of his hometown fans at the Kent North Imperial Centre in Richibucto, “It’s good to see the country’s best prospects fighting each other. It’s good for the sport and I’m glad to be a part of it”. Phil Baraly, who’s been Babineau’s trainer since the age of 9 was asked which of Babineau’s amateur fights stood out, “I’d have to say his fight against Ken Lalley!! With only 20 or so seconds left in the bout, Dom landed several telling blows to pull out the decision. Dom was only 15 at the time and he was fighting in the 18 and under class, so he was facing guys several years older”. When asked what is planned down the road for “Don’t Blink”, Baraly stated that it’s hoped that Babineau can fight every three months with the goal of breaking into the world rankings within the next two years.
Daniel Doiron, President of The C.N.B.A had the following to say about the August 24th fight between the two top ranked fighters in the Canadian National Boxing Authority Super-Featherweight division, “This fight is thrilling for the boxing community as both the number 1 & 2 contenders square off for the Canadian title. Each has had a stellar amateur career and both have shown themselves to be hot prospects. This is one of the most anticipated fights in years featuring two of the finest prospects in Canadian Boxing ready to go toe to toe giving fans everything they’ve waited for. It’s the kind of fight that no one’s going to want to take their eyes off of. This fight is going to be a throw back to when fighters put everything they’ve got on the line because they know to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
On top of the World class fight between Babineau and Laviolette in the evening’s Main Event, promoters have put together a great undercard featuring fan favourites Annie “No Mercy” Mazerolle, (ranked number one in Canada by the C.N.B.A) of St.Louis de Kent, Richibucto’s Jani Babineau as well as several other action packed bouts. Doors open at 6:30 pm with the opening bell ringing at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be ordered by calling 210-2303. As well as the positive news for The Sport of Champions comes the heart-breaking news of several deaths of boxers following fights over the past several weeks. 23-year-old Argentina born, Hugo Alfredo Santillan collapsed following his fight against Eduardo Javier Abrea on July 16th in a bout fought in Buenos Aires Argentina. Following surgery, he passed away on July 25th. His final ring record stands at 19 wins, 6 loses and 2 draws. His final bout ended in a 10-round draw.
Russian born 28-year-old Maxim Dadashev passed away on July 23rd following a fight against Subreil Matias fought on July 19th in Oxon Hill Maryland. The Super-Lightweight bout ended in Matias’s favour when the bout was stopped by referee Kenny Chevalier. Dadashev’s final record reads 12 wins (11 KOs) with the loss to Matias being the only defeat in his Pro career. R.I.P Maxim and Hugo!
Don’t forget: Keep your hands up and your chin tucked in!
Written by: Paul Doiron