Eye of the Tiger’s main goal as it embarked on its 10th year was to pit its fighters against even more challenging adversaries in order to help them progress to major bouts and offer fans memorable fights, it can now proclaim “Mission accomplished”! And EOTTM will stay the course in its coming boxing events, on September 9 and 16 at the Casino de Montréal, October 27 at the Casino Lac-Leamy, December 16 at the Centre Gervais Auto in Shawinigan, and February 2 and March 23, 2023 at the Casino de Montréal.
EOTTM’s first half of the year has indeed been a resounding success, and the fights it presented in its first four events, at the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal, allowed some of its fighters to make stunning progress in the world rankings, and others to learn a lot about the fight game.
Christian Mbilli, who won the WBC Continental Americas title by a spectacular KO against Frenchman Nadjib Mohammedi, was a notable example of the success of EOTTM fighters. That fight also launched him into the top 3 of the WBC world rankings, and fifth place in the rankings of the highly respected The Ring magazine.
Meanwhile, Arslanbek Makhmudov kept his perfect record and impressive knockout ratio of 100%, intact in his 6th consecutive defence of his NABF title and his 2nd defence of his NABA title. His performance against veteran Mariusz Wach, whom he stopped early in the fight, allowed him to rise to 6th place in the WBC heavyweight rankings.
As for Mary Spencer, the former Olympian and world amateur champion continues her impressive streak. Her performances against Beatriz Aguilar, whom she KO’d in 30 seconds, and ex-IBF world champion Chris Namur drew lots of attention. In fact, her fight against Namur allowed her to rise to the top 5 of The Ring’s world rankings.
After being ranked 5th in the WBA super-middleweight division, Erik Bazinyan made a statement in his fight against Marcelo Coceres, with the NABF and NABA titles on the line. His performance demonstrated the range of his talent and brought him even closer to an elimination bout.
Quebec boxing fans were treated to solid performances by Steven Butler, who won in March when the referee stopped the fight, and in June when he went toe to toe with Brandon Brewer in a 10-rounder and put on a truly impressive show. He’s made it clear that he still has that eye of the tiger that drives him to dominate the 160-lb division.
“Despite two heartbreaking losses that taught us a lot, we can see the progression in every one of our boxers. We wanted to seek out challenging opponents for them so that they could learn and grow, and we found them. There were Mbilli’s performances against Mohammedi, Makhmudov’s breakthrough in the WBC, Spencer’s spectacular dominance, Butler’s triumphant return, and Bazinyan’s eye-catching performances. We’re in a really enviable position, because each of those performances gives us convincing arguments to negotiate major international bouts,” explained EOTTM president Camille Estephan.
Marc Ramsay, Eye of the Tiger’s Director of Development, points out that an athlete’s development depends in part on the adversity they have to overcome. In fact, it’s at least as important as, if not more important than, workouts in the gym. “Our objective for the rest of the year is to place our boxers in strategic positions in the rankings. We want high-quality opponents who are able to put up a fight and test our fighters to help them grow. Having fair fights is also an overwhelming concern in terms of our boxers’ development. Each of their opponents is chosen for very specific reasons. That way, we can determine what each fighter needs to work on and then give them the tools they need to become champions.”
All the details concerning the September 9 and 16 events, including the full cards and ticket information, will be available in the coming days. For season tickets, please contact Maria Jose Castellon, Development and Operations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay up to date on EOTTM, follow us on Facebook, Instagram (@eottmboxing) or Twitter (@eottmboxing).
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