25 Apr EOTTM’S CONQUEST – 2023 Roster Presentation
Montreal, Tuesday April 25, 2023 – After celebrating its 10th year of existence, Eye of the Tiger is embarking on a most exciting chapter as some of its athletes including Christian Mbilli, Erik Bazinyan and Arslanbek Makhmudov have won significant fights therefore them to sneak to the top of the world rankings and knock on the door of major fights. At the same time, very promising new recruits have joined the ranks of the Montreal organization, including the WBA’S #6 light heavyweight Albert Ramirez, and the world junior Olympic boxing champion at 60 kg, Erik Israyelyan.
“Our goal of building the most feared team in the world and establishing ourselves as one of boxing’s most important promoters on the international scene has remained the same over the years, but we now have the experience, the tools and resources to do so”, mentions the president of EOTTM, Camille Estephan. “While our last wins have allowed us to establish ourselves in the heavyweight and super middleweight divisions, our latest wave of recruiting will hopefully allow us to do the same in the 130s, 135s, 140s, 147s and now the 175 lbs with Ramirez and Unal,” he added.
“The images of the March 23 gala between Christian Mbilli and Carlos Gongora at the Casino de Montréal went around the world and it is really thanks to the support of our fans and our partners that we are able to set up events of this caliber. We intend to stay the course for all the evenings that we will present to boxing fans all over the province, in Shawinigan, Gatineau, Victoriaville, Rimouski, Quebec and Montreal because it is with events and fights of this quality that we will mark the history of Quebec boxing together, ” adds Estephan.
The 168 lb division in which Christian Mbilli (24-0, 20 K.-O.) and Erik Bazinyan (29-0, 21 K.-O.) are evolving in is in full swing with Saul “Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) reigning at the top. Now ranked No. 1 in the world by the WBC and No. 3 in the WBA and Ring Magazine, Mbilli sent a clear message to the entire division following his spectacular performance against #9 in the world, Carlos Gongora. Bazinyan was able to rise to the 2nd rank in the world of the WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine after brilliantly defending his NABA and NABF titles against the American Alantez Fox.
The current holder of the NABA, NABF and WBC Silver heavyweight titles, awarded “Champion of the year” in 2022 by the NABF, Arslanbek Makhmudov (15-0, 14 KOs) can also no longer be ignored by the elite of division as he is now ranked No. 5 in the world by the WBC and WBA.
When analyzing the balance sheet of the last months of his organization, Camille Estephan gives a lot of credit to the work of his director of development and recruitment, Marc Ramsay. The trainer, who trained some of the greatest champions in Canadian boxing history, has carefully selected the new recruits of EOTTM, and some of them represent a real stroke of genius in the eyes of Estephan , including the most recent addition of Albert Ramirez (15-0, 14 KOs).
The Venezuelan southpaw made his professional debut in 2018 after gaining significant amateur experience where he competed in the 2016 Olympics as well as the Pan American Games and the World Boxing Series (WBS). Already ranked 6th in the WBA world after only 15 fights, Ramirez has remarkable punching power that has allowed him to win 14 of his duels by knockout.
“I really discovered Ramirez by inviting him to Artur Beterbiev’s training camp in Moscow in 2021, even though I had been following him since 2016. His discipline and dedication convinced me that he had all the tools to reach the top,” notes Ramsay.
Like Ramirez, Mehmet Nadir Unal (3-0, 3 KOs) is building a reputation as a heavy hitter in the light heavyweight division as he strings together quick wins since turning pro in 2021 With brute force that wreaked just as much havoc in the amateur ranks, and which had caught the attention of Marc Ramsay : “Mehmet was not at the top of the rankings, but I saw him beat good prospects that I watched and did so several times. During his victory by KO on world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Loren Alfonso, he showed me that he could put even the best boxers in the division through the ringer. The Turkish Olympian has just moved to Quebec to continue his development with the Quebec coach.
Armenian boxer Erik Israyelyan conquered the world in Olympic boxing by dominating the 60kg category in 2022. He was first crowned European junior champion, then climbed to the top step of the podium when the AIBA World Junior Boxing Championships were held in Spain. At the end of his amateur career, he accumulated an impressive record of 113 victories in 118 fights. Compared by Marc Ramsay to Adrian Diaconu for his aggressive style and devastating power, it was also his sense of timing that captured the interest of coach Jessy-Ross Thompson, with whom he will later begin his professional career in 2023.
Five-time champion of the golden gloves, gold medalist at the Bradenburger Cup in Germany and silver in Hungary during the Gergely Bornemissza Youth Tournament, Wilkens Mathieu (2-0, 1 KO) decided to make the leap to the professionals as soon as he became of age. While some call him one of the finest gems in Canadian boxing, Mathieu certainly managed to capture the attention of EOTTM fans on February 2 in his first outing as a professional as he overcame his opponent in just 52 seconds of the first round.
Jhon Orobio (1-0.1 KO) learned the basics of boxing in the brutal neighborhoods of Cali, Colombia. When he walked through the doors of a gym to begin his first workouts, he was not wearing any shoes on his feet. Despite his lack of resources, he quickly distinguished himself with his devastating striking power and his impressive physical skills despite his young age. Armed with an undeniable talent, he accumulated victories by KOs and joined the ranks of the national team. His performances at international competitions including the Pan American Games and the Continental Championships piqued the curiosity of promoters around the world who hoped to sign the athlete with immense potential. However, it was in Quebec, alongside coach Marc Ramsay and the EOTTM team, that he decided to continue his progress and make the jump to the professionals.
Outaouais athlete, Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse (4-1, 1 KO), who was part of the Quebec team and later the national team, was crowned Canadian champion at 81+kg category twice (2014, 2015). She decided in 2016 to turn professional. The following year, with 3 wins in 3 fights, she was offered the opportunity of a world title fight for the WBC belt. This duel will unfortunately sign her first career loss. This would be followed by a break from boxing for Vanessa, which led her in 2023, to make a successful return to the ring.
New EOTTM proteges Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse, Mehmet Nadir Unal and Albert Ramirez will take part in the May 5 event presented by EOTTM and HC Promotions live from Cuernavaca, Mexico on the Punching Grace network. Jhon Orobio and Wilkens Mathieu will be in action on June 1 at the event featuring Erik Bazinyan facing Jose de Jesus Macias for the NABF and NABA titles at the Casino de Montreal.
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