Erik Bazinyan must not only win, Thursday evening, in the ring of the Casino de Montreal. He must win with panache. Shockingly.
“I have a game plan for him… But he has to be spectacular,” Eye of the Tiger Management President Camille Estephan dropped at the pre-fight press conference on Monday. .
“Erik has to perform, to be impressive,” said his vice-president, Antonin Décarie, on the microphone a little earlier.
This is how Bazinyan (29-0-0, 21 KOs) will show that he belongs to the elite and that he can hope to fight in the world championship soon.
Ranked second in three of the four world boxing organizations, the Laval resident will have a lot to lose against an opponent who has nothing to lose. Mexican Jose de Jesus Macias (28-11-4, 14 KOs) has already played spoilsports against Quebecers: in 2018, he defeated Francis Lafrenière, and in 2021, he had the upper hand over Steven Butler. The task will therefore not be easy for Bazinyan.
“[Macias] comes from a very respected team, noted Estephan. Beating a guy like that matters. It’s worth something to keep the ranking. […] It’s a risky fight because you can’t underestimate this guy. »
“Our goal is to show that Erik is at a higher level, where he is able to control this kind of individual there to be able to go up to the next stage,” explained the coach. of the pugilist, Marc Ramsay.
By “that kind of guy,” Ramsay means a surly, unpredictable boxer “who doesn’t have bad nights.” As the Mexican himself said on Monday, his job is to “spoil the plans”.
“His main qualities are his determination, his striking force and his courage, enumerated Ramsay. These are harder elements to neutralize a little bit. Erik’s level of concentration must be at its maximum. We will have to show that Erik is able to take pressure and control it in the ring. »
On March 23, Jose de Jesus Macias attended the fight between Christian Mbilli and Carlos Gongora at the Casino de Montreal. He then taunted Bazinyan at ringside, saying he was going to “rip his head off”.
On Monday, three days from the duel, the Mexican took a different approach. Calm, there were no provocative statements.
“I knew 100% that he would be calm here,” Bazinyan said with a smile.
“He spoke like that because he knows I’m better than him,” he continued. He wants to scare me a little, put a little stress on me, but I don’t mind. I like it when opponents talk about things like that because when I put pressure on them, hurt them, I look in their eyes. I see it’s a little red, they’re asking for help. It makes me feel good. »
To win, Bazinyan plans to use his greatest strength: his adaptability. “During the fight, I always change things to find a way to win,” he recalled.
Facing an opponent who has significantly less to lose than him does not worry him in the least. “I have confidence in my physical condition, in my boxing preparation. I know what I can do, the skills I have. I’m confident. I have to stay organized and serious. »
At 28, Erik Bazinyan does not know defeat. Since his arrival as a professional, he has won his 29 fights. Before that, he had won 108 of his 109 amateur duels. His only setback? It was his very first matchup in life. Let’s say it’s been a long time.
“It puts more [pressure] on my shoulders to be stronger so I don’t lose. Because I won all my fights and I don’t want to lose. »
Bazinyan, despite his perfect record, is not yet known in Quebec. A situation which is explained by the fact that he is “very humble, calm in the way he speaks”, believes Camille Estephan.
“It’s just a different personality. But he is probably the best technician in Quebec boxing today. If he becomes champion, I think he will be very popular. It’s all or nothing with him. »