(Montreal) Once the dust settles after the epic duel between Christian Mbilli and Carlos Gongora, the real work will begin for Camille Estephan, promoter of the Montrealer of French origin.
It is that by winning by unanimous decision at the end of what could well be a candidate for the fight of the year on the international scene, Mbilli (24-0, 20 K.-O.) caused many headaches to the big boss of Eye of the Tiger Management.
“There’s no one who’s going to want to get in the ring with him anymore,” Estephan dropped backstage at the Cabaret du Casino de Montreal in the wee hours of Friday night.
“[Mbilli] got hurt, really badly, and he kept going. Carlos Gongora is one of the best boxers we have seen in Quebec as an opponent and Christian destroyed him.
“A tougher fight than that, there is none other than world title fights,” Estephan continued. We have plans. You want to put yourself in a position where you’re going to be a #1 contender; we are looking for a mandatory midshipman position. We will see what will happen Saturday between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant. We will then contact the sanctioning bodies. »
His coach, Marc Ramsay, thinks it’s clear: Mbilli has made it to the big hitters in the division.
“If not Gongora, who are we up against?” John Ryder? [Lerrone] Richards, who beat Gongora very close (split decision) in England? Daniel Jacobs? I think he is somewhere else in his career. There aren’t a lot of names. We are here. »
One thing is clear, Mbilli will be able to take the time to refuel after this 10-round war.
“What we really wanted to do was give Christian a good break, probably until September or October,” Ramsay said. We’ll see how the pieces of the puzzle will fall. »
A first will take place on Saturday, in Las Vegas, where Benavidez’s interim WBC super middleweight title will be at stake. Another coin will fall on May 6, when Saul Canelo Alvarez puts his four super middleweight titles on the line against interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion John Ryder in Zapopan, Mexico.
Estephan and Mbilli, who retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental and World Boxing Association (WBA) International belts against Gongora (22-2, 16 KOs), will not be in Las Vegas, Saturday, but they plan to attend the Alvarez-Ryder gala.
“We have a gala in Mexico on the 5th, in Guadalajara. It’s not very far, noted Estephan. And we are going to tell Canelo Alvarez that we are waiting for him. There, we have earned the right to say it. The whole world saw it: the gala [on Thursday] was broadcast in 42 countries. Couldn’t have picked a better time due to the timing of the Benavidez-Plant fight. »
Another EOTTM boxer was playing big on Thursday. Heavyweight Simon Kean had everything to lose against Eric Molina, a boxer who had just lost by K.-O. in three of his last five outings.
It was a methodical Kean with an upgraded jab that stepped into the Casino ring. Much less disheveled than we usually see, Kean worked his opponent until a resounding knockout, scored in the seventh round.
“Those who thought I was finished, I can tell you it’s only just begun,” he said. I need a little vacation, but I have a deal with Top Rank and ESPN. We will continue to work and watch what happens with a clear head. […] It’s a race against time: I’m 34, I don’t have years left. »
Kean worked with a neurologist for this duel. He claims to have gained balance. It showed: the seats a little less wide, the Trifluvien seemed more in control and his shots were launched with more balance, more confidence.
As for his “2.0” jab, it allows him to open up a wider range of possibilities for his back hand.
“He’s more sneaky, less predictable. It will help me to have more precision with my right hand. »
“I always told Simon he has a jab like a right,” Estephan added. Molina seemed surprised at Simon’s level. He was disciplined, he didn’t lose his mind. He landed his shots just right. It’s very promising for the future. We have a deal with Top Rank, we will see their openings, but I would like to bring it to the United States. »
In the meantime, EOTTM will put its energy into its Mexican gala, where its young boxers – Wilkens Mathieu, John Orobio, Vanessa Joanisse Lepage, all victorious on Thursday, in particular – will add to their baggage of experience. In Quebec, his gala will not take place until June 1, at the Casino.
Until then, fans will be able to follow the Groupe Yvon Michel gala, also at the Casino, on April 20, or Marie-Pier Houle, who will try to get her hands on the WBO welterweight world title against Sandy Ryan in Cardiff, Wales on April 22.