Antonin Decarie Impresses on HBO with Big TKO, Targets Robert Guerrero

Zachary Alapi@@ZacharyAlapiCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

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In an interview with RingTV’s Bill Emes, promoter Lou DiBella mentioned Robert Guerrero as an ideal opponent for rising welterweight Antonin Decarie of Montreal.

Decarie (27-1, 8 KO) was most recently seen dismantling DiBella-promoted prospect Alex Perez on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” in a flawless performance. The well-schooled Decarie landed a whopping 66 percent of his power punches against the overmatched Perez, including a clinical 85 percent (23 of 27) in the decisive sixth round.

Exhibiting surgical precision and effective aggression, Decarie, who is not known as a puncher, demonstrated honed instincts to finish his reeling opponent, and scoring the stoppage on American television will undoubtedly help Decarie’s marketability outside of Canada.

Granted, Perez (16-1, 9 KO) was not an elite opponent. However, the win was Decarie’s fourth in a row after a razor-thin points defeat to Suleymane M’baye in a 2010 interim WBA title fight.

Since the setback against M’baye, Decarie has captured the WBC International and NABF welterweight titles, which should bolster his world rankings and prove to be moderately valuable bargaining chips when negotiating future fights.

In mentioning Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KO) as a possible future opponent for Decarie, DiBella—who will co-promote Decarie for the Montreal native’s next three fights—mentioned one of many possibilities in the open and talent-laden welterweight division.

While Guerrero will undoubtedly be looking to angle towards a more high-profile fight after his recent win over the rugged Selcuk Aydin, a bout with Decarie could sell well and would promise tremendous action.

Guerrero certainly has a following in California, and Decarie is an easy sell in Montreal. Yvon Michel (GYM promotions) is know for hosting deep cards at Montreal’s Bell Centre, and while it would be a tough sell to convince Guerrero to travel to Montreal, it seems likely that HBO would make trip north for Guerrero-Decarie in front of 10,000 to 15,000 rabid fans.

Much will depend on who Guerrero is pursuing in his next fight. Guerrero—who now holds the interim WBC welterweight title—seems to have been angling for a fight against Timothy Bradley. However, Bradley’s team was dismissive of such a fight, and it remains unclear as to what Guerrero’s next move will be.

Guerrero would certainly be a step up in class for Decarie. That said, in moving to welterweight, Guerrero has recently jumped up two weight classes. This could be advantage for Decarie, who showed latent power in his win over Perez.

Against Perez, Decarie’s extensive amateur background and professional experience was apparent. Decarie used tremendous movement, a tight guard and a varied display of power punching and precise counters to dominate his opponent. Furthermore, Decarie’s exciting performance should linger in the minds of HBO’s audience.

Should the Guerrero fight not materialize, DiBella also promotes welterweights Randall Bailey and Andre Berto. Should Bailey defeat Devon Alexander on Oct. 20, a fight against Decarie is logical and would be easy to make.

Holding a Bailey-Decarie title fight in Montreal would also do major business, especially if DiBella prospect Edwin Rodriguez could work his way onto the card, perhaps against Adonis Stevenson.

Berto will surely pursue more lucrative options for his comeback, but putting Decarie in the ring with Alexander (should he defeat Bailey), Paulie Malignaggi, Josesito Lopez, Victor Ortiz or Kell Brook would all be quality fights.

Luckily for Decarie, he carries the appeal of attracting Canadian Pay-Per-View and thus brings more to the bargaining table than the typical largely unknown and dangerous opponent. While it sadly might be too much to ask for, Decarie deserves a big fight and a title shot.