Best of 2007: Montreal Learns to Fight

Francois GendronSenior Writer IDecember 23, 2007 will mark the year 2007 as the beginning of a new boxing era in Montreal.

A city mainly known for its hockey club has begun to turn out world-class fighters. The talent developed by the Interbox and GYM (Groupe Yvon Michel) organizations is nothing if not promising—as 2007 proved in spades.

Montreal fans flocked to the Bell Centre to cheer on the local heroes. Attendance topped 12,000 for many bouts. Both HBO and ESPN felt the vibe in 2006, and made and the wise decision to broadcast the majority of the events held in Montreal in 2007.

The city now boasts two world champions—and could add more to the list in 2008.

In July, Joachim Alcine gave Montreal a thrill when he earned the WBA Middleweight Championship. In October, the city saw Lucian Bute's lifetime dream come true when he won the IBF Super-Middleweight title.

There no doubt are more title bouts ahead for Montreal, as Hermann Ngoudjo, Adrian Diaconu, and Jean Pascal are all ranked among the Top 10 contenders in their respective divisions.