One round, one K.-O. and a retirement for Harley-David O'Reilly

A round, a knockout and a retirement for Harley-David O’Reilly

BET À DAY

The first Gatineau resident to step into the ring, Thursday at the Casino du Lac-Leamy, Harley-David O’Reilly began – and ended – his professional career with a bang by delivering a hard-hitting K.-O. to Hubert Poulin. 

Against the 3L hockey player from Rivière-du-Loup, in the North American Hockey League (LNAH), O'Reilly (1-0, 1 K.-O.) demonstrated the extent of his talent which allowed to be Canadian champion under 81 kg in 2017 and bronze medalist the following year at the Commonwealth Games, before being held back by injuries. He was simply in a class apart.

Arrogant at times, he had no trouble avoiding Poulin's strikes (2-1-1), whom he sent to dreamland in the first round. The latter needed a few minutes before regaining his senses and had to be transported to the hospital.

“It was my first and last fight. I gave my whole life to this sport. I gave everything I had to give. I needed to do it, I always dreamed of boxing with the professionals.

A first K.-O. for Guerrero

Christophe Guerrero had won his first four fights by decision. The Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) protege demonstrated in this gala that he only needed a little more time in the ring to finish off his opponent.

To his all first fight scheduled for six rounds, he completely dominated the Mexican Julian Mendo Salmoran (7-5-2, 1 K.-O.) to sign his first K.-O. The referee had no choice but to interrupt the duel in the fifth round, Salmoran being unable to retaliate.

Guerrero (5-0, 1 K.-O.) was of course very happy with the result. “I was in tears. I worked very hard for this K.-O. I showed that I could do it. […] I needed one more round to [have a knockout]. Now it's going to roll!”

A draw for Jean-Gardy

Jean-Gardy François (3-0-1, 2 K.-O .) opened the evening in front of stands that were slow to fill. The Montrealer was facing an undefeated Mexican in Alfredo Jimenez Espino (5-0-1, 1 KO), and he had to settle for a draw. In particular, he suffered a cut.

Nothing to worry his trainer Vincent Auclair, nor his promoter Camille Estephan, who had dangled a contract for the 31-year-old pugilist.

“I don't see that as a setback,” said Auclair. Jean-Gardy has always fought with good boxers. With Jean, this is the path we decided to take because he is older. Its development must be faster.

“It was a hotly contested fight, declared the general manager of Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM), Antonin Décarie. We appreciate it, we'll see what happens next.”

In short:

Luis Santana (7-0, 2 K.- O.) was to face Juan Perez Vazquez (16-5-1, 3 K.-O.), but the Mexican showed up in Quebec with… 35 pounds too many. The fight was canceled.

“This is completely ridiculous. He should have told us before he left. Why come? It’s stupid,” said Décarie, who wants to find a way to avoid this kind of situation in the future. Steve Claggett, Alexandre Gaumont and Junior Ulysse were also due to fight at the end of the evening.