June 8, 2012 5:58 pm

Eleider Alvarez defends light heavyweight title against Shawn Hawk

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MONTREAL – Eleider (Storm) Alvarez is confident he took a huge step toward a future world championship bout.

Alvarez defended his North American Boxing Organization light heavyweight title by unanimous decision over American Shawn Hawk on Friday night.

Fight promoter Yvon Michel was confident that his boxer would soon be ranked in the World Boxing Organization’s top 10.

“I’m very happy now for this opportunity in the rankings,” Alvarez said. “I think in the next year I will fight for the world championship. That’s my dream. I’m 28 now, and in boxing, 28 is the moment. My moment is now.”

Alvarez, a Colombian based in Montreal, remained undefeated as he extended his pro record to 9-0.

The 2007 Pan American Games light heavyweight gold medallist dominated the 12-round bout at the Bell Centre. Alvarez came on strong in the final round, dropping his opponent briefly to the mat just before the bell to the delight of the partisan crowd.

Two judges scored it 119-108 in Alvarez’s favour, and third scored it 118-109.

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Hawk was in deep trouble in the fifth when Alvarez had him up against the ropes. The native of Kansas City, Mo., nicknamed “The Sioux Warrior,” managed to withstand a flurry of punches before he ducked his way clear.

Alvarez lamented the missed opportunity to finish off his tough opponent afterwards. He admitted that he momentarily forgot he was fighting in the pros, not in an amateur bout.

“It was stupid of me,” Alvarez said. “I thought the referee was going to stop the fight, but that wasn’t possible.”

The loss dropped Hawk’s record to 23-2-1.

David Lemieux bounced back from his first two losses to run his record to 26-2. The native of Laval, Que., knocked out American middleweight Jaudiel Zepeda of Indio, Calif., in the second round with a solid hook to the left side of the body.

Lemieux had lost consecutive bouts to Marco Antonio Rubio and Joachim Alcine and hadn’t won a fight since December 2010.

“It’s like Christmas. When you wait for your gifts to come you’re nervous that you’re not going to get the right one,” said Lemieux, who fought for the first time since he injured his right hand against Alcine in December.

Zepeda’s record dropped to 14-6-1.

Ghislain Maduma of Montreal won his super lightweight fight by knockout, making short work of Hungarian Robert Kiraly who was knocked down twice in the opening round when his trainer threw in the towel just 1:43 in.

Oscar Rivas beat Sylvera Jacques-Louis by split decision in a battle of Montreal heavyweights.

Winnipeg’s Andrew Gardiner won by unanimous decision in his second straight pro bout, a rematch against Patrick Tessier of Longueuil, Que.

Heavyweight Didier Pence of Laval ran his record to 5-0 with a unanimous decision over Longueuil’s Stephane Tessier.

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