Decarie stellar in HBO debut

By Dave Spencer
Photo Emily Harney

When Marshall McLuhan uttered his famous phrase, “The medium is the message”, it’s doubtful that he was talking HBO’s Boxing After Dark broadcast Saturday, but after watching Antonin Decarie’s destruction of previously undefeated Alex Perez, he very well could have been.

The Montreal native had been thoroughly defeating all that were put in front of him, time after time, had even fought for a world title, albeit one so fractured and diluted that the lineage of the “WBA Interim” title that he suffered his only defeat in has recently had 12-12-3 Jose Miranda fighting for it.

So the question is simple and the answer is obvious, what is more important in boxing 2012, one of the multitude of belts that has overseas factories working around the clock 24/7, or HBO and even better, HBO-24/7.

“He was fighting in France and a chance to win the WBA title for hopefully an eventual chance to fight on HBO,” says Decarie’s promoter Yvon Michel. “I believe the win this past weekend gives him more credibility than if I had of won the title in France.”
The alphabet jungle is not something Decarie and his promoters have to worry about at the moment, although the goal of a world championship is still there, but while he’s in possession of two green belts at the moment, NABF and WBC International, there is another type of green driving the engine at the moment. “We know that his next fight isn’t going to be on HBO,” said Michel to FightNews, “But now he has a really good reputation, know it means that if ever there is a good opportunity, somebody on the ‘A’ side with HBO who wants him as a potential opponent, we know HBO will agree, either a champion or one of the stars that they have. His ranking will definitely improve, he’s #7 (WBC) so he might be involved in a title eliminator. I truly believe that with all Antonin has accomplished, that in 2013 he will fight for a world championship, preferably somebody like a Robert Guerrero or Paul Malignaggi that would be great fights for Anthony.”

Pushing the engine and helping him get there will be new co-promoter Lou DiBella who opted in as co-promoter for Decarie’s next three fights. “Lou before everything else is a friend,” said Michel, “The first time we were partners were with Leonard Dorin, he had options on Dorin when he fought Balbi and became world champion, we started our association there and throughout the years we stayed friends and always happy to do business together. I believe that the addition of Lou being involved with Antonin will only make for a strong team and will be helpful in getting what we want to get.”
“The options are great,” the fighter himself told FightNews Saturday, “But the important thing was to win and win big on HBO, from my understanding, they liked the performance. I was joking around afterwards saying I hope I get a call and they immediately said, ‘Don’t worry, you will.’”

The fighter fully realizes though that if fame is fleeting, HBO fame is often even more short-lived. In fact the HBO broadcast team was trying to push the fighter over the edge even before the fight with Perez began. Decarie was from the gym they proclaimed, but Perez…he’s from the streets, going against what is the number one boxing axiom that a tough guy from the streets would never stand a chance against a professionally trained fighter. They talked as if the Montreal native, good looks and all had learned his craft from a correspondence school and not 16 years of hard work inside a gym. In the end though, it was Decarie delivering ‘textbook’ right hands time after time and Perez was the one being ‘schooled’.

It was a rare power display from Decarie who felt he had to not only win, but win big and scored early and often with right hands. “That was the most important shot of the fight,” said trainer Mark Ramsay following the action Saturday, “He found his distance with that right hand, and after a couple of rounds where we saw that he was able to do it, we asked him to put the left hook with it and he was able to do exactly what we asked him, round by round.”