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.”
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 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.”