Quebec will allow pro boxing to resume next month

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Following the government’s expected endorsement, the card will be in the hands of the Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux (RACJ), which oversees boxing in the province and could stipulate other required conditions be met.

Estephan and Yvon Michel, Montreal’s other boxing promoter, both have staged regular shows, primarily at the Montreal Casino. But the coronavirus pandemic prevented any sports from proceeding last March.

Estephan’s argument — save for the fact he had little revenue being generated other than from his company’s Punching Grace website — was that his boxers were being deprived of income and had no way of advancing their careers.

At the same time, U.S. promoters have started staging regular cards in a bubble environment out of Las Vegas hotels or venues in California. Last weekend Montreal light-heavyweight Eleider Alvarez — promoted by Michel — was stopped in the ninth round by Joe Smith Jr. in their World Boxing Organization title-eliminator at the MGM Grand.

Estephan’s plan is to hold a card in late September either in Rimouski, Pointe-Claire or Quebec City. Lemieux and Trois-Rivières heavyweight Simon Kean are expected to participate.