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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Francis Lafrenière: "For This Rematch,
I Will Use A New Strategy"

By Daniel Cloutier
Photos: Robert Lévesque


MONTRÉAL — The middleweight Francis Lafrenière, from the West Island of Montréal, lost his NABO 160 pounds North American championship last March in Montréal, when Albert Onolounose, a fighter from Nigeria living in Calgary, Alberta, beat him by majority decision of the judges.

Lafrenière will try to take his revenge June 29th at Bell Place in Laval, a Montréal northern suburb. Just before the main event, opposing the former WBC light heavyweight champion of the world Jean Pascal (32-5-1) and the former UFC champion Steve Bossé (1-0-0), Lafrenière (16-6-2) will dispute a rematch with Onolounose (23-1-1).

“I am extremely confident to win this rematch,” said Lafrenière Monday afternoon at the Monster GYM in Dorval in the West Island of Montréal. “I will use a new strategy that I can’t reveal now. And I hope that in this rematch, the referee will intervened each time my opponent will hook my arms. Onolounose is a champion to neutralize the opponent's attacks in hooking his arms. I like to fight fairly and I like to face a fair opponent. I was ranked in the Top 15 of the WBO ratings before this fight with Onolounose last March, and I want to take back my place in the Top 15, in getting back my NABO North American championship. I hope to reach eventually the Top 10 of the international ratings, but at this point, I have one thing in mind, take my revenge on Onolounose and take back my NABO title.”

When we asked him if Onolounose is a dangerous puncher, Lafrenière smiled. “He is not a destructive puncher, but I will need to protect my chin from the beginning to the end of the bout, because the Onolounose's punches can hurt,” said Lafrenière.

Lafrenière’s trainer, Howard Grant, is very optimistic about this rematch, “Francis has a very good preparation for this rematch, and I am very optimistic to see him win this time,” said Grant. “But he will need to fight with intensity and concentration from the first minute to the last minute of the bout. I know he is extremely motivated to dispute this rematch. He wants to take his revenge and he will do it. And I am agree with Francis, we hope that Onolounose will be penalized he is hooking like he did in the first fight in March. Francis is a fair fighter and the opponent got to be fair also.”

The promoter of the GYM Group, Yvon Michel, believes that this boxing show will provide good action. “The fights Pascal-Bossé and Lafrenière-Onolounose will certainly provide good action,” said Yvon Michel. “Pascal is fighting a big (190 pounds) and a very strong fighter, and Lafrenière is clearly enthusiast to get this rematch with Onolounose. Francis lost a close fight in March, and he is determinate to win the rematch.”


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