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List of Articles by Socrates Celestial

WCP Promotions - A new era for Canadian Boxing

By Socrates Celestial
23 Dec 2010

Toronto, Ontario- A press conference for the new promotional company WCP (Wild Card Promotions) was held yesterday inside the illustrious ‘Real Sports Bar & Grill’ located in the heart of Toronto’s downtown district. A familiar site (as previously reported by fellow correspondent Rob Cruz) that has been rated the number one sports bar in North America by ESPN. ‘Real Sports’ recently held a press conference, hosted by Dana White, promoting UFC 124, which was held in Montreal earlier this month. Coincidentally, Wild Wing restaurants (the sister company to WCP) sponsor several UFC fighters. The occasion is now celebrated through the means of a continuing effort to showcase Canada’s professional boxing talent.

Mr. Rick Smiciklas is the head of WCP and also is the founder of the successful franchise ‘Wild Wing Restaurant’ Chain,

His passion for the sport of Boxing is difficult to conceal, but it is that zest that is the driving force behind this event dubbed “Super Brawl” being held in the Barrie Molson Center on February 4th, 2011. His ideology is to have every event stacked with the best Canadian titleholders and contenders. And true to form the premier event showcases some of Canada’s finest in every bout, as well as supporting woman’s boxing by adding a female title fight to the roster. Thus far a promise kept by Smiciklas. So devoted is the promoter that he financed the event with his own money rather than use subsidies or Casino funds. He has shown interests in showcasing WCP events in local cities such as Brampton, Oshawa and Toronto. “Super Brawl” will also be accessible by Pay-per-view, a highlight not always readily available with Boxing in Canada. A viable option for an event that Smiciklas himself guarantee’s to sell out.

The headline fight and poster child for the event is undefeated Neven “No surrender” Pajkic (15-0 5KO’s). When brought up to speak he spoke fondly of Smiciklas and WCP but showed little regard for possible contender Tyson Fury, who moments earlier dropped out of the event. Pajkic was disgruntled stating, “The only thing big about Tyson Fury is his big mouth and his big belly”. He added, “He’s a coward. He spoke so much smack. Once that day comes, if he ever gets enough balls to fight me, he will be well over matched and believe you me, Tyson Fury will get knocked out”. The Heavy weight titleholder’s bout is still to be announced (TBA) since the recent drop out, but they are confident to find a contender by the event’s date.

Canadian cruiserweight and IBF titleist, Troy Ross (24 - 2, 16KO’s) then took the podium. “It’s been 6 years since I fought in Canada and now I’ve been able to fight twice in a row, within the last few months.” elated the champion. The humble pugilist then brought to light the problem that exists with the Athletic and Boxing Commissioner, Ken Hayashi. Troy Ross was earlier stripped of the Canadian Title and it was subsequently given to Ryan Henney (16 - 3, 9KO’s). Ross can barely accept the verdict, but the problem now is that Hayashi will not allow a match between the two Cruiserweights.

The decision not to allow the bout, by Ross’ contention, is that Hayashi believes that Henney is outmatched to fight Ross. In fact, both parties already agreed to fight, but the only hurdle that exists originates from the Boxing Commissioner. Hayashi has been under fire from promoters, fighters and fans alike for the last several years in relation to fighting sports, specifically Boxing due to questionable decisions and red taped politics. More recently there has been numerous complications and resistance with the ‘UFC’ (Ultimate Fighting Championship) gaining sanctioning with their brand of fighting in Ontario. There have been suggestions that the recent bout between Pascal and Hopkins was set to take place in Toronto, but it was Hayashi’s stern policies and lack of compliance that forced the fight to the more lenient Quebec City. The province of Quebec, and specifically in Montreal, is quickly becoming known as the Mecca for boxing in Canada. Toronto based fighters and promoters believe that the problem is directly linked to Hayashi’s megalomaniac control.

Boxing hall of famer, Spider Jones joined in audience and spoke with discontent and said “It’s kind of sad, when his (Ross) life is dedicated to the sport and all he wants is a shot. The commissioner needs to be taken to task on this”. It would seem at this point that Hayashi is taking the role of matchmaker allowing Ross to fight Akinyemi Laleye (12-3, 6 KO’s). Laleye has been on hiatus for the past two years and his record is not as developed as Henney. So the question arrives, how is a boxer on hiatus and with an infant record from a different country permitted to fight, but not the current Canadian champion of the same country as a viable contender? The politics of Boxing have been problematic to the sport and hindered much of its evolution, stunting its full potential. Until these issues are resolved, Ross remains on the card with no contender on his bout.

“Super Brawl” roster as it stands now headlines undefeated Canadian Heavyweight Neven Pajkic (15-0, 5KO’s) versus TBA (To be announced) with a possibility of undefeated Tyson Fury (13-0, 9 KO’s). The only woman’s boxing bout on the roster is a WBA super featherweight title fight between champion “Lethal” Lindsay Garbatt (6-3-1, 3 KO’s) from Oshawa and challenger Jelena Mrdjenovich (24-6-1, 12 KO’s) from Alberta. Local pride, Troy “The Boss” Ross (24-2, 16 KO’s) will have a bout with a fighter that is to be announced; yet the possibility of Ryan Henney (16-3, 9 KO’s) is still possible for the vacant NABA Cruiserweight title.

In the undercard is a Canadian Heavyweight title eliminator; Tye “Big Sky” Fields (44-2, 40 KO’s) matched against Torontonian Raymond “Mount Kilimanjaro” Olubowale (8-4-1, 5KO’s). Undefeated top prospect Milos “Wild Wing Warrior” Pantelic (1-0, 1KO) is to take on another undefeated fighter Denton Daley (3-0, 1 KO). The last scheduled fight is with “Silent” Steve Franjic set to fight an unannounced fighter.

Smiciklas has formed a truly Canadian event that can be enjoyed by many of the local fans. One thing that fight fans can look forward to is possible venues at the Air Canada Center, an effort to host a rematch with the controversial Ross and Cunningham fight taken place earlier this year and more exciting bouts that will include international fighters hailing from the United States, Mexico and the Philippines. Tickets for “Super Brawl” are available through Ticket Master -

Top photo: WCP President Rick Smiciklas with George Chuvalo, Troy ‘The Boss’ Ross, Rob Cruz and author Socrates Celestial. Photo courtesy of Boxing Examiner.

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