Quebec boxer Lafreniere to defend NABO middleweight title
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 6:31PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:01PM EST
Francis Lafreniere will defend his NABO middleweight title against Albert Onolunose of Calgary on March 15 at the Montreal Casino, promoters GYM and Rixa announced Tuesday.
The 29-year-old Lafreniere (16-5-2), of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., has won 13 straight fights since a modest 3-5-2 start to his career. He earned the then-vacant North American title with a 10-round split decision victory over Uriel Gonzalez a year ago. He will defend the belt for the second time.
Lafreniere is ranked ninth by the World Boxing Organization and 15th by the International Boxing Federation and needs a win to move closer to contention for a world title bout.
Nigerian-born Onolunose (22-1-1), 37, won his first 18 fights but is 4-1-1 in his last six. He won Jan. 27 in Calgary by unanimous decision over Mexican Victor Palacios (16-16), who has fought in Canada eight times and lost them all.
The co-feature has Montreal-based middleweight Christian Mbilli (7-0, all by knockout) against Pavel Semjonov (22-8-2) of Estonia. Mbilli is coming off a victory Dec. 14 in France over Robert Swierzbinski.
Super-middleweight Shakeel Phinn (16-2) of Brossard, Que. will also be on the card against an opponent yet to be determined. Phinn is coming off an eight-round loss Dec. 7 by majority decision to Mexican Ramon Aguinaga.