Quebec gaming board recommends 90-day suspension for boxing promoter Yvon Michel
Promoter Yvon Michel attends a press conference in Montreal, Tuesday, December 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MONTREAL -- Quebec's liquor, racing and gaming board is recommending a 90-day suspension of Groupe Yvon Michel's combat sport event organizer licence.
An attorney for the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ), concluded arguments by giving this recommendation at the Montreal courthouse on Tuesday, saying the board's goal is not to put sticks in the organizer's wheels, but to promote a rich and honest sport.
The RACJ is accusing Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) of attacking the good reputation of sport, of using its licence for the benefit of a third party (New Era Fighting and Promotions), of the presence of a criminal organization at events, as well as organizing a fixed fight. The allegations stem from two galas organized jointly with New Era in May and September 2019.
The fixed fight allegations are linked to a bout between ex-strongman and host Hugo Girard and fighter Patrick Côté, held during an event organized in co-promotion with New Era on Sept. 20 at the Pierre-Charbonneau Centre. Profits from the fight were donated to AlterGo, an organization supporting athletes with disabilities.
RACJ attorney Joliane Pilon argued that even if it were a charitable fight, it should have been supervised by the RACJ or an organization recognized by the ministry of education, sports and recreation.
Pilon also argued that by virtue of his vast experience, GYM president Yvon Michel should have quickly recognized there was a problem with the layout of the security perimeter on the evening of Sept. 20. Tickets were sold inside the perimeter, which is prohibited by the rules of the RACJ. Moreover, members of biker gangs were alleged to have been present and bought tickets.