If you live outside of Canada you may never have heard of Jo Jo Dan, one of the leading Welterweight contenders, though on the undercard of Lucien Bute’s next defence he gets a chance to make an impact. Dan faces journeyman Andres Pablo Villafane as the Canadian based Romanian bounces back from the fiesta loss off his career.
Dan’s current record reads attractively at 26-1 although many of the wins are against relatively poor opponents. Though so far in his career he has only suffered a controversial loss to the hard punching Turkish fighter Selcuk Aydin, a fight where Dan got off the canvas and used his speed and movement to dominate many of the rounds against Aydin who was made to look very clumsy. Though the fight showed why many Canadians rate him highly he seemed to be lacking the punch power to really help him step up to the world stage. He showed balls going to Turkey, showed heart to get off the floor, showed great hand speed, fantastic movement, a durable chin and a solid engine. Although he lacks the skills to move into the elite, he’s much more than just another fighter, he’s possibly one of the most skilled fighters in the division.
In Villafane however we find a limited opponent with an unimpressive record of just 16-5-4, including going 2-3-1 in his last 6. Villafane is also a noted none puncher scoring just 5 stoppages against very limited opponents. Villafane is from Argentina though lacks the power of Marcos Maidana, the defensive skill of Nicolino Locche, or the ruggedness of Juan Domingo Roldan. As well as his flaws he’s also a naturally smaller fighter, who has cut his cloth at both 140 and at 135 though debuted weighing in at above the Light Middleweight limit.
To be perfectly honest promoter Interbox, have given Jo Jo Dan too many easy nights work, this is another, though an understandable one to help rebuild his confidence. Funnily Andre Berto was recently looking for a dance partner, you’ve got to wonder if Jo Jo would have been asked, as he has got a lofty position (#3) with the WBC only behind Floyd Mayweather Jr and Aydin, but well ahead of Berto’s next opponent the #11 ranked Freddy Hernandez. Hopefully Jo Jo Dan will be let off the leash to fight for a title in the next 12 months or time may well catch up to him before anything else does, as he’s now 29 and getting no younger.