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Jo Jo Dan vies for IBF mandatory position in rematch against Kevin Bizier

DiBella Entertainment’s (DBE) world-rated welterweight contender Ionut “Jo Jo” Dan Ion, 33-2 (18 KOs), IBF No. 2, will end 2014 participating in the most crucial bout of his career when he faces off against Canadian rival Kevin Bizier, 23-1 (16 KOs), IBF No. 5, in a highly anticipated rematch tomorrow night, at the Colisee de Quebec, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The 12-round welterweight contest, televised as the co-feature of a four-fight broadcast, live on SHOWTIME (9pm ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), will determine the mandatory challenger and No. 1 contender for the IBF world title, currently held by England’s Kell Brook.

The Romanian-born Ion, living and training in Montreal since his 2004 pro debut, met then-undefeated Bizier, of Saint-Emile, last year on November 30, in a bout with the IBF No. 2 ranking at stake. The fight was a barnburner with the southpaw Ion dictating the pace and controlling the action during heated exchanges of which there were many, thrilling the crowd. Bizier persevered and remained competitive over the bout’s second half. After 12 exciting frames, the judges awarded a split decision to Ion, who picked up the NABA and IBF Inter-Continental welterweight titles with the victory.

“I thought I clearly won the first fight,” said Ion. “If I were to critique my performance, I may have allowed Bizier to have some success by electing to stand in front of him and trade during the middle rounds, though I felt that I did finish strong.”

Since then, each has kept busy in 2014, adding knockout victories to their records, Ion one and Bizier two. As the No. 2 contender, Ion was ready to vie for the mandatory position against the next available contender. Through a series of circumstances and unavailable contenders, that turned out to be Bizier. Now, the two will do battle once again, with Bizier looking for revenge and Ion determined to secure a much more decisive win and prove that he is the better man.

“Because other fighters pulled out or had prior commitments, Bizier was next in line for the eliminator and I have no problem fighting him a second time. I beat him once and I will do it again. I had 10 weeks of intense training for this fight and I am ready. This is the fight of my career, so far. I need to win in order to get my world title shot. It means everything to me, and I will be victorious.”

“DBE signed ‘Jo Jo’ Dan in 2012 because we believe that he is one of the best welterweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “He proved that he is a top contender last November, handing the touted Bizier his first defeat. On Friday, by adding a second loss to Bizier’s record, Ion, truly deserving of a world title shot, will have secured his status as the mandatory challenger to the IBF crown.”