The Hocko-Babineau tilt is part of a huge nine-fight card headlined by “Irish” Cam O’Connell (13-0-1, 9KOs) and Juan Bedolla Orozco (14-4-2, 11KOs).
Hocko comes into Friday’s contest fresh off an impressive unanimous decision win over Arturo Garcia Lujano (5-7-0, 3KOs) last month in Winnipeg. The twenty-four year old product of Windsor, Ontario’s, booming amateur fight scene is confident his pugilistic pedigree will be too much for Babineau. “He’s going to come into the fight in great shape,” explained Hocko. “I know he will be ready to fight. He thinks he’s going to come here and embarrass me, but I am an all-around better boxer. He won’t touch me. He won’t last six rounds.” Since turning professional in Edmonton back in 2014, Hocko has promptly become a fan favorite in the west by taking his talents on the road, winning in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Hailing from Richibucto Village, New Brunswick, Babineau learned his craft under the watchful eye of decorated Moncton-based trainer Phil Baraly. A two-time national amateur champion, Babineau has quickly piled up six wins in as many fights, including a six round unanimous decision over Cristian Rodrigo Gonzalez (7-9-0, 5KOs) last month in Fredericton. A man of few words, Babineau made his thoughts on Hocko crystal clear: “His first mistake was to sign the contract. His second mistake will be to show up. Don’t blink.”
Hocko and Babineau are two of several super featherweight prospects currently vying for a shot at the vacant Canadian championship. The title hasn’t been contested since Pier Olivier Cote battled to a unanimous decision over Jason Hayward in 2009. With fighters like these two coming through the ranks, 2017 could be the year Canada finally gets a new champion.
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