Dan Rafael: Ionut Dan
December, 19, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Ed Diller/DiBella EntertainmentWelterweight Ionut "Jo Jo" Dan, who fights out of Montreal, is closing in on a world title shot.Welterweight contender Ionut "Jo Jo" Dan scored an important win last month when he outpointed Quebec's Kevin Bizier on the Adonis Stevenson-Tony Bellew undercard in Quebec City.
It was an entertaining fight and one that should move Dan, who is from Romania but lives in Montreal, closer to a shot at a world title.
"I am back at the top level," said Dan, who handed Bizier his first defeat. "I am very satisfied with this win. Bizier was an undefeated [now 21-1, 14 KOs], highly ranked fighter, and I pulled out the decision in his backyard. My determination and experience were the difference in the fight."
Dan (32-2, 17 KOs), a 32-year-old southpaw, was a standout amateur and has only lost a pair of decisions to Selcuk Aydin, both in Aydin's native Turkey. In their 2010 meeting, Dan lost a heavily disputed split decision. He lost a unanimous decision in the 2011 rematch that was very, very close.
Promoter Lou DiBella said he will push for a bigger fight for Dan.
"Jo Jo Dan has clearly established himself as one of the best welterweights in the world and proven that he is championship material. It is time for him to get his opportunity," DiBella said. "I hope that everyone who hasn't already seen his fight with Bizier gets a chance to watch it and see for themselves what kind of warrior Jo Jo Dan truly is."
The win was Dan's third in a row since the second loss to Aydin.
"Maybe, down the road, we can do this fight [with Bizier] again, but next time with a world title at stake and main event status," said Chris Ganescu, Dan's manager. "In the meantime, we are looking for the biggest fights possible and trust that our promoter, Lou DiBella, will get us those opportunities. When those opportunities present themselves, Jo Jo Dan will be ready to make the most of it."
Dan is highly ranked across the board in the various sanctioning bodies.
"I just want my shot," Dan said. "I proved and solidified [against Bizier] what my team and I have felt for a very long time, that I am one of the best 147-pound fighters in the world. I deserve a shot at a piece of the welterweight crown. I don't care who it is."