By Jake Donovan
Dierry Jean is being penciled in for a return to the ring in February, according to manager Camille Estephan. The 32-year old will continue to campaign in the lightweight division, to where he dropped down after a failed title bid versus 140 lb. beltholder Lamont Peterson last January.
The loss to Peterson was Jean’s first as a pro, and also his last fight in the super lightweight division. Two straight wins have followed, both coming as a lightweight following the first seven years of his career spent at 140 lb. and higher.
Moving down in weight proved to be a wise career move, but it wasn’t the only fix in moving past last year’s career setback.
“Dierry is one of the most talented fighters I know,” insists Estephan, the compliment meant to magnify the struggles he endured prior to rebounding from the Showtime-televised loss. “He took the loss to Peterson very, very hard. He had to deal with personal demons.
“We had to take a step backwards in order to take ten steps forward. We now see that Dierry is mentally ready for the challenges that lie ahead and not deal with these demons.”
Jean (27-1, 19KOs) picked up a regional title in his first fight at lightweight, which came courtesy of an 8th round stoppage of Mario Perez last June. A knockout win over Daniel Ruiz in September allowed the Haitian-Canadian to propel up the lightweight rankings, moving closer to a coveted title shot which his team expects to come in 2015.
“The lightweight division is really heating up,” Estephan observes. “Dierry would love to fight Jorge Linares – who recently won a title (knocking out Javier Prieto in four rounds on Dec. 30 to win a vacant title) – former champ Omar Figueroa if he wants to stay at 135… there’s a lot of action going on these days.
“If he can land any of those names, it would obviously alter our plans to have him return in February. Until a fight like that comes to the table, our plan is for Dierry to fight next month in Canada, on some form of television while moving towards a world title fight.”
For now, all Jean and his team can do is warn the rest of the lightweight division of what’s coming their way.
“With all of his personal demons conquered, Dierry Jean is looking better than ever. God help the next lightweight that gets in the ring with him,” Estephan promises.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox