by David P. Greisman
Dierry Jean is about to take part in his third fight since losing to Lamont Peterson in January 2014. But he’s also participating in another comeback — one that is seeing him live a life away from gambling and alcohol.
“He’s doing very well. It’s 132 days now that he’s in rehab, out of rehab, clean, living the life that he should be as an athlete and as a person,” said his manager, Camille Estephan, one day before Jean was to step into the ring against Carlos Manuel Reyes.
“He’s happier. He’s full of energy. He’s positive,” Estephan said. “It was costing him a lot. And I guess any human being that’s abusing their body and their soul — I look at him and I think he’s back to when he was 25 years old.”
Jean is actually 32, originally from Haiti and now calling Montreal home. He dropped down to lightweight from junior welterweight in his previous two bouts, winning each by stoppage and moving to 27-1 with 19 KOs.
Reyes, who hails from the Dominican Republic, has largely competed in the 122-, 126- and 130-pound weight classes. He is 2-2 in his last four fights, including a decision loss to Logan McGuinness in late 2012 and a knockout loss to Miguel Berchelt this past July. He is 25-3-1 with 17 KOs.
Jean came in at 137.7 pounds for their fight, while Reyes was 136.8.
“We’ll fight at ’35 or ’40, whatever opportunity that is out there,” Estephan said.
The manager wasn’t willing to use Jean’s past troubles as an excuse for the loss to Peterson.
“Lamont fought a very good fight. He had a good plan and [was] a great athlete,” he said. “But I think Dierry Jean has more to offer, and now we’ll see it.”
Indeed, the defeat may just help him grow.
“He showed us that he has what it takes to be at that level,” Estephan said. “He competed very well. Lamont beat him that night. Knowing what we know now, we know that Dierry will have a better chance when he fights at that level next time, and we think there will be a next time at that level.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]