Text from Yvon Michel on July 11, 2020: “Good morning Réjean, that’s quite an article you published. It's brilliant and extremely well done! Thank you so much”:
“Text: 2020: The article by (XXX) is a real mess. I told them Adonis had to talk to you! You have done dozens of interviews with Adonis and you would have been able to understand him well and ask the right questions because you know him well. (XXX) is certainly a good journalist, but I don't believe that in his entire career he has written a single feature article on him! He just didn't have the right tags to make a good article like you were able to!!! »
Text November 23, 2019: « Very beautiful your texts, thank you! »
Text January 31, 2019: “Your article this morning is still very beautiful and very relevant! I'm glad you and Mathieu are here”.
Text October 23, 2021: “Hi Réjean
Thank you for your coverage all week!!
columnists of your race, they don't make any more!! »
Text July 25, 2022: « Really hot what you wrote. And with all the pictures! »
Alright, I'll stop, the yard is overflowing. I'm blushing. But there are dozens of pages of those text messages just for the past few years. For series of chronicles on Adonis Stevenson, before and after his terrible accident, on Eleider Alvarez, Oscar Rivas, Marie-Ève Dicaire even if I found that some of his fights did not lift, Kim Clavel and the others.
You will understand that I am a little confused when the promoter Yvon Michel empties his gall by screaming (in writing!!!) that during all these years, I tried to destroy him and his company. But actually, I expected it. At least two of my colleagues had already had this kind of reaction.
I conclude that you are good when you write that Yvon Michel is good that you are dirty and a crab when you write that Yvon Michel is less good.
THE COLOMBIANS RIVAS AND ALVAREZ
In fact, it is a chronicle on Oscar Rivas and also on Eleider Alvarez which sparked the promoter's fury.
I wrote a column when I learned that Rivas (injured in the eye) could not fight in Verona on January 14 because it broke my heart.
He had been world champion since October 22, 2021 without having had the chance to defend his title once. Without substantial cash inflow with two families to feed. Eleider Alvarez is in such a precarious situation. I wrote that both men had their share of responsibilities, that their manager did too, and that the promoter should be included among those who contributed to this state.
I wrote after having had dozens of conversations and interviews with Rivas, Alvarez and all sources close to them and industry stakeholders. Including Stéphane Lépine and Yvon Michel. The promoter, according to his old tactics, makes big spars and complains. But no one but him has contradicted the portrait I have drawn.
All this work is to chronicle on the subjects that I find interesting for the readers.
AND THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
We knows well, the promoter and the columnist. We spent hours and hours, days and weeks on motorcycles all over the United States and Canada. Most of the time with his friend Marcel Aubut and the other members of the group.
To try to get at me, he attacks my wife Julie Bertrand. Complaining that I am in a conflict of interest.
We'll make that clear. Julie is a cancer survivor. In fact, two cancers of the breast and the lymph nodes. She underwent a complete removal of the left breast and twelve lymph nodes and a whole panoply of treatments for side effects.
She did not sell her cancer. She and Danielle Ceccini spent hours and hours guiding and accompanying me in the writing of Lance et Compte, the great duel where Suzie Lambert had breast cancer. Generously.
She was blessed that an extraordinary surgeon, Dr. Alain Gagnon, performed a Dieppe reconstruction of her breast. I thank him every night.
This fiery survivor loves the life she nearly lost. She loves life, boxing and the athletes who suffer so much in this violent sport.
When Camille Estephan launched Punching Grace with his daughter Emmanuelle, he offered Julie to produce documentaries. She had seen me in action and had learned on the job.
With Simon René and Marc Danis, who enjoyed superb careers after their adventure with Punching Grace, she produced 37 Columnists programs and around twenty documentaries, eleven of which were presented on TVA Sports. Simon and Marc went to Edmonton, Victoria, London, Manchester, Las Vegas or Verona. A fabulous trip that no one will ever forget. Me, I was the bartender on Sunday afternoons at the large table in the dining room. Twenty pre-productions of documentaries also produced twenty bottles of Bordeaux 2005 that I had treasured.
Julie Bertrand asked that her remuneration be paid in cash and in network shares. She believed it. It was 20 percent.
Then she got worried about a recurrence and nuclear medicine tests forced her to slow down.
For all these years, I received text messages of thanks over texts of congratulations. And I was doing my job as a columnist.
AND KIM CLAVEL
The world of boxing in Quebec is small. Two days before commenting live on RDS on the fight of his former protege Artur Beterbiev (who had left him for Top Rank), Yvon Michel had tried to have this fight canceled with a threat of injunction. Moreover, on Punching Grace, the regular analyst was none other than Yvon Michel's partner, Bernard Barré.
I am not in conflict of interest. But in order not to lend flank to anything from anyone and to wash whiter than white, I asked my spectacular Julie if she agreed to divest herself of her block of shares. It breaks her heart, but she agreed. It will be done in the next few days as she accompanies me to London for the fight against Artur Beterbiev, the most neglected Montrealer in the sport.
But no one can take away her right to live and she will complete a great documentary on Makhmudov (from Eye of the Tiger) for TVA Sports before she leaves.
Yesterday she learned that she would have to undergo another radiotherapy treatment.
To conclude, I want to wish a great victory to Kim Clavel. It's going to be good for her, for GYM and for boxers hoping to practice their sport.
But I want it for an additional reason. Since it is the morning of confidences, I am the mentor, not to speak of a volunteer leader, of the Raconte-Moi collection of books for young people. Mathias Brunet has already written Marie-Ève Dicaire's bio that I commissioned and Katherine Harvey-Pinard, a brilliant young journalist, will submit her manuscript on Monday morning after writing a final chapter for Kim Clavel's bio. Both are with GYM.
The book is going to be much better with a victorious ending.
Thank you for your long and patient attention.