Cermak looking to serve notice

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Don't let his easy smile and Dennis the Menace demeanour fool you.

James Cermak means business.

The Edmonton cruiserweight might look and talk like a choirboy outside the squared circle, but once the bell rings on Friday night, he intends to send a violent message to Frank White, Ryan Henney and every other 200-pounder in Canada.

"This represents my first step in a new direction," Cermak said yesterday in reference to the eight-round main event against Winnipeg's Kareem Chartrand at The Palance banquet hall.

"Frank White has the Canadian title, and Henney is an ex-champ; I want both of them to step up and fight me after I knock out Chartrand."

The headliner of the 10-bout Follow the Trail pro-am is a match promoter Sheldon Hinton expects to generate fireworks.

"Jamie is the Great White Hope from the Great White North ... and I mean that in the most respectful way," Hinton said yesterday.

"He's the future of the cruiserweight division in this country, and with this fight we're laying the foundation for his move into the world rankings.

"If White and Henney don't want to step up and face the best guy out there, we won't waste time chasing the Canadian championship.

"Jamie is right on the cusp of becoming the most marketable fighter in the country, so we're not gonna wait around for other people to accommodate him.

"From now on, there's no more compromises."

More impressive than last month's stoppage of Mexico's Ernesto Zamora that raised Cermak's record to 13-2 was that the Edmonton slugger utilized a body shot to deliver the KO.

"I didn't even realize I was going to the body so much until afterwards, but that's definitely something we've been working on," Cermak said.

"I know I can stop anybody I hit clean, so it's just a question of timing and accuracy. My trainer (Sterling Craig) has really sharpened my punching by showing me how to throw them shorter - and it's paying off.

"All I can say about Chartrand is that he's the next guy on my hit list ... and the first guy on my road to the title.

"Anybody who gets in my way is in for a world of hurt."


Videos

Photos