KO Boxing promoter Glen Carriere thinks cruiserweight Ryan Henney is too good for Canada.
"That's a hell of a thing to say about a guy whose popularity translates into a lot of ticket sales for us, but the time has come for Ryan to move on to greener pastures," Carriere said prior to Henney (13-3, 8 KOs) taking on Montreal's David Whittom (10-10-1, 6 KOs) in the featured prelim on last night's six-bout Redemption card at the Shaw Conference Centre (still in progress at press time).
The Saskatoon-based Henney was originally slated to fight a rematch with Frank White, who decisioned Henney for the Canadian title here last year, but White was forced to pull out after sustaining a torn rotator cuff.
Ironically, just days after signing for White, Henney was offered a bout against British Commonwealth champ Robert Norton in London, England.
"That would have been a real nice payday ... but I was already committed to coming back to Edmonton," Henney said at Thursday's weigh-in. "Still, it's nice to know my name is being mentioned in those circles. It's a good indication that we're getting noticed across the pond."
Which is exactly Carriere's point.
"With a couple of breaks, Ryan could be 15-1 or even 16-0; he's proven again and again that he's the best cruiserweight in Canada and one of the best in North America, so it only makes sense for him to step up to the next level," he said.
"When he lost to White last time, he was fighting with a bad shoulder and probably shouldn't even have been in the ring. Ryan was the Canadian champ for more than two years. He KO'd White in 2007 and he's also beaten (No. 2-ranked) Kevin Reynolds and (No. 3-ranked) James Cermak. There's nothing left for him to prove here."
The 32-year-old Henney knows time is running out.
"The cruiserweight division is wide open, and I think Glen is right. It's time for me to make a move."