A new promoter of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting is asking the state for permission to organize galas in Quebec, despite his past ties to the Hells Angels.
The former fighter Yan Pellerin, sole shareholder of the firm New Era Fighting & Promotion, has been trying since Monday to convince the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ) to grant him an annual permit to have the right to organize this kind of sporting event, just like the GYM Group of promoter Yvon Michel and Eye of the Tiger Management of Camille Estephan.
The businessman from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was however the subject of an “unfavorable recommendation” from the police forces who carried out a security investigation on him and his firm at the request of the legal department of the RACJ. The reasons for their conclusion have not yet been released.
In a decision it rendered in 2012, the RACJ had, however, suspended the alcohol license of a restaurant-bar in which Pellerin was a shareholder, citing links that the athlete had with the Hells Angels in Estrie, including Steve Duquette. , sentenced that year to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to murder.
“The police now recognize that Mr. Pellerin no longer has any contemporary connection with the Hells Angels. In addition, he has no criminal record, “insisted Monday his lawyer, Me Alexandre Cayer.
Last winter, Yvon Michel had to defend himself in front of the RACJ, where the GYM Group was suspected of having served as nominee for New Era Fighting & Promotion in the organization of a gala where six members of the Hells Angels were seated in the front row, September 20, 2019, at the Pierre-Charbonneau Center, in Montreal.
“He's a boxer I knew a bit and wanted to organize MMA and boxing events. If someone at the Régie had warned me not to do business with Yan Pellerin, I would have stopped everything ”, then testified Yvon Michel.
The GYM Group had been cleared of this allegation, but the RACJ nonetheless suspended its promoter's license for 15 days for having presented a “match-up” at the same gala between strongman Hugo Girard and star fighter Patrick Côté, although this fight was used to raise funds for a good cause.
Hugo Girard, who was a shareholder of New Era, has since cut all ties with the firm, the administrative judges of the RACJ learned on Monday.
The Pellerin firm says it has the backbone to present professional galas, with assets valued at two million dollars.