When you talk of boxing in Canada (in terms of Canadian fighters) only three fighters come to mind right away: Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute, and Adonis Stevenson. All three of these fighters are currently fighting in the light heavyweight division and lucky for the fans two of them are facing each other this May in a fight that will probably have the victor bypass the other two fighters in rankings and in popularity.
Jean Pascal had his first major fight against a world class opponent December when he faced off against England’s Carl Froch for the vacant WBC super middleweight title. He would lose that fight via unanimous decision. Two fights later Pascal won the WBC light heavyweight championship by defeating Adrian Diaconu. He would follow that victory by two title defenses and then would face Chad Dawson for The Ring Light Heavyweight title. Pascal shocked boxing fans around the world by winning a close decision and becoming The Ring Magazine champion. Although the fight was stopped because of a cut above Dawson’s eye in the 11th due to an accidental class of heads, Pascal won clear on the score cards although some felt Dawson was coming on late.
Pascal was riding high and his star shined brighter than ever and it was the perfect opportunity to capitalize and land a fight with veteran former champion and future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins. Pascal vs. Hopkins was a big event that took place in Quebec City in which the bout ended in a controversial draw prompting a rematch to clear the air on who the victor should have been.
After five months past the draw, fans were treated to a rematch which was a see-saw battle from start to finish in which Hopkins won a very close unanimous decision. Pascal then decided to take some time off and was slated to face off against Tavoris Cloud for Cloud’s IBF light heavyweight title but eventually got cancelled due to an injury. Instead Pascal made his comeback to the ring against Aleksy Kuziemski winning a 12 round unanimous decision.
Pascal was set to have a rematch against Dawson but the fight eventually fell through.
Up next for Pascal is the hard hitting counter-puncher Lucian Bute, who in his own right is a huge star in Canada. Even with Bute’s KO loss to Carl Froch; he still remains a big draw even though he has noticeably slipped. Bute will be a great test for the younger fighter and with his counterpunching abilities will make for a good show.
Jean Pascal has time on his side. He is the youngest of Canada’s top stars, has an aggressive fighting style which is crowd appealing and with a clear victory over Bute can seize the reigns as Canada’s top boxer.