A few weeks ago light heavyweight contender Jean Pascal promoted his first event along with Lou DiBella which featured junior lightweight prospect Joel Diaz Jr., who was victorious in a scheduled 10 round bout against Tyler Asselstine.
Pascal enjoyed the benefits of being a former champion by having his first promotion on ShowTime, a major network that other promoters only dream about when putting together their first event.
Pascal was recently a guest on Thaboxingvoice.com’s twice weekly radio show and he spoke about that promotion as well as his ideas for promoting in the future once he concludes his boxing career, however he was adamant in reminding everyone that he is still very much an active fighter with unfinished goals in the sport.
“It was tremendous and very nice for me to have my first show on the Showtime network. It’s very nice to be a promoter, but my main thing right now is to be a boxer and reclaim a world title and then after my career I’m going to really focus on my company,” Pascal said on air last Thursday.
Pascal has delegated responsibilities for his promotional outfit while he focuses on his career and he laid out the structure to give us a better idea of his team.
“I work with Lou Dibella. My CEO, Greg Leon, is a genius and a bright, young guy and he has helped me with everything with my company from the promotion side. I’m signed with Jean Pascal Promotions and Jean Pascal Promotions will co-promote Jean Pascal with GYM and InterBox.”
September 27th is the target date for Pascal to return to the ring and he said that names like Tavoris Cloud and Sean Monaghan are in the mix, although there is nothing official as of yet, but he wants the best the sport has to offer.
Pascal spoke about his role in the company right now and how he will be much more hands on once his career is concluded, but he still plays an active role. He also spoke about his desire to be a promoter and give back to the younger generation of fighters by giving them an option to sign with a promoter that has world-class experience within the sport.
“I have the last word on everything, if I like the guy I’ll sign him. I’m a businessman and I need to prepare for after boxing and after boxing it is going to be to save boxing but as a promoter.
“The big difference between me and other promoters is I’ve been there and done that. Most of the other promoters, I’m not saying they’re not good, but they can’t feel what a boxer felt in the ring or what they go through in training camp. Like Bob Arum, he’s never boxed and Don King neither, but I’m a promoter and I’m still active.”
Pascal has some big aspirations as a promoter and he believes his goals are achievable by simply following the path taken by some of the other fighter-promoters that came before him.
“My main goal is to be the Golden Boy of Canada, to be the biggest promotional company. I don’t take anything away from Yvon Michel and InterBox, but I want to be the Golden Boy of Canada.
“De La Hoya put the blueprint out there and it’s easy to follow and I might do those same things. I’ll fight Kovalev, Ward, or anyone because I’m a crowd pleaser. I’m already the cash cow in Canada and I’m just going to follow the Oscar blueprint,” Pascal said.
One of the plays in De La Hoya’s playbook was fighting on the main event of cards he promoted in order to draw attention to the up and comers on the undercards. He was able to dictate terms with networks by using his own fights.
Pascal believes he can do the same and mentioned a specific strategy. That strategy makes a lot of sense now that lineal champion Adonis Stevenson has split the difference between light heavyweight talent in regards to HBO and ShowTime fighters.
“Stevenson left to ShowTime so to make [Sergey] Kovalev relevant they need me, Kovalev needs me because right now he’s kind of unknown in the states. To build up a fight between me and Kovalev would be very good for HBO and the winner of that fight could fight Ward.”
Stevenson’s departure of HBO is a murky issue these days, Pascal gave some great insight in regards to what he may have done differently if he was in Stevenson’s position.
“Honestly, it is really hard to tell because we don’t know all of the details, but the fight was there and they said he committed to the fight and me, I’m a man of my word. If I said I will fight Kovalev, I’m going to fight Kovalev. I’m not going to turn around and say ‘oh no, I need more money,’ if I committed myself already and said I will do it then I will do it because I’m a man of my word, but we don’t know all the details so it’s really hard to have an opinion.”
It was apparent from our conversation with Pascal that he still harbored some unpleasant feelings toward IBF and WBA world light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins stemming from the two fights they had in 2010 and 2011.
Pascal was asked if he was going to be as proactive in regards to drug testing as a promoter as he has been throughout his career as a fighter (we all remember his “take the test” sentiment in the lead up to his rematch with Hopkins).
That question seemed to strike a nerve with Pascal and he was extremely candid in his response.
“I’m down for the test, I was the first one to ask Bernard and the first one in Canada to ask for blood testing before the fight because every time we step into the ring we put our lives on the line, so it’s very important to battle on a fair playing field.
“But I don’t think it is right to take away money from a fighter for them to get the test, I think it is the commissions’ job or the [sanctioning body] to do that kind of testing. Those tests that the WBC ask aren’t very accurate because there is so many things you can take that won’t show in the urine. I want everyone to ask for the Olympic testing, that’s going to be better for the sport so everyone can see we are legit and we are true champions that fight clean.”
Pascal continued on the subject as it related to his experience with Hopkins.
“We asked Bernard to do the test and that was supposed to be an example. Bernard is supposedly a legend and a legend should show an example. I gave him a chance to take the test and say ‘I’m Bernard Hopkins and I’m 50yrs old and I’m doing it clean and I’m going to show you I’m doing it clean’ but he said no. I wonder why? I know why, but the past is the past but it’s not good for the sport.”
Pascal wasn’t quite done and he admitted that his encounter with Hopkins and drug testing left a sour taste in his mouth in regards to Hopkins’ legacy.
“If you have nothing to hide then take the test and shut my mouth. That guy is 50yrs old and he can hang with 20yr olds kids, c’mon. It’s not because you don’t drink, you go to sleep early, or eat well that you’re going to be able to keep up with 20 to 25 year old fighters.
“I’m not saying he’s doing something wrong but I have my doubts about certain things, but I’m telling you at 50yrs old you cannot compete with 20 something year old fighters unless you have something special like George Forman who was a heavy hitter, but Bernard isn’t a heavy hitter and he doesn’t have great speed. He’s just dirty [fighter] and he might take all the things as well, we don’t know. And now [Hopkins] is gonna go into the Hall of Fame and I was the one asking him to take the test and he says no. So to me that guy is a fucking fraud,” Pascal concluded on the subject.