Since losing his WBC and IBO Light Heavyweight titles to Bernard Hopkins in May of 2011, we haven’t seen Jean Pascal in the ring. The time away from the sport was not by choice though. A date with Tavoris Cloud for Cloud’s IBF title was supposed to be his return but an injury postponed the fight. “I had a hand injury but now my hands getting better. So I’m trying to get back before the end of the year,” Pascal said.
Regarded as one of the best Light Heavyweights in the world, I’m sure Pascal won’t have any trouble getting a top bill. He is quite eager to get back in the mix and will take on all comers. Getting in with Cloud seems like the most plausible option but does he need a fight to knock off some rust is the question. “I don’t care tune-up fight, no tune-up fight, world title fight; I’m here to box, I’m here to please my fans. So anytime, anywhere, anyone I’ll be ready,” Pascal stated.
As I mentioned, Cloud would be the obvious next opponent for the former champ but he might ruffle a few feathers from the choice words he has for Chad Dawson. Dawson is coming off getting destroyed at the hands of WBC/WBA Super Middleweight champion Andre Ward. In a very wise decision “Bad Chad” will be going back to 175lbs to defend his WBC belt and Pascal says Dawson wants vengeance. “He’s looking for a rematch. I kicked his ass once so if he needs a second ass whooping. I’m right here for him. I saw Gary Shaw, he told me Jean we have some unfinished business to take care of. I said anytime, by the way how’s Chad now?” Pascal exclaimed.
Yes those are what we call “fighting words”. Especially saying that to Shaw, who is Dawson’s promoter. You would expect Shaw to have some kind of response to what Pascal said but shockingly Jean says he didn’t. “It was quiet. Of course he wants a rematch with me because he wants to make money. He wants to try to get his revenge on me but that won’t happen because if he fights me I’m going to kick his ass,” Pascal added.
That is the fight that I would most want to see. Another bout that would gain some interest amongst fans would be with the man who just dismantled Dawson, Andre Ward. When I spoke with Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter earlier this month he said 175lbs is in the future. But also stated that if the offer is right they would consider the move earlier than expected. So what does Pascal think of a possibly match with Ward, “Andre is a great person and a great boxer. He wants to be the best. I want to be the best so if he wants to fight me I’ll be right here for him. But right now, he’s not my main focus and I don’t think I’m his main focus. He has other things to do. Me, I’m a real Light Heavyweight but if he wants to fight me, let’s make it happen,” Pascal stated.
A showdown with Ward doesn’t seem too likely. I see Jean going the Cloud or Dawson route but the possibilities don’t end there. A north of the border mega fight between the countries 2 biggest boxing stars is what the Canadian public would probably hope for, a fight with Lucian Bute. So is that in the cards for Pascal? “It would be really nice to fight Bute but I don’t think that fight will ever happen because Interbox is kind of chicken. They are kind of scared of me but I can’t blame them to be scared of me. But like I’ve said Bute’s a good guy, a good boxer but I doubt that fight will happen,” Pascal suggested.
It’s easy to see he has no shortage of things to say about other boxers but we moved the focus on to Pascal himself. He wants to regain his Light Heavyweight titles though he also has bigger plans, when I say bigger I mean him getting bigger. “Right now it’s (175lbs) the right division. Maybe in 2 years I’ll move up to Cruiserweight then finish my career as a Heavyweight,” Pascal proclaimed. Did he say Heavyweight? Yes you read that right. Pascal doesn’t think it’s a farfetched idea by saying, “If Roy Jones did it I can do it also. So let’s do it man.”
Along with what weight he plans on fighting at, the topic of him training with Pedro Diaz came up. “I’m not working with Pedro Diaz anymore but I’m still close with him, we do talk. But right now I’m with my main coach Mark Ramsay,” Pascal stated. Speaking of Diaz, he is the corner man for Puerto Rico’s own Miguel Cotto. Cotto will be facing off against Austin Trout December 1st at Madison Square Garden. Jean even gave some input on that fight, “Honestly anything is possible but Cotto’s got the skills so we will see. May the best man win,” Jean said.
Pascal doesn’t only think that Cotto has the skills to win but also the right man in his corner. Diaz is known to have his fighters amongst the best conditioned and prepared in the game. “Pedro Diaz is a Dr. man. He’s a good coach; he’s a great boxing scientist. I think Cotto made the right move to go with Pedro and I wish them luck together,” Pascal added.
His hands are all healed up. He gave us his opinion on a few fighters that have been brought up as possible opponents for him. Now it’s time for Jean to get back in the ring. Pascal gave us an indication he wants to fight sooner the later by emphatically stating, “I’m back in the gym. I’m working really hard to give you a good show and I’m crossing my fingers to be back before the end of the year.”