Jean Pascal is the first Canadian boxer to earn over a million dollars for a fight held in Canada. Find out more about the light heavyweight champ.
Jean Pascal is a famous Haitian Canadian professional boxer who is the current World Boxing Association (WBA) Light-heavyweight champion. Pascal has previously held the WBC, IBO, The Ring and Lineal championships in his weight class. He even challenged for the WBC Super Middleweight crown in 2008. Jean Pascal was born on October 28th, 1982 in Port Au Prince, Haiti. His mother migrated to Canada when he was four years old and settled in Laval, Quebec. His father, who was a politician, chose to remain in Haiti.
Jean Pascal: His Greatest Fights
Jean Pascal debuted as a professional boxer in February 2005. After accumulating nine wins, Jean Pascal acquired the Canada National Quebec Boxing Council super middleweight titles against Martin Desjardins, winning the fight in seven rounds. Two fights later, Pascal beat Darnell Boone to win the Trans America Boxing title. Jean Pascal won the vacant WBC Latino title after a brutal demolition of Lucas Green Arias. After getting knocked out in the seventh round, Arias was given oxygen support in the ring and taken to hospital on a stretcher. Later reports revealed that Arias suffered a subdural hematoma during the fight.
On 18 November 2006, Pascal defeated Jermain Mackey by unanimous decision to win the NABO super-middleweight title. On 10 March 2007, Pascal defended his title against Lafarrell Bunteng in a fight he won by unanimous decision. Pascal then went on to defend his NABO title and unify it with the vacant NABA and NABF titles with the help of a 10th round technical knockout win against Christian Cruz. This win solidified his reputation at the national level.
Pascal successfully defended the NABO/NABF/NABA super-middleweight titles with a ten-round unanimous decision over Brian Norman in December 2007.
Pascal then moved up in weight to the light-heavyweight division to challenge the WBC light-heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu on 19 June 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Pascal went on to win the fight and clinch the title by a unanimous decision. About two months after the fight on 12 August 2009 the city of Laval honored Pascal.
Pascal defended his WBC light-heavyweight title for the first time on 25 September 2009 against the WBC’s mandatory challenger, aged Italian veteran Silvio Branco, retaining his title with a tenth round stoppage.
Pascal’s second title defense came on 11 December 2009 in a rematch against Adrian Diaconu. Just like the first fight against Diaconu, the fight ended in another win by decision. From the fifth round onwards, Pascal started facing some serious issues with his right arm. Pascal’s cutman did manage to pop his shoulder back prior to the start of the eleventh round. Five days after the fight on 16 December 2009 Pascal underwent arthroscopic surgery for his right shoulder. Doctors removed a bone chip and repaired the labrum in his shoulder.
In June 2010, Pascal re-signed a multi-million dollar contract with promoter Groupe Yvon Michel in which he was guaranteed $1,050,000 to defend his title against Chad Dawson, as well as another $1,500,000 guaranteed in the fight following Dawson, which happened to be Bernard Hopkins. The contract is the most lucrative ever given out to a boxer in Quebec boxing history. Pascal has become the first Canadian boxer to receive more than a million dollars for a fight in Canada.
Pascal vs. Dawson
For Pascal’s third title defense, he fought Chad Dawson for Pascal’s WBC light-heavyweight title, and the vacant Lineal & The Ring light-heavyweight titles. Even though Pascal was the underdog in the fight, he dominated early on. As the fight wore on, Pascal started getting tired and Dawson landed some crucial hits on Pascal. An accidental head butt by Pascal resulted in Dawson receiving a major cut over his right eye. The ring-side doctor stopped the fight and Pascal was awarded the victory. Pascal easily won the fight according to the judges’ scorecards with scores of 108–101 and 106–103.
Pascal vs. Hopkins I, II
Following Pascal’s upset of Chad Dawson, 45-year-old Bernard Hopkins was soon named his next opponent for him to defend his WBC, Lineal, and The Ring light-heavyweight titles. Within the first 48 hours of tickets being on sale for Pascal/Hopkins, more than 15,000 tickets were sold. In preparation for the fight, Pascal spent forty days training in Miami.
The fight took place at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City on 18 December 2010. Pascal started strong in the fight, scoring two knockdowns in the first three rounds. One knockdown in the first round, which was disputed by Hopkins as an illegal blow to the back of the head and another knockdown in the third round. As the fight progressed, the fighters started holding their own and the fight ended in a controversial draw. At the end of 2010, The Ring magazine rated Pascal as the 14th best boxer in the world as part of their yearly Top One Hundred Boxers ranking. When compared to his 2009 ranking of 65, Pascal made up 51 places on the list. The ranking jump was mainly credited to Pascal upsetting Chad Dawson.
Following the controversial draw in December 2010, Hopkins expressed his frustration. Hopkins, who had refused to fight outside of the United States since 1994, felt there was a judging bias based on the fight being held in Quebec, Canada, as well as a discrimination of his age.
Hopkins went on to criticize Pascal’s performance and said that Pascal took far more damage during the fight than him. However, when Hopkins was asked about a potential rematch, he replaced most definitely only to claim that he was “too dangerous for anybody” and then went on to complain that GYM promotions was dragging the fight out to make him older so that he would lose.
Pascal defended his performance by noting the two knockdowns he scored early in the fight and defending the legitimacy of the judges. However, Pascal also expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision and said that he didn’t like the draw and wanted to earn a win. When asked about a potential rematch he responded by saying: “If he wants a rematch, anytime.”
The rematch with Bernard Hopkins was held on 21 May 2011 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, broadcast on HBO World Championship Boxing.
The bout began with both fighters feeling each other out for the first few rounds. In the third round, Hopkins began to find success with the right hand and shook the knees of Pascal. In the fourth round, both fighters exchanged power shots frantically with Hopkins looking slightly wobbled at the end of the round. Later on, before the seventh round began, Hopkins began doing push-ups in the ring. Pascal’s glove touched the mat in the ninth round but the referee ruled it a slip rather than a knockdown. This occurred again in the tenth. The fight concluded with the judges scoring the bout, 112-116, 114-115 and 113-115 in favor of Hopkins.
Pascal vs. Kuziemski, Bute
After many months under the radar, Pascal was slated to fight Tavoris Cloud for the IBF light-heavyweight title on 11 August 2012, but a hand injury forced him to pull out of the fight. Pascal finally returned to the ring on 14 December 2012 against Aleksy Kuziemski. He won the fight via wide unanimous decision, receiving the scores: 100-88, 98-88 and 98-90, from the fights’ judges.
It was announced that Jean Pascal would be fighting Lucian Bute on 25 May 2013, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec for Bute’s NABF light heavyweight title and the vacant WBC Diamond championship. The fight was rescheduled for 18 January 2014 due to an injury that required surgery to remove bone fragments from Bute’s left hand. Pascal ended up winning the fight by unanimous decision.
Pascal vs. Ramallo
Pascal announced he would fight on 16 December 2016 against 33 year old journeyman Ricardo Marcelo Ramallo at the Cogeco Amphitheater in Trois-Rivières. Ramallo challenged for the vacant IBO International super middleweight title in 2015 in a losing attempt to Renold Quinlan. The fight took place at light heavyweight with Pascal weighing just over 181 pounds. During the scheduled 10 round fight, Pascal stopped Ramallo in Round 3 itself. While Ramallo managed to land some punches in the initial rounds, he was severely lacking on the speed, size and power front. Pascal knocked Ramallo down twice in the round 3 with the right hands to the head. Ramallo was hurt after the second knockdown. Although he seemed to have recovered, the referee stopped the fight rather than letting it go on, giving Pascal a victory by Technical Knockout (TKO)
Pascal vs. Álvarez
On 15 April 2017 it was announced that Pascal could fight Colombian Eleider Álvarez (22-0, 11 KOs) for the WBC Silver light heavyweight title on the undercard of Stevenson’s world title defense against Fonfara at the Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 3 June 2017. Álvarez was due to fight Stevenson next for the WBC world title, but took money to step aside. The event was scheduled to be shown live on Showtime and was confirmed on 21 April. Álvarez outboxed Pascal, winning a majority decision after 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight 114-114, whilst the other two scored it 117-111 and 116-112 in favour of Álvarez. Pascal suffered his third defeat in five fights. Álvarez stayed in control of the fight by virtue of his excellent jab, punch accuracy and great footwork. Pascal felt he had done enough to get the win and wanted a rematch with Álvarez.
Pascal vs. Elbiali
On 30 October 2017 Warriors Boxing Promotions announced a Friday night boxing card presented by Premier Boxing Champions would take place 8 December at the Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida. Pascal was slated to appear in the main event of the card against Egyptian fighter Ahmed Elbiali. (1-0, 13 KOs). Pascal told Ringtv it would be his final fight. Pascal retired with a stoppage win in round 6. Pascal’s relentless flurry of punches left Elbiali on the ropes and his corner threw in the towel very soon. The time of stoppage was 2 minutes and 6 seconds of the sixth round.
Pascal vs. Bossé
The Montreal Journal and TVA Sports reported on 7 May 2018 that Pascal, despite announcing his retirement in 2017, would return to the ring on the Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack undercard on 19 May in Toronto. His trainer Stephan Larouche later confirmed Pascal would fight again on 29 June. On 9 May, it was announced that Pascal would fight 36 year old former mixed martial arts fighter and hockey enforcer Steve Bossé on 29 June 2018. The fight was postponed to take place on 20 July. Pascal weighed 193 pounds for the fight. In front of around 3,300 fans, Pascal dominated and stopped Bossé in round 8 of their scheduled 10 round bout. The win meant for the first time in 12 years, dating back to 2006 that Pascal recorded back-to-back stoppage wins. Bossé tried to apply pressure on Pascal but was dropped once in round 3. Pascal continued to land heavy shots eventually dropping Bosse down a second time in round 8. The referee decided to stop the fight. It was reported that Bossé had suffered an injury during training on his right bicep and also suffered a broken jaw during the fight. Pascal stated he would continue boxing as he had “other goals to achieve”, however did not state if he would continue to fight at cruiserweight or drop back down to light heavyweight.
Return to light-heavyweight
Pascal vs. Bivol
On 23 September, Groupe Yvon Michel announced that he had reached a deal for Pascal to fight Canadian cruiserweight champion Gary Kopas (10-11-2, 5 KOs) in Sydney, Nova Scotia on 9 November 2018 in a 12 round bout. The fight with Kopas was cancelled in early October after Sainvoyis Pascal, Jean’s father, suffered a heart attack and died. Pascal needed time to attend the funeral. On 16 October, it was reported that Pascal was on the verge of returning to light heavyweight to challenge WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) at the Etess Arena in Atlantic City on 24 November 2018. Bivol was initially in talks to make a defence against Joe Smith Jr., however Smith accepted a fight against IBF champion Artur Beterbiev in December instead. Later that same day, the fight was confirmed and would be televised by HBO.