By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — If a July 12 pay-per-view bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gennady Golovkin cannot be made, promoter Bob Arum would like to have Chavez move up to light heavyweight to face Canada’s Jean Pascal.
Arum said Tuesday before a Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez news conference at Madison Square Garden that he had dinner with Pascal on Monday night to discuss the fight.
“He’s a very intelligent guy,” Arum said regarding Pascal. “I didn’t realize it.”
Arum added that a Chavez-Pascal fight would take place either in Las Vegas or at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has promoted two Manny Pacquiao fights in recent years.
Momentum began building for a Chavez-Golovkin showdown both before and after a re-focused Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) recorded a unanimous decision victory over Bryan Vera in their March 1 rematch in San Antonio. It looks less likely now, though, that a Chavez-Golovkin fight could materialize so soon.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) was supposed to defend his WBA middleweight title against Andy Lee (31-2, 22 KOs) on April 26 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Golovkin is mourning the recent death of his father, however, and it is not known when he’ll return to the ring or if the Lee fight will be rescheduled.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) is fresh off a unanimous decision win over fellow adopted French-Canadian Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KOs) on Jan. 18 at Bell Centre in Montreal. Pascal has won three straight fights since Bernard Hopkins out-pointed him in their light heavyweight championship rematch nearly three years ago.
The Haitian-born Pascal has done big box-office business in Montreal and Quebec City, but he has expressed an interest in fighting in Las Vegas. It also is highly unlikely Chavez would even consider boxing Pascal anywhere in Quebec.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.