By Richard Cloutier
A vote taken by the Board of Governors of the WBC was released on Thursday and the sanctioning body has ordered a rematch between Bernard Hopkins and their reigning light heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal. From what BoxingScene.com/Netboxe.com has learned, the two sides have 30 days to reach an agreement. If they fail, a purse bid will be held in Mexico City on February 4. The winner of the battle will then be required to compete with former champion Chad Dawson.
On December 18 in Quebec City at the Pepsi Coliseum, a packed arena saw Pascal and Hopkins fight to a twelve round majority decision. American network Showtime televised the clash and said their ratings were the highest in years.
"They will not have to chase me. I want another fight against Bernard Hopkins to prove that I am better than him and to demonstrate that the judges were wrong," said Jean Pascal to BoxingScene.com/Netboxe.com on December 21.
Despite the directive of WBC and the wishes expressed by Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, we must remember that Chad Dawson, who lost an eleven round technical decision to Pascal in August 2010, has a contract clause requiring Pascal to fight him next. This contractual obligation could force Pascal to ignore the ruling of the WBC, which is likely going to cost him the sanctioning organization's title.
The interest of the American television networks, Showtime and HBO, could ultimately dictate the sequence of events. Indeed, if there is no doubt about the willingness of Showtime to televise a Pascal vs. Hopkins rematch, then the champion will have to see what HBO decides on a possible Pascal vs. Dawson return bout. As part of the Pascal-Dawson contract clause, the rematch must have the financial support of a major cable network.