By Rick Reeno
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (27-2-1, 16KOs) is overjoyed with the finalization of his Canadian super-fight with former super middleweight king Lucian Bute (31-1, 24KOs), which is going to take place on May 25th at a venue to be determined in Canada. Pascal sat down with BoxingScene.com to discuss the match with Bute.
BoxingScene.com: You have been trying to get this match for a long time. How does it feel to finally get it?
Pascal: Finally Bute said 'yes.' The only reason why I wanted that fight so bad was because the fans were asking me to get that fight done. And you know me, I'm a crowd pleaser and I listen to my fans. I think Bute should have did the same thing [a long time ago], but finally he's doing the same thing. He's listening to his people. That's why I'm glad about today. We made the deal. I signed it and now its time to take business real seriously now.
I just want to thank my adviser Greg Leon for making this deal happen. When you're a boxer, it's hard to fight and manage your career at the same time. But Greg had a big part in the success of this deal and I want to thank him for that.
BoxingScene.com: You've watched Bute's last couple of fights. Do you think he's slipping and not the same fighter that he was a year or two ago?
Pascal: Honestly, I don't think so. Sometimes you might have a bad night in boxing. It's not like hockey where you have 82 games. In boxing it is only one night. That night [with Carl Froch], he had a bad night, but Bute was champion for almost five years and he defended his title ten times. He's still fast and he still has skill. Maybe right now his confidence is a little shaky, but by the time he gets to the fight he will get his confidence back.
I think he's going to be really heavy. In terms of weight, I wanted that advantage [of the fight being at 175] because Bute is 6'2 or 6'3. He's going to gain mass, he's going to gain weight. He's going to have more energy because he's going to pop up in weight. I remember when I was at 168 and then I fought Adrian Diacanu for the title, people were saying that Adrian was going to be bigger than me. I said 'are you crazy' because I'm taller than him and I had more room to put on more weight and mass on me and I said I was going to be way stronger than him and bigger than him. And guess what, I was stronger than him and I was bigger than him even though I was a 168-pounder.
I think here we are going to have the same thing. Bute is going to get in the ring really big and he's going to be really strong. And that's why I have to train really hard and be ready for that.
BoxingScene.com: You said he had a bad night with Froch, I'm sure you want to provide him with a night that is even worse.
Pascal: Exactly, I'm going to make sure that he's going to have a very, very, very bad night....the baddest night ever in his life.
BoxingScene.com: Are there any concerns with ring rust? You've had injuries and only fought once since the loss to Bernard Hopkins [in May 2011].
Pascal: That's why I'm giving Bute the edge [in our fight] because he's been more active than me. But I'm a fighter and I'm not going to back off. If he's going to call me out, even though I had the Dawson fight I backed away from the Dawson fight to fight him. I'm a man of my word. Right now I need to train hard and be prepared for this battle. This fight for us in Canada is like Mayweather-Pacquiao for you guys. This is the Mayweather-Pacquiao of Canada.