By Rick Reeno
Last week, the WBC ordered a four-man light heavyweight tournament to determine a mandatory challenger to the reigning champion, Bernard Hopkins. In the first leg of the tournament, Chris Henry would face Ismayl Sillakh, while former WBC champion Jean Pascal would fight undefeated Zsolt Erdei.
Pascal (26-2, 16KOs), who does have several options on the table, doesn't see any reason to bind himself to a two-fight tournament with the WBC. Pascal is coming off back to back fights with Hopkins, and he is certainly the biggest draw among the four fighters selected by the WBC. And, he realizes that even if he wins the tournament there is nothing set in stone that Hopkins, age 46, will still be around or even willing to entertain a third meeting.
He did indicate to BoxingScene that a fight with Erdei (33-0, 18KOs) does peak his interest, and he would be willing to face him outside of the WBC tournament - if a television date is locked down for the fight.
"That's a nice tournament, and I thank the WBC for putting together a nice thing, but I think that I'm going to choose another option because I have so many options right now that I don't think that I'm going to be a part of that tournament," Pascal told BoxingScene.com.
"To fight twice to become the mandatory to my ex-title.....that makes no sense to me. But like I said, I have so many options right now that we have to see what's best for me."