By Richard Cloutier
"For reasons of confidentiality and out of respect for the process of negotiations, we are not going to comment to avoid any confusion or interpretation. Once these [negotiations] are completed, we will then publicly release the result," said Yvon Michel, President of GYM and promoter of WBC/IBO light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.
A few days ago, Golden Boy Promotions, who handle Bernard Hopkins, won the WBC's purse bid for the rematch, which is scheduled for May 21 on HBO. The purse bid, held this past Wednesday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City and under the supervision of the WBC President Jose Sulaiman, was won by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer with a bid of $1,911,500 million against $ 1,752,000 for GYM.
The purse bid was made necessary because although Golden Boy and GYM had reached an understanding on the terms, GYM and Jean Pascal were unable to reach an agreement within the timeframe provided by the WBC. A press release issued by GYM reported that negotiations were ongoing with respect to contract terms, and not the actual date of the battle, as was mentioned earlier this week.
In an article published on February 10 by the Courier Laval, Pascal did not appear to be too with the selected date for the fight. "I have not signed anything. I have read the contract details. I do not understand why you mention the date of May 21." This disagreement also appeared to affect the training schedule that was made public by various media.
Michel, who returned from Mexico on the evening of Thursday, February 17, wanted to remind everyone that the result of this purse bid does not automatically mean the the fight will be held in the United States.
"Obviously Golden Boy has been given the advantage by winning this purse bid but I'm still confident in our bargaining power with the support and commitment of Quebec for its champions. Remember that InterBox had lost that purse bid in 2009, also against Golden Boy Promotions, when they were bidding for the rematch rights to [Lucian] Bute vs. [Librado] Andrade II. This fight was still brought to the Quebec Coliseum on Nov. 28 with InterBox taking the promotional lead."
On Friday morning, Jean Pascal and Yvon Michel met in Laval and continued their talks.
"We discussed the possible scenarios and assessed each of our positions. These business talks will continue over the next few days but I am optimistic about their imminent conclusion."