By Jake Donovan
An attempt was made to make the fight happen in late September, after it was learned that Stevenson was no longer facing Bernard Hopkins. Plans for the targeted unification bout were squashed when Hopkins called an audible and instead signed to face Sergey Kovalev in November, in a bout that will air on HBO.
As Stevenson is bound to the Showtime family through his relationship with adviser Al Haymon, the scope is limited as to whom he will next face. With that in mind, the most sensible next move is to accept a fight against the best available opponent.
That road leads right back to Pascal. whose handlers wanted to offer clarification on the exact reasons why that fight hasn't yet been inked.
"Our side is ready to make the fight happen in the final quarter of 2014," confirmed Greg Leon, CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions.
Pascal (29-2-1, 17KOs) was already part of one Canadian superfight this year, scoring a unanimous decision over former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute earlier this year. The fight came a bit past its optimal prime, as both fighters were on the rebound.
Pascal has fought just three times since losing the lineal light heavyweight championship to Bernard Hopkins in 2011, but has proven to still have plenty left in the tank to run with the best light heavyweights in the world.
Stevenson claimed top honors in the division with a one-punch knockout of Chad Dawson last June. Three title defenses have followed, all of which were designed to lead up to a mouthwatering showdown with Sergey Kovalev.
Those plans were thwarted when Stevenson hesitated on signing off to such a showdown, instead bolting from HBO to network rival Showtime shortly after signing with Haymon earlier this year.
His lone fight to show for such a path came in May, trading knockdowns with Andrzej Fonfara en route to a unanimous decision win. At the time, the fight was believed to serve as a precursor to a three-belt unification bout with Hopkins, who one month prior bumped off Beibut Shumenov.
Once Hopkins decided to pass on a showdown with Stevenson, his team and Showtime made the decision to push back his next fight from September 27 to a yet-to-be-determined date in the 4th quarter.
Former titlist Gabriel Campillo and rising but still untested contender Humberto Savigne have emerged as the frontrunners to land the assignment, neither of which provide a lucrative option.
Meanwhile, Pascal is left to search for a dance partner of his own, though not giving up on the one fight that makes the most sense.
"We are ready for the fight now," Leon insists. "The Stevenson side is not"
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox