By Luke Furman
Earlier this month, former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal announced his retirement from the sport, after turning back the clock to secure a TKO victory over undefeated contender Ahmed Elbiali in Miami, Florida.
Two of the biggest fights in the career of Pascal were against living legend Bernard Hopkins.
They first met in 2010, which saw their contest end in a controversial twelve round majority draw in Quebec City. Hopkins was down twice in the fight.
A rematch took place the following year in Montreal, with Hopkins winning a close twelve round unanimous decision to capture the WBC title - and at age 46 broke George Foreman's record as the oldest boxer to win a world title.
In the pre-fight war of words, Pascal had made certain statements, alleging that performance enhancing drugs were a factor in Hopkins' ability to stay competitive with fighters who were half his age. Hopkins was very offended by the comments.
And years later, those statements still bother Hopkins, who retired last fall after a TKO defeat at the hands of Joe Smith.
"He must apologize. Not only to me, but to the supporters who heard these lies. If you want your belt, I have it. There is a price to get the belt of the opponent we beat and I intend to continue this tradition, but he must retract what he said," Hopkins told TVA Sports.
"I take what he said very seriously. Because I took my career of 28 years seriously. And anyone who says otherwise has a problem with Bernard Hopkins."
Despite the hint of lingering bad blood, Hopkins wishes Pascal well in retirement.
"I think it's time for him to retire if we rely on his last four or five fights. It is very difficult, however, when a fighter suggests others to retire. You have to make that decision yourself," Hopkins said.
"Pascal had a good career. He does not have to be ashamed. He has been champion three times I think [he was champion once, from 2009 to 2011], maybe even four. He also knocked me down about three times."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org