By Keith Idec
Jean Pascal destroyed Ahmed Elbiali’s dream Friday night.
The former light heavyweight champion knocked out the previously unbeaten prospect in the sixth round of a nationally televised fight at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida. Pascal hurt an exhausted Elbiali in the sixth round and Elbiali’s trainer threw in the towel to end their scheduled 10-round bout.
The Egytian-born Elbiali (17-1, 14 KOs), a Miami resident, had knocked 13 of his first 16 opponents, but Pascal posed the greatest threat he had encountered since turning pro in February 2013. The 35-year-old Pascal (32-5-1, 19 KOs, 1 NC) is past his prime, yet clearly dangerous enough to prove Elbiali isn’t ready to become a legitimate contender at 175 pounds.
Pascal promised prior to Friday’s fight that he would retire, win or lose. If the former WBC light heavyweight champion doesn’t fight again, this comeback victory marked the end of a successful career that included victories over former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and ex-super middleweight champ Lucian Bute, a draw and a loss to legend Bernard Hopkins, two TKO losses to light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev and a decision defeat to former super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
The Haitian-born, Quebec-based Pascal hurt Elbiali by landing three straight right hands, a left hook and another right just after the midway mark of the sixth round. An exhausted Elbiali couldn’t keep Pascal from hammering him, which made referee Telis Assimenios step in to stop the fight at 2:06 of the sixth round.
Elbiali buzzed Pascal by landing two right hands within the first 20 seconds of the fifth round. Pascal held and Elbiali couldn’t capitalize because he appeared to tire himself out later in the fifth.
Pascal clipped Elbiali with a left hook about 50 seconds into the fourth round.
Elbiali blasted Pascal with a right hand that knocked Pascal back against the ropes early in the third round. Pascal came firing back, though, and connected with an effective right hand of his own.
Pascal backed up Elbiali with a left hook toward the end of the second round. Seconds later, he drilled Elbiali with a hard right hand.
Pascal landed an overhand right and followed with a left just before the halfway point of the second round.
Elbiali buckled Pascal’s knees with a right hand less than 15 seconds into the fight. Pascal held and tried to fight his way out of that trouble.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.