WBA "regular" light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal was forced to cancel his training camp, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KOs) was in Miami when the pandemic escalated in Quebec. He was preparing for the second defense of his title, which was to take place in late May or early June in the United States. The likely opponent was going to be Badou Jack, who Pascal decisioned in a sensational fight in December.
"I did not yet have a fixed date for my next fight," said Pascal to Mathieu 'The Shark' Boulay of The Montréal Journal.
"However, I knew I was going to get back in the ring before the start of the summer. I left for Miami for two weeks of training before heading to Puerto Rico for the rest of my camp. The day I had to go to this place, they closed the borders. So I decided to come home wisely.”
Pascal complied with the recommendation of Prime Minister François Legault by placing himself in voluntary quarantine for 14 days.
"When I saw that I had to come back, I kept my cool," added the 37-year-old. "I had no problem returning to Quebec. It wasn't chaos at the airport either.
"I'm in quarantine, but my daughter Angel is not with me. She will stay with my aunt for the duration of my confinement.”
To return to boxing, this is not the first time that one of his fights has been canceled or postponed. He experienced this situation several times.
"It is certain that it is flat to see my plans turned upside down," observed Pascal.
"It is a waste of money because we paid for plane tickets, hotel rooms and food. It's a shame to come home and start from scratch. In a case where there is a cancellation due to an injury, we already have another fixed date. Because of this virus, we have no idea what will happen next. I don't know if I'm going to go back to the ring in June, July or fall.
“It's a lot more difficult for the mind than for the physical. When I have a date, I am able to align my mind according to that. Since it's all in the air, it's hard to keep motivated for training. It is especially hard to stay motivated in the chaos we are experiencing at the moment. I would find myself a little selfish to be so hungry, given that people are dying and many others are sick.”
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.