By Francisco Salazar
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - In the first bout on the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast, former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs) faced undefeated Cuban Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KOs) in ten rounds of light heavyweight action. Gonzalez was the aggressor from the first bell. Pacal returned fire with a flurry of punches in the second that seemed to stun Gonzalez. Yuniesky continued his fierce attack on Pascal in the fourth but the former champ continued to counter with equally brutal punches.
Pascal opened the sixth round with a couple of hard shots. Both men looked fatigued in the last few rounds but continued to trade big shots. At the end of the brutal battle many unofficial scorecards had Gonzalez with the win, however, all three official judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of the former champion, Jean Pascal, for the win by unanimous decision. Compubox stats showed that both fighters landed around the same number of punches (154 connected for Pascal vs. 163 for Gonzalez), but Gonzalez was the busier man (632 punches thrown vs. 397 for Pascal).