If I Were a Boxing Matchmaker: Jean Pascal

There's still good fights to be made for the old warhorse
Source: Bad Left Hook

Howdy folks. Today I’d like to go Canadian, ey!

Jean Pascal 34-6-1, (20 KOs)

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Jean Pascal is not necessarily a boxer that most fans would be too intrigued by. He’s not the flashiest, not the most skilled or naturally gifted fighter out there. However, he is a fighter that I have gained a lot of respect for over the years and he deserves some recognition. Pascal is one of those men who has earned his stripes and that is one of the long-lost traits of modern boxing.

Pascal always goes into the ring in phenomenal shape. He has fought several elite level fighters, such as Carl Froch, Chad Dawson, Bernard Hopkins twice and Sergey Kovalev twice. Along with this, he has faced many top contenders, such as Lucian Bute, Adrian Diaconu, Eleider Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol and Marcus Browne. On top of that, a few upcoming prospects, like Yunieski Gonzalez, Kingsley Ikeke and Ahmed Elbiali. He doesn’t discriminate when it comes to who he fights.

Jean Pascal is a boxer who can maneuver around the ring pretty well. He has a good jab when he uses it but tends to rely more on power shots than straight punches. He doesn’t always throw the most beautiful looking punches in the world, but when he lets his hands go, he has bad intentions. Pascal doesn’t have the greatest head movement or defense out there either, yet he can certainly take one hell of a shot on the kisser. He’s a guy that usually bends but never breaks. I’ve seen him wobbled a few times, but that man doesn’t quit. This Haitian born Canadian can be a real headache for anybody out there and I mean that in a literal sense. His sort of “wild style” can cause a few headbutts that will split a few skulls. He kind of reminds me of a larger version of Shawn Porter.

There are so many available opponents for guys like Pascal because he can match up well with most anybody. Considering the fact that he has already fought four of the top-10 light heavyweights, according to Transnational. Let’s start with some of the top-10 175-pounders that are still left that he hasn’t been in the ring with.

#1 Matchup: Artur Beterbiev 15-0 (15 KOs)

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This hairy monster is currently at the top of the food chain at light heavyweight. Beterbiev is the Lineal Champion at 175-pounds and rightfully so, as he just defeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk, whom defeated Adonis Stevenson. Artur currently holds the WBC and IBF belts, which means there are a lot of reasons to go get this match signed on the dotted lines. Another great reason would be that they both reside in Quebec, Canada, so it wouldn’t be too hard to pick a spot for this to take place. Just the right venue would be all.

Beterbiev is probably a little too much for Pascal to handle at this point in his career, but with Pascal you just never know. I have seen Beterbiev rocked and Pascal throws punches with conviction. With the odd angles that Pascal gives, one of those big looping shots might land clean, then you never know what happens after that.

#2 Matchup: Badou Jack 22-2-3 (13 KOs)

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Badou Jack is currently rated top-10 light heavyweight. Badou is also another fighter like Pascal who has been in the ring with multiple rated boxers, but in the 168- and 175-pound divisions. The significance of this match would be to see who continues on towards championship contention, or who potentially descends out of the realm of discussion for that glory. Both men are no young bucks, with Jack being 36 years old and Pascal being 37. “The Ripper” is currently coming off a “ripped” open head that probably caused a slight face alteration that will most likely be an issue again in the future, considering how bad it was.

Both of these men are pretty tough, so I can’t foresee this ending in a stoppage, unless of course there is a cut that causes it. This most likely goes the distance and probably ends up a split decision type of match. It seems like Pascal will most likely rack up a few rounds in the beginning, by boxing on the outside and then Jack probably picks up a little head of steam in the middle rounds to keep it interesting. The late rounds are probably what decides this outcome. Thankfully this should come off late this year.

#3 Matchup: Sullivan Barrera 22-3 (14 KOs)

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Sullivan Barrera is a solid pro. Having been in the ring with a few really good fighters himself, Barrera is also getting a bit older. Barrera is the same age as Jean Pascal, being 37. In his last bout against Jesse Hart, he looked as if the age is starting to catch up with him, so this would be a great matchup at this stage. This contest has the potential to get a bit scrappy and probably becomes slightly entertaining. Both men are sort of range fighters, who fight from distance setting up shots. I’m not sure if this ends in stoppage, but there would most likely be some momentum swings and possibly a few “noodle legged” moments. Barrera’s best bet is to outwork Pascal. Pascal’s best bet is to use his jab and set up those big shots and make the fight a little rough and rugged. This bout would go good as a main event in Quebec, Canada.

#4 Matchup: Anthony Yarde 18-1 (17 KOs)

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This match would be a “Battle of the Bulk”. Both of these fighters are muscular specimens. This bout would be a good bounce-back opportunity for Anthony Yarde after his performance against Sergey Kovalev. If either man is going to stay relevant in championship level contention, this would be perfect to stay on track. Pascal is the elder and would need to try to rough Yarde up a little. I would assume that this would end in a stoppage, due to the fact that both men can hit with authority.

This would be a very interesting styles matchup because Yarde is a decent counter puncher who has power and Pascal tends to leave himself open for counter shots when he goes barging in with his own big bombs. I’d like to see if Yarde can actually hurt Pascal. Pascal has a great chin, but I’m not sure Yarde does. I believe Yarde’s best chance is to catch him early and Pascal’s chance for a knockout probably comes in the mid to late rounds when Yarde slows down a bit. This would sell nicely in Quebec, Canada or possibly even the U.K.

#5 Matchup: Kevin Lerena 24-1 (11 KOs)

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This may seem like a daunting task for Mister Pascal, but I don’t quite see it that way. Pascal probably weighs about 190 pounds on a normal day, or the day of his fights anyways. Cruiserweight isn’t the deepest weight class in the sport and Pascal has the skill-set to defeat many of the guys near the top of the cruiserweight division. The question is whether he can take a punch from a man who could possibly be 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the biggest man he’s ever fought. Kevin Lerena is a good boxer who would probably keep his range against Pascal, however, Lerena isn’t the most active fighter and he does allow guys to get inside and work on him without return punches.

There are several reasons to go after this. One is that, although Pascal is a good contender at 175, he really isn’t an elite fighter at 175. He has few options left at light heavyweight to win a significant fight. He has already lost to Dmitry Bivol and Sergey Kovalev. So aside from them, he’s got Beterbiev and Saul Alvarez left. I don’t like his chances against Canelo and we already give him a shot against Beterbiev in his first matchup. After that he continues to battle back to the top, if he loses, or defends his crown if he wins. What about just taking the chance against slightly weaker competition at cruiserweight?

He is 37, so he probably doesn’t stick around too much longer and this could be an opportunity to possibly win a belt at cruiserweight. Consider that Mairis Breidis might move up to heavyweight, then what’s left? Dorticos, Glowacki, Lerena, Makabu? Dorticos and Glowacki would be the toughest competition, but Lerena and Makabu are more feasible. He can go after Lerena first to see if he can hang in there with a bigger guy and test it against the guy who doesn’t have as much power as the rest of them.

Let’s set this up in Quebec, Canada or maybe find some neutral ground somewhere. I just think Pascal is a lot more marketable in his hometown than Lerena is probably anywhere else in the world.

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