During the 206th edition of “On The Ropes” I was joined by former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who fights this upcoming weekend in his long anticipated match up with Lucian Bute. Pascal discussed the long road to the event and how he feels his preparation went for the bout. Jean also talks about the growing popularity of the division, with Stevenson, Kovalev, and Hopkins all holding belts in the division. Additionally Pascal discussed former opponent Chad Dawson, his goals for 2014 and his officially prediction for this weekends bout. Here is what Jean Pascal had to say.
Jenna J: Jean, you have your long awaited fight with Lucian Bute on January 18th, how are you feeling now that it’s getting a little closer?
Jean Pascal: Yeah I’m really excited to be part of the big historical fight. Everything is going good, my weight is good. I’m struggling a little bit with my weight but I’m gonna make weight on Friday afternoon before the fight, so don’t worry about it. I’m a big light heavyweight, so that’s why it’s a little bit hard for me to make weight, but like I said, everything is going good so far, I’m gonna make sure I make weight.
Jenna: This fight has been long delayed. Has it been frustrating not being able to get into the ring with Bute?
Pascal: Of course, I was really frustrated about the first postponement because I was chasing Bute for the last 5 years and he was always trying to have excuses to not make the fight happen and finally the fight was supposed to happen in May and at the last minute, two weeks before the fight he pulled out from a hand injury.
That was really, really sad on my part because I was training really well, my training was really good with Roy Jones and everything, but things happen in fights, things happen in training. Now we are few days away from the fight, so I really think this time is the right time.
Jenna: Jean, you had a tune up fight in September, which was the first time you entered the ring since a shoulder injury. How did it feel to be back?
Pascal: My shoulder is an old story, now I feel good, my punching is great, all my muscles and all my tendons are great. Yes, I had problems with my shoulder before, but those problems belong in the past, right now I’m fully healthy and I’m looking forward to giving you guys a great match.
Jenna: A lot of people are wondering what version of Lucian Bute will show up, as he did not look his best in either of his last two fights. What are you expecting from him on the 18th?
Pascal: Of course when he fought Denis Grachev his confidence wasn’t there one hundred percent, and we saw it in the fight. Now he had a 14 month layoff, it’s whether he gained confidence with that layoff or maybe he’s still shaky from the (Carl) Froch and the Grachev fights, because when he fought Grachev it wasn’t really his best fight. I think that with the time he got his confidence back, so I think I’m gonna see the best version of Lucian Bute on January 18th.
Jenna: The common view on this fight is that you should go right at Bute, and test where he is at mentally. Can you see yourself testing Lucian out that way?
Pascal: I know what to do, I have to beat a southpaw. I beat Chad Dawson, I beat many southpaws in the amateurs. I know what to do, people think I’m gonna do like Carl Froch but guys like me, I’m an honest guy, honest fighter, I’m not Carl Froch, I don’t have his power, his long arms and long reach. Personally I think I’m better than Carl Froch but I don’t have his tools to fight the way he fought against Bute.
I’m gonna fight the way I fight, I’m gonna fight the way I think is the best to fight Lucian Bute. I got my corner men, I got Roy Jones in my corner, so those both give me great advise. Now I’m full ready mentally and tactically to beat Lucian Bute.
Jenna: What does this fight mean for Canadian boxing, Jean?
Pascal: If we look at it, it’s Mayweather-Pacquiao in Canada, It is the Canadian Mayweather-Pacquiao, it’s our Super bowl. This is the biggest fight in the Canadian history of boxing, it’s huge, it’s gonna be sold out and we’re gonna break records on Pay-per-view also. I’m really glad and I’m enjoying being part of this event.
Jenna: Last time I had you on the show, you said it would be a bad idea for Chad Dawson to take a fight with Adonis Stevenson, and you were right. Now that Adonis Stevenson is the light heavyweight champion, do you see the winner of this fight as challenger to his belt?
Pascal: Only God knows and the devil has doubts. Stevenson right now is a champion. I told Chad’s people, “Don’t take that fight” when I was in Las Vegas because Chad had nothing to win to get that fight, but those people are always saying they are better that everybody and they know better than anybody else.
I fought Stevenson twice in the amateurs, so I knew he was a beast, plus I knew he was hungry to be a world champion, I knew everything about it. Those people took Stevenson lightly because his name wasn’t big at that time, but they paid for their mistake.
I hope they are gonna learn from those mistakes, but honestly I don’t think they are going to learn from those mistakes because they did the same thing with me. Chad said, “Who knows Jean Pascal? I don’t know him, he’s a nobody, he didn’t fight nobody.” He took me lightly and guess what happened? I whooped his ass. Same thing with Stevenson, and even worse, he knocked him out cold in the first round.
I hope those people learn from their mistakes because if you’re smart and you want to improve yourself, it doesn’t matter if you lose, but you need to know why you lost those fights and you have to learn from those mistakes.
Jenna: Who are you looking at in the light heavyweight division if you win this fight?
Pascal: Honestly, even though I’m not the champion at light heavyweight, I still feel like I’m the best. People are gonna think, “Oh who do you think you are to think that you’re the best?” But before you’re the best, you have to think you’re the best, you have to train like you’re the best, you have to eat like you’re the best. That’s why I’m thinking that way.
I’m still thinking I’m the best and I’m working hard like I’m a champion. I’m not gonna call out nobody because I know at this weight I’m the cash cow because even those champions don’t make the kind of money that I’m making per fight. If they want to make big money and establish their name as a real champion, they have to face me.
Jenna: You have been defeated by only 2 boxers, do you feel the need as a former champion to avenge those losses?
Pascal: Of course, those two guys are on my hit list for 2014, but we’ll see what happens after the Bute fight, but of course those two people are on my hit list.
Jenna: In closing Jean, what is you official prediction for your fight this weekend with Lucian Bute?
Pascal: My official prediction is really simple, you have to tune in January 18 because it’s gonna be an epic fight. I’m gonna give my best, Lucian Bute is gonna give his best and no matter what the outcome is, it’s only you guys that win, because this fight is for the fans.