Michael Rosenthal and Doug Fischer

RING PASS: Pascal vs. Hopkins

MEET THE FIGHTERS

JEAN PASCAL

The essentials

Age: 28

Height / reach: 5-11 (180cm) / 67 (170cm)

Hometown: Laval, Quebec, Canada (from Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

Turned pro: 2005

Record: 26-1-1 (16 knockouts)

Trainer: Mark Ramsay

Fight-by-fight: <a href=" http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=290691&cat=boxer ">Click here</a>

The Ring rating: Light heavyweight champion

Titles: WBC light heavyweight (2009-present); RING championship (2010-present).

Biggest victories: Kingsley Ikeke, Aug. 3, 2007, UD 12; Silvio Branco, Sept. 25, 2009, TKO 10; Adrian Diaconu, June 19, 2009, UD 12 (wins title); Diaconu, Dec. 11, 2009, UD 12; Chad Dawson, Aug. 14, 2010, TD 11 (wins RING championship)

Loss: Carl Froch, Dec. 6, 2008, UD 12

Draw: Bernard Hopkins, Dec. 18, 2010, MD 12

Biography: Jean Pascal left his native Haiti with his mother and older brother, Nicholson, and immigrated to Laval, Quebec (outside Montreal) when he was a small boy. He developed athletic interests common to Canadian children – hockey and soccer – but drifted into boxing as a young teenager when his brother began to find success in the sport.

Pascal had a successful amateur career as a middleweight, reportedly finishing his career with a record of 103-18. The strong, athletic boxer-puncher was a seven-time Canadian champion and competed in the 2004 Olympics, losing to Cuban Yordanis Despaigne in the first round.

He turned pro in 2005 and proceeded to win his first 21 fights (all but one in Canada) to become a favorite in Montreal and earn a shot at the vacant WBC super middleweight title against Carl Froch. Pascal lost a unanimous decision – the only setback in his career — to the talented Briton but barely slowed down.

Two fights later, in June 2009, he defeated then-unbeaten Adrian Diaconu to win the WBC light heavyweight title in Montreal. He has successfully defended it four times.

Pascal took a big step in his third title defense, against then-unbeaten and highly regarded Chad Dawson in August 2010 in Montreal. The gifted American was a clear favorite but was outhustled by Pascal, who won an 11th-round technical decision and THE RING 175-pound championship.

The boy from Haiti was now recognized as one of the best fighters in the world.

Then he ran into a problem against an opponent who was old enough to be his father last December in Quebec City, former middleweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins. The then-45-year-old veteran went down in the first and third rounds but rallied to make it interesting.

In the end, Pascal was lucky to escape with a draw and his title in a fight many observers thought Hopkins had done enough to win in spite of the early knockdowns.

The two meet again on May 21 in Montreal, where Pascal will have the chance to demonstrate that he merely had an off night in their first fight while Hopkins (now 46) will try to become the oldest man ever to win a major title.

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