Although the promoter of former lightweight titleholder Jean Pascal has confirmed reports that a deal is in place for an all-Canadian clash with ex-super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute, Yvon Michel could not provide details on whether or not the agreement will affect a proposed HBO-televised rematch between Pascal and RING and WBC 175-pound champion Chad Dawson that is slated for May 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Although at least one report has Bute-Pascal trumping Pascal-Dawson II on May 25 at Bell Centre after an apparent agreement between Michel and Jean Bedard of Interbox, Michel said that is not necessarily the case.
“Pascal-Bute will happen. What we don’t know is when,” said Michel. “You’re right, we have an initial agreement between us and Interbox to do Pascal-Bute, which will be the biggest boxing event and the biggest fight ever held here for our market.”
“This happened just this past weekend. What we are still evaluating is when we will do it. We are looking at all avenues. It might be the next fight, or it might be the one after. We are working and looking at all of the implications, one way or another.”
Michel declined to speculate on how Pascal-Dawson II would be effected.
“Look, I can’t say right now. I will tell you that we’ve got so much pressure to do that fight between Pascal and Bute that we haven’t stopped doing interviews. I have had a record number of text messages to answer back since the idea of doing Pascal-Bute has gotten out,” said Michel.
“I’ve gotten calls from the Bell Centre, from Olympic Stadium, and from a football stadium in Quebec City that wants to hold it. I realize, even more, how big that fight will be for the public here. So, we are carefully evaluating all implications. We are trying to contact everybody that will be affected by that. We should know within the next 48 hours which direction we’ll be taking.”
Michel also declined to say whether or not he has met with officials at HBO or with Dawson’s promoter, Gary Shaw.
“I don’t want to confirm to whom I have and have not spoken yet. But we will make sure that we talk to everyone involved,” said Michel. “Right now, we are evaluating. I don’t want to come to any negotiation through the media, whatsoever. At this point, we are in an evaluation mode.”
Shaw is particularly unhappy with the development, and told RingTV.com that he informed Michel of that fact during a telephone conversation on Monday.
“He just called me and he did a lot of double-talking and I hung up,” said Shaw. “He just did a lot of double-talking, like, ‘Look, this is the biggest fight in the history of Canada.’ I said to him, ‘Yvon, we shook hands, we have a deal, and I’m going to hold you to the deal.”
“That was it, and I hung up. I know that we have a deal, and if he is pulling out of the deal, then he needs to call HBO and tell them that he is pulling out. But I believe that we have a deal and HBO believes we have a deal.”
Asked what would happen if Pascal-Bute trumped Pascal-Dawson II, Shaw said, “I don’t know, that’s a legal question,” adding, “That’s a conversation I’ll have to have with HBO as well.”
A southpaw like Dawson (31-2, 17 knockouts), Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) is coming off November’s unanimous-decision victory over peviously unbeaten Denis Grachev that helped him to rebound from last May’s fifth-round knockout loss to Carl Froch that dethroned him as IBF titleholder.
Pascal (27-2-1, 16 KOs) is coming off December’s unanimous-decision triumph over Aleksy Kuziemski that helped him to rebound from the unanimous-decision loss of his WBC title to former RING lightheavyweight and middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins in May of 2011.
In August of 2010, Pascal defeated Dawson by unanimous technical decision after the fight went to the scorecards as a result of an accidental clash of heads that caused a cut over Dawson’s eye.
Dawson is coming off September’s 10th-round stoppage loss to RING super middleweight champ Andre Ward, who floored Dawson three times.
Photos by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com