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Sillakh vs. Pascal in talks

Ismayl Sillakh Jean PascalBy Dan Ambrose: According to Dan Rafael, a fight between former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO’s) and Ismayl Sillakh (17-0, 14 KO’s) is a possibility. Rafael states that the two fighters are in talks.

This would be a great fight because the 26-year-old Sillakh, #2 WBC, #6 IBF, #12 WBA, needs a fight like this to prove how good he is. Sillakh, who was born and raised in Ukraine, has looked good against mostly mediocre opposition he’s faced in his four year pro career but he needs a good opponent like Pascal to show whether he’s got what it takes to get to the upper level of the light heavyweight division.

Sillakh has looked good in beating fighters like Rayco Saunders, Yordanis Despaigne and Ali Ismailov but he needs to really up the level of his competition if he’s to open the eyes of boxing fans and make them take notice.

Pascal has nothing since losing his World Boxing Council title against 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins last May. He’d like to fight the winner of Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson II, but the chances will be zero if Hopkins emerges as the winner of that fight. Pascal also fought to what many boxing fans saw as a gift draw against Hopkins in December 2010. Before that, Pascal beat Dawson in a surprising 11 round technical decision. The win was kind of tainted how given that Dawson had Pascal hurt in the 11th round at the time the fight was halted after Pascal collided heads with Dawson and opened up a bad cut over his left eye. The cut and the headbutt may have saved Pascal from being knocked out in that fight.

I find it kind of doubtful that the Sillakh-Dawson fight will get made, as Pascal really wants a big money fight and taking on Sillakh is a risky proposition for him.

As far as how a fight between Sillakh and Pascal would go, I think Sillakh would have problems with Pascal’s speed and power during the first five or six rounds because Sillakh doesn’t have very fast hands and isn’t explosive like Pascal. However, Pascal has crummy stamina and he usually fades by the second half of the fight if he’s pressured.

Sillakh will then take over the fight and box his way to a 12 round decision. Pascal could knock him out in the first three rounds, though, but if he doesn’t then Sillakh will win the fight no doubt about it. I still don’t see Pascal taking that fight. He’s tasted big money and he won’t likely want to face a risky challenger like Sillakh.


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