By Scott Gilfoid: In a startling confession after his 12 round unanimous decision win last night over Lucian Bute (31-2, 24 KO’s), Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO’s) says that he was intentionally letting Bute hit him in the later rounds in order to make the fight close enough to where fans would be eager to see a rematch between them. Pascal says he knew he was well ahead in the fight, so he chose to let Bute tee off on him to attract interest in a 2nd fight.
Here’s Pascal’s comments when asked by Max Kellerman of HBO why he was letting Bute nail him with shots “It’s about the rematch, to make the fight a little bit closer. I knew I was winning the fight.“
So in other words, Pascal coasted to try and make the fight interesting enough to where fans will want to pay to see him fight Bute again. Gee, how sickening.
I don’t know about you but for me I find that incredibly off-putting to hear a fighter say he let another guy hit him just to try and get a rematch. It just makes it look like Pascal wants another payday fight against Bute instead of moving forward and taking the fight that he’s supposed to take as the No.1 WBC challenger by facing WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
Instead of Pascal talking about wanting to fight Stevenson next, he was saying he was trying for a rematch. I think that’s bad. It leaves me with the impression that Pascal doesn’t have any confidence of his ability to beat Stevenson, and if that’s the situation then he needs to tell the WBC to rank someone else as Stevenson’s No.1 contender with the World Boxing Council organization.
Pascal said this when asked about whether he’d fight Stevenson “I’m going to take a vacay [vacation] and after the vacay, I don’t care who’s next. Honestly, he’s [Adonis Stevenson] a world champion; he’s black like me, from my community, Haitian community, so I want to give a big shout out to Superman Stevenson.”
I don’t know what all that means, but what I think Pascal was saying just then was ‘I don’t want any part of Stevenson.’ The fact that Pascal was talking the Bute rematch leaves me with the thought he doesn’t want any part of Stevenson. I suppose you can add Sergey Kovalev’s name along with Stevenson’s in terms of fighters that Pascal likely won’t be fighting next.
Will Canadian fans want to see Pascal fight Bute again? I gave Bute 4 rounds, and I thought he looked good in the last 4 rounds of the bout. But after hearing Pascal say he let Bute hit him to make the fight closer, I wouldn’t want to see a rematch between them. It just makes me question whether Bute would have done well in the last part of the fight if Pascal hadn’t let him.