Can Roach turn things around for Jean Pascal?

By Raj Parmar - 12/03/2015 - Comments

roach45By Raj Parmar: Back in 2010, Jean Pascal was on top on the world. He had just beaten the champion Chad Dawson for the light heavyweight title and was ready to become the dominant force in the division. Later that year, he faced an aging Bernard Hopkins. However, Pascal only managed a draw in his backyard of Quebec, Canada; a fight many felt that Bernard had won.

He signed on to rematch Hopkins in 2011 and this time would lose to Bernard, and in the process Hopkins became the oldest man ever to win a title at the age of 46 years old. This halted the momentum Pascal had been building and put his career at the crossroads.

Pascal was able to get his career back on track with a big win over fellow Canadian Lucien Bute in 2014, which lined him up for a title shot at unified champion Sergey Kovalev. In a thrilling back and forth war, Kovalev was able to stop Pascal in the 8th round via TKO. Although many felt the fight was stopped prematurely by the referee, Pascal had suffered a loss again at a time where his career was building momentum.

Pascal won his next fight in unimpressive fashion before changing his team and signing up with multiple time trainer of the year Freddie Roach. Roach has trained many champions in the past including Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Julio Caesar Chavez.

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As the signed rematch now looms between Kovalev and Pascal for the light heavyweight crown early next year, Pascal is hoping that Roach will be the one to bring his career to the next level. Both Roach and Pascal know that a win over the undefeated Kovalev will put Pascal at the forefront of the division and make him one of boxing’s biggest names.

Although Roach has had tremendous success in the past including guiding Manny Pacquiao to a record 8 weight division world titles, he has been on a significant drought in recent years. His prized pupil Pacquiao has not looked good in a long time and his other star in Cotto just dropped a decision to Canelo Alvarez. In addition to this, Khan and Chavez both left the trainer after suffering losses. Roach’s once strong ship has now been hit with holes and has been sinking as of late.

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There is no doubt that Roach knows boxing and is a great offensive planner. However, as age and health issues catch up to him as the years go by it seems that his mastery in the corner is fading. Therefore, Roach may not be the difference maker Pascal is looking for at this stage of Roach’s career however Pascal has great power in both hands and a right tip or two from an experienced championship trainer like Roach could increase Pascal’s chances to shock Kovalev.

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