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Jean Pascal is Artur Beterbiev’s WBC mandatory at 175

Image: Jean Pascal is Artur Beterbiev's WBC mandatory at 175

By Jim Maltzman: Jean Pascal has been named as the WBC mandatory for IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev by the World Boxing Council. Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is defending against his IBF mandatory Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10 KOs) next month on September 25 in Russia.

The winner of the Beterbiev vs. Meng fight will defend against the 37-year-old Pascal, who has a two-fight winning streak since losing a 12 round decision to WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol in 2018.

Pascal looking impressive

In former WBA/WBC light heavyweight champion Pascal’s last two fights, he’s looked good in defeating former two-division world champion Badou Jack and Marcus Browne (23-1, 16 KOs). A lot of boxing fans had predicted that Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs) would lose to both Browne and Jack, but he surprised them by using his toughness and aggression to win grueling fights.

Even in his mid-30s, Pascal has better hand speed and power than Browne and Jack, and that proved to be the difference in those contests.

Pascal will need to find another gear for him to have a shot at beating 2012 Russian Olympian Beterbiev, who is coming off of a career-best 10th round knockout win over WBC 175-lb champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk last October in Philadelphia.

A lot of boxing fans picked Gvozdyk to beat Beterbiev, but he proved to be no match for him with his power and body punching.

Image: Jean Pascal is Artur Beterbiev's WBC mandatory at 175

You can’t rule out another upset win fr Pascal, as he keeps proving people wrong. Fans thought Pascal would lose to Badou, Browne, Ahmed Elbiali, Yunieski Gonzalez, and Chad Dawson, but he beat them and looked great.

Where Pascal has struggled is when fighting the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Carl Froch, Eleider Alvarez, and Dmitry Bivol. Those fighters had a little bit too much for Pascal.

Artur Beterbiev defends against Meng

Beterbiev has to get Meng out of the way for him to get to Pascal. However, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The 2012 Olympian Meng hasn’t been tested at the pro level as of yet.

He beat Adam Deines by a 12 round unanimous decision last year in June in an International Boxing Federation 175-pound title eliminator. In Meng’s previous fight, he defeated Gilberto Rubio (9-8) by a 2nd round knockout in October of last year.

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Meng’s opposition has been on the weak side since he turned pro, which makes it difficult to know whether he’s a good fighter or not. What we do know is Meng can’t punch, and he’s going to have a lot of problems trying to deal with the power that Beteribiev has going for him.

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