There’s an old saying in politics that you shouldn’t let your opponents define you.
“Done”, “tired” and recently “worn out”, Jean Pascal has heard all the objections of his detractors in recent years, but he didn’t think they could apply to him.
A few years ago promoters firmly believed that the former light heavyweight champion was at the end of his rope and that he would serve as cannon fodder for their protégé.
And yet … Pascal continues to thwart the plans of almost everyone, he who beat first contender for the IBF title Fanlong Meng Friday night in Plant City, Florida. Like Ahmed Elbiali, Marcus Browne and others before him, Meng experienced his first setback in the career.
“The worst mistake I’ve ever made was to listen to what everyone was saying about me,” Pascal said in a phone interview with RDS.ca. I know what I value. In sports or life in general, I don’t let other people’s opinions become reality.
“It’s like the story of my life. People always underestimate me so much. At school I wasn’t the most mathematics or the smartest, but I always work hard. One day, despite everything, I was able to represent my school in a budding geniuses. No one expected it. Everyone thought I was good at sports … “
However, compared to his previous “comebacks”, the now 39-year-old pugilist has started a little further. First, he didn’t fight in nearly two and a half years – his longest career. And most of all, he’s coming back from a big personal setback due to his positive doping test that came just weeks before his superbly scheduled rematch against Badou Jack on June 6, 2021.
Pascal believes he overcame these hurdles for two main reasons: his love of the sport, but also a new coach who pushed him to surpass himself.
“I believe that as human beings, we can always learn. In fact, the only time we stop learning is when we are dead, he explains. I have always been an avid boxing student. My goal is always to learn and grow. But I always work towards the goal of winning a gold medal. Not silver or copper.
” [Mon entraîneur Orlando Cuellar] has worked with Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver in the past and is therefore used to working with relatively older boxers. His track record is very good and with my experience, we have managed to combined all our strengths. »
Canada’s best of all time?
In the past, Pascal often referred to boxing as “75 percent mental and 25 percent physical.” He jokingly says now that he has revised the ratio and it is 9-10.
To support his statements, the former holder of the WBC and WBA belts said he showed up in the arena knowing full well that he had the power over his Chinese opponent.
“I’ve always been good against left-handers, but above all I knew that I had to face the best of them during my career,” Pascal admitted. For her part, Meng has never faced a boxer like me. I had no choice but to take him to uncharted territory.
“I showed him that there are different levels in boxing. As the rounds progressed, I became more in control. Although the beginning of the rivalry was not perfect, I did not feel even the slightest bit of concern, because I had already experienced it all. There, you did! »
And now? It’s hard to predict what will happen next, because the proverbial options are almost all on the table. A boxer like him will never have a hard time finding fights, but will he really be able to compete with the best in the division?
“My goal is to finish my career well, on a positive note,” Pascal concludes. I leave that in the hands of my manager Greg Leon … if a boxer like Floyd [Mayweather fils] performed for a very long time, it was because he wanted to be recognized as the best.
“That’s also what I want. I want to be considered the best of all time in Canada. TBE. The best ever. [Adrian] Deacon, [Lucian] Bute … I’m the biggest poster. »
Is it possible for an ultimate title fight to be a game-changer? However, Pascal had to decide to leave it to others to measure the value of his inheritance.
Pascal brought a surprise and won by unanimous decision