Boxing

Adrian Diaconu Vs. Jean Pascal In June - Potential Thriller

by James Slater - This coming June 19th in Canada, unbeaten WBC interim light-heavyweight champion Adrian Diaconu meets fellow local man and former WBC super-middleweight title challenger Jean Pascal in a fight that will decide the WBC 175-pound crown for real. A top quality match-up that on paper should give us a great fight, the June clash is also a tough one to pick a winner from.

Romania's Diaconu, a decorated amateur who represented his country as a middleweight in the 2000 Olympic games (he failed to capture a medal), is a dangerous and determined fighter to be sure.. After seeing a potential fight with Chad Dawson - who then held the WBC 175-pound crown - go out of the window due to "Bad" Chad choosing to vacate and fight Antonio Tarver instead, Diaconu was more than ready for his April 2008 fight against Chris Henry. Capturing the WBC interim strap, "The Shark" won a unanimous decision. Now the 30-year-old with the 26-0(15) record aims to win the belt outright against Pascal.

26-year-old Pascal - also a fine amateur, who won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth games - is well known to a number of fans thanks to his superb, albeit losing showing against Carl Froch, in what was a superb fight last December. Taking turns trying to knock chunks out of one another, Pascal and Froch gave fans a fight of the year candidate. Now, against Diaconu, Pascal, 22-1(15) moves up in weight and attempts to become a world champion again.

Both men boxed tune-ups on April 4th in Canada, and both men won with no real trouble - Diaconu on points over 8 rounds, Pascal by 5th round stoppage. However, for Diaconu the UD win was his first action in almost a year, or since the win over Henry, and against David Whittom at 186-pounds the 30-year-old did not look all that special. Pascal, against Pablo Nievas, looked far better; but make of that what you will. Rest assured both guys will be ready to rumble on June 19th.

Diaconu is the natural light-heavyweight, having boxed almost all his pro career there; while Pascal has the experience of going through the hell that he and Froch went through in their war. We now know how tough and full of heart the Haitian-born fighter is. By comparison, and putting all his obvious talent aside, we don't know yet if Diaconu is capable of fighting that hard for that long. Also, though he is the proven light-heavyweight, "The Shark" is the slightly shorter man at 5'9" to Pascal's 5'11."

Both men are pretty much at their peak it's safe to assume, and we could well have another war on our hands next month. How much did the Froch battle take out of Pascal? Is Diaconu going to be affected by the year's inactivity he had? Will this be a fight that ages both men?

It's questions like these that will ensure a big, probably sell-out, crowd next month. For what it's worth, my pick is Pascal on points in a very close one.

Article posted on 15.05.2009



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