MONTREAL, Thursday, December 4th, 2014 – Jean Pascal did not get into a war of words with his opponent at Thursday’s press conference in Montreal, two days ahead of his bout against Roberto Bolonti. The 32-year-old Laval resident chose instead to praise the 35-year-old boxer from Argentina, whom he will fight Saturday at the Bell Centre, during a gala presented by InterBox that will feature eight bouts – including one to be shown on a giant screen.
Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO) said that Bolonti (35-3-0, 24 KO) will represent a greater challenge than Donovan George, the opponent he was initially set to face. Bolonti was available because he was supposed to fight Lucian Bute, who had to bow out because of a back injury.«Bolonti has been training for three months, he’s well prepared, contrary to Donovan George, who suffered a slight hand injury in his last fight, and might not have been able to do 10 rounds,» said Pascal.
According to Pascal, Bolonti’s 35 wins, along with his 12-round performance against WBA world champion Juergen Braehmer in a loss by unanimous decision, on June 7, are proof that the veteran boxer from Argentina «has stamina» and «is coming here to go the distance».
Pascal has a reputation for trashtalking, but he chose a laidback approach for Thursday’s press conference held at the Bell Centre La Cage aux Sports restaurant. «Everything in its time,» said Pascal when asked about it in a media scrum. «People think I’m unpredictable, but my strategies all well-planned with my sports psychologist. There hasn’t been any battle of wills for this fight, so there’s no point in trying to intimidate my opponent. We have another plan for him.»
Pascal remained respectful towards Bolonti, Thursday, although he knows the boxer from Argentina thinks he will have an easier time against him than it would have been the case against Bute.
«I know many people from Montreal follow (Bute) and that when he fights, the arena is full, so I was quite disappointed when he got injured, » said Bolonti. «But it’s always easier to fight a right-handed boxer (like Pascal) than it is a left-hander (like Bute). The strategy will change, but it’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the fight.»
«I know he’ll be ready. He’s here to try and surprise everyone, and a win would allow him to be noticed at the international level,» Pascal noted. «We’re in for a good fight at the Bell Centre on Saturday night.»
Pascal vowed not to let himself get distraced by the fact that an agreement has already been reached for him to fight Sergey Kovalev in his next bout, if he wins Saturday. «All I’m thinking about is this fight,» he said. «I know Bolonti is the ideal opponent for me to prepare for the next bout, whoever it will be, against any right-hander.»
HYPPOLITE VS NEMESAPATI In one of the other notable fights scheduled Saturday, Schiller Hyppolite (13-1-0, 9 KO), whose promoter is Montreal-based Eye of the Tiger Management, will face 19-year-old Hungarian Norbert Nemesapati (15-1-0, 14 KO). The vacant light heavyweight WBC International Silver belt will be at play in the bout set for 12 rounds. «The important thing is to win, but to come up with a good win,» said Hyppolite. «The keys will be to move around well in the ring, to evaluate my distances and to establish my jab. Once that’s done, the rest will come.»
ULYSSE VS JANIK Montrealer Junior Ulysse (4-0-0, 3 KO), who has shown great promise and a flair for the spectacular since his pro debut with InterBox, will try to continue in the same vein against Poland’s Lukasz Janik (12-7-1, 6 KO). «The key will be to use my speed well, and also my foot work. And to stay myself,» he said. «Being yourself helps you bring out your qualities, and that’s when you can start using your creativity.»
DINU VS VIEIRA Bogdan Dinu (11-0-0, 7 KO), whose coach is Stéphan Larouche of InterBox, will be facing France’s Mickael Vieira (14-4-0, 7 KO) in a 8-rounder between heavyweights. «I want to give a great show,» said the 28-year-old Romanian, who now lives in Montreal. «I have a strong opponent but it doesn’t matter, I need to apply everything I’ve learned with Stéphan.»
THE OTHER FIGHTS California-based Joel Diaz Jr (17-0-0, 13 KO), a Jean Pascal protégé, will be introduced to Montreal fight fans when he faces Mexico’s Pedro Navarrete (28-19-3, 17 KO). «He has a lot of talent, he can hit hard with both hands, and I’m looking forward to introduce him to local boxing fans,» said Pascal of Diaz. «I’m sure they will fall in love with him. I can tell you that he’s going to be a world champ some day. So keep your eye out for him.»
Steven Butler (8-0-0, 7 KO), whose promoter is Eye of the Tiger Management, will fight France’s Lyes Chaibi (12-7-2, 2 KO) and will try to remain undefeated in nine bouts, all coming this year.
David Théroux (4-0-0, 3 KO) of Sorel-Tracy, who signed a contract with InterBox earlier this week, will go against Poland’s Maurycy Gojko (22-44-3, 8 KO) in his first ever bout at Bell Centre.
The fight between David Lemieux (32-2-0, 30 KO) and American Gabriel Rosado (21-80, 13 KO), to take place Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, will be shown on the giant screen at Bell Centre.
TICKETS ON SALE Tickets for the December 6th boxing gala are available at www.evenko.ca; by phone at 1-855-310-2525 or at the Club de Boxe Champion 514-376-0980.