Jean Pascal: “Bute claims that he’s the best in my country and my city, but he never beat anybody!”

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) – Last week’s 147th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with former WBC light heavyweight champion of the world Jean Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) who is planning a December return to the ring. Pascal shared his views on a number of topics including Chad Dawson’s bizarre victory against Bernard Hopkins, the upcoming third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, Lucian Bute, Floyd Mayweather Junior’s somewhat controversial knockout win against Victor Ortiz, Carl Froch, Tavoris Cloud, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview:

JENNA J: I think it’s time for our first guest of this week’s show. He’s a man that has fought both Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson. We’re joined by a returning guest making his sixth appearance to On the Ropes Boxing Radio, we’re joined once again by former light heavyweight champion of the world Jean Pascal. How’s everything going today, Jean?

JEAN PASCAL: I’m doing good, and you?

JENNA: I’m doing very well. So the talk of boxing right now is about a former opponent of yours. Bernard Hopkins made his return to the ring and the fight did not quite go his way. He got pushed down by Chad Dawson in the second round. The fight was called off. He was on the wrong side of a TKO2 loss. What were your thoughts looking at it?

PASCAL: It’s really hard to tell. I think we have no choice but to give Bernard the benefit of the doubt, because Bernard is 46 and at that age the bones are more fragile. So we have to give the benefit of the doubt to Bernard.

JENNA: Okay now Jean, when you looked at the first two rounds who do you think the fight was leaning towards?

PASCAL: Seriously I think Chad was winning the fight, but we all know that Bernard starts to get active after the fifth round. For sure Chad Dawson was winning the fight at that point, but we all know Bernard is more active after the fifth round.

JENNA: Alright now Jean you mentioned that Bernard should get the benefit of the doubt, but after the fight Chad Dawson was screaming in the ring calling him “a p*ssy” and calling him all sorts of obscenities, and saying that he was looking for a way out of the bout. Do you see any way that that could be true?

PASCAL: It might be true also, but like I said one more time we have to give Bernard the benefit of the doubt. You know that was a definite foul. He made a foul, and you know that was a real foul. He pushed him on purpose. He tried to grab him by the legs, and that’s not the first time that Dawson did that. He tried the same thing with me during my fight at round eight!

JENNA: Chad actually mentioned your name in the post fight interview. He said, “I’d like to fight Jean Pascal next, I don’t want to give Bernard Hopkins a rematch”. What were you thinking when you heard that?

PASCAL: I was glad because he wants to avenge his defeat, his loss. Me, I’ll be ready anytime for Chad but I don’t think that’s a good idea for Chad. You know the only defeat on his record is with me, and if he fights me again he’s going to see a “2” and that “2” is going to be me again.

JENNA: Alright well there are rumors that you will be returning to the ring on December 10. Now there has been some question about whether Chad can actually sneak in a fight before Bernard has his appeal. The earliest date that the appeal commission said they will review the fight is December 13. You’re rumored fight is December 10. Would you fight Chad Dawson if he was willing to fight you on that date?

PASCAL: No, I don’t think so because I won’t be prepared for him. If I fight Chad Dawson again it will be probably next year.

JENNA: Alright so what kind of opponent are you looking at for that fight date?

PASCAL: I’m looking to a good opponent, because I think Chad Dawson is still one of the best. So to get ready for that kind of challenge you have to be well prepared and you have to know that way, way in advance. But I’m still looking for a good guy on December 10. You know we’re talking about possibly fighting Chris Henry or Zsolt Erdei. You know me. I’ll fight anyone, anytime, anywhere, but to fight Chad Dawson that’s a serious fight, so I need to know that way, way in advance.

JENNA: Alright well Jean you’re very active with technology, I see you on Twitter all the time. There is another guy on Twitter that’s been calling you out and saying you’re avoiding him. That’s Tavoris Cloud. Is there any truth to that rumor that you don’t want to get into the ring with him?

PASCAL: Avoiding who? Who?

JENNA: (laughs) Tavoris Cloud!

PASCAL: Who? Tavoris who? (laughs) Come on guys! Me? Ducking someone? You know better than that. He knows better than that. His promoter is blocking the fight because his promoter knows that he’s going to lose. So that’s why his promoter wants options on me, and even when we gave options on me he still said no! We gave him half the money at HBO, half the money at the gate, and we get one option on me and Don’s still blocking the fight! It’s like, come on guys!

JENNA: So Jean, you feel that even though he’s the champion, because you’re the draw he shouldn’t be asking for options on you?

PASCAL: Exactly, and even though I’m the draw I’m giving him half of my gate! That’s my money! That’s my gate! And I was willing to give him half of the money. You know so they were asking way too much. I’m sure that Tavoris Cloud wants to fight me, but he needs to change his promoter.

JENNA: Now you say he has to change his promoter. If there was anything you could say to Tavoris Cloud right now, what would you say to him?

PASCAL: Tavoris Cloud, if you want the fight to happen you need to change the promoter, because Don King is blocking you from making a name, he’s blocking you from money, and he’s blocking you from a good fight!

JENNA: Okay! Well Jean, we’re also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff Ciani.

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Jean. It’s a pleasure to have you back on the show.

PASCAL: Thanks.

CIANI: Going back to the Hopkins-Dawson fight, when this fight was first announced what was your instinct in terms of who you thought would win?

PASCAL: Seriously, like Dawson has every tool to beat Hopkins. He’s tall, he’s fast, he’s got a long reach, he’s technical, he has a good technique, he has every tool to beat Hopkins, but the thing is with Hopkins he’s a well polished experienced fighter. He knows all the tricks and all the dirty tricks in the game, so to beat Hopkins you have to be patient and you have to be really, really smart. You know the only question mark that I had with Dawson was— is he smart enough to beat Hopkins? But he has all the tools to beat Bernard Hopkins.

CIANI: Now he appeared to be beating Bernard early, but as you mentioned Bernard is a crafty fighter who knows all the tricks. It looked to me like Bernard was trying to measure Chad and time him for that lead right hand. In your estimation, having been in the ring with both guys, what do you think they were each trying to do strategically in those opening rounds?

PASCAL: Well it’s really simple. Chad was trying to keep Bernard at long distance, and Bernard was trying to do exactly what I did in my first fight with Chad. He was moving around and then trying to sneak his right hand in on Chad. So I know that Bernard for sure studied my tape against Dawson and he was trying to do the same thing, but it’s only me who can do that kind of thing with Chad Dawson!

CIANI: You beat Chad Dawson. You did not beat Bernard Hopkins. So in that sense were you hoping that Bernard would win this fight because you’d rather avenge a loss than fight a guy you already beat?

PASCAL: Not really, because that was a tricky situation for me. Bernard beat me, I beat Chad, but I know for a fact that if Bernard would have beaten Chad Dawson, it would have been really, really difficult for me to get a third fight with Bernard. But if Chad would have beaten Bernard, it would be easy for me to get my title shot with Chad Dawson.

CIANI: Do you also think that if you get the title shot with Chad Dawson it might ironically help pave the way to a third fight with Bernard?

PASCAL: I hope so, because right now Chad Dawson is a paper champ. He’s a champion by accident. I hope that Chad is not saying that he beat Bernard, because he didn’t beat Bernard! If you need to tackle a 46 year old man to win a fight then that’s really, really sad!

CIANI: Changing things up here a little bit, boxing fans were kind of disappointed by the way the whole Hopkins-Dawson fight ended because it was inconclusive. But another fight that upset boxing was the fight between Floyd Mayweather Junior and Victor Ortiz, where the way that fight ended a lot of fans perceived what Floyd did as dirty tactics or a sucker punch. I’m just curious if we could get your views on the fight that Floyd had and the way that that one ended?

PASCAL: I do understand when people said that it was a cheap shot and everything but, in boxing, boxing is not a game. You’re going to war. You need to be a soldier and a warrior to get in the ring, and the first rule of boxing is to protect yourself at all times. So he didn’t protect himself at all times, and he knows he’s fighting Floyd and we know that Floyd is doing that all the time! He did the same thing against Mosley. So if you get prepared to fight Floyd you know you have to be prepared for everything, and he touched his glove before Floyd landed a punch. So that’s why to me it wasn’t really a cheap shot, because he touched the glove before Floyd landed the punch.

CIANI: Now a lot of the same fans that are calling what Floyd did a cheap shot or whatever in that regard, these are the same type of people who tune in to Floyd hoping to see him lose, which is something we’ve never seen happen yet. From your perspective as a fighter, if you were the same size as Floyd what do you think the key to beating him is?

PASCAL: Honestly it’s really hard to tell, because right now there is no blueprint to beat Floyd. So it’s really hard to tell, but one thing I wanted to mention is you see how people jump on Floyd and say it was a cheap shot. But nobody talks about what Victor did, because everything started because of Victor! Victor headed Floyd really clearly. That wasn’t a mistake or anything like that. He was trying to do that to win a fight or whatever, but that’s not correct. Then people started talking about what Floyd did. What about what Victor did to Floyd?

JENNA: A former opponent of yours is getting back into the ring on December 17. That would be Carl Froch. He’s always maintained that he would give you a rematch given the fact you went over to his country to fight him for the title. He said after the Super Six he would be interested in that fight. Would you still have that interest?

PASCAL: Of course I still have an interest to fight Carl Froch. I know that we have a handshake deal, but I know for a fact also that it will be way easier for me to get a shot at Carl if I’m a world champion.

JENNA: Now if you had your choice of opponents or fighters that would come up from 168 to fight you, would it be your countryman Lucian Bute or would it be Carl Froch?

PASCAL: Honestly I would love to fight both guys because I want to fight the best! Bute claims that he’s the best in my country and my city, but he never beat anybody! So how could you claim that you’re the best if you never faced anyone to earn it? So of course I would love to fight Lucian Bute, but also I would to avenge my loss against Carl Froch.

JENNA: Okay well I just have a couple of more questions before we let you off the line. My Co-Host mentioned Mayweather before, and you know the talk of boxing. They always say Mayweather-Pacquiao, is it going to happen. But Pacquiao’s got some business ahead of him. November 12 he faces off in a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. I’m just curious, do you see like many people in boxing that Marquez is just too small for Pacquiao at this point?

PASCAL: Yeah, I think that at this point Pacquiao is too big and too strong for Marquez, so I have no choice but to go all the way with Pacquiao this time.

JENNA: Now this question here revolves around your next fight. You said before that you gained a lot of experience fighting Bernard Hopkins two times. How do you think he’s improved you as a fighter that you could take something new into the ring when you next get in there?

PASCAL: I know for a fact that Bernard took some of my tricks and I see it in his boxing skills, but I did the same too. Now I’m going to be able to be more relaxed in the ring because the 24 rounds I did with Bernard taught me a lot and brought me a lot of experience. I’m telling you, next time you’re going to see me in the ring you’re going to see a whole different Jean Pascal!

JENNA: Alright well Jean, I have one final question. You have a lot of fans and supporters who follow you on Twitter. Is there anything that you want to say to them?

PASCAL: Yes, I just want to say thank you for supporting me. I love you! I’m training really, really hard to be back on top, and I will be champion again!

JENNA: Well Jean, it was a pleasure as always having you on the show. I wish you the best of luck in your December 10 bout.

PASCAL: Thank you very much guys.

CIANI: Thanks Jean, best of luck.

PASCAL: Thank you. Bye.

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For those interested in listening to the Jean Pascal interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twelve minutes into the program.

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