Jean Pascal: ďStop crying like a baby Bernard, youíre 45 years old!Ē
by Geoffrey Ciani - This weekís 105th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with WBC light heavyweight champion of the world Jean Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs), who is coming off a somewhat controversial draw against Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs). Boxing fans are already eager to see a Pascal-Hopkins rematch early next year. Pascal, however, is contractually obligated to have a rematch against Chad Dawson (whom he beat back in August). Pascal spoke about his most recent fight, discussed future rematches with Hopkins and Dawson, shared opinions on the Super Six, and more! Here is a complete transcript of that interview:
JENNA J: Itís actually time for our first guest on this weekís episode. He is still the reigning light heavyweight champion of the world after a tough fight this past weekend. We are joined by Jean Pascal. Howís everything going tonight, Jean?
JEAN PASCAL: Things are going good for me. Thank you, and you?
JENNA: Itís going great. Weíre happy to be talking to you. Letís discuss your fight a little bit. You fought Bernard Hopkins, the ageless warrior, the legend. It was a close fight. It was ruled a draw. What did you think about the bout?
PASCAL: Actually it was a close fight, but I really think that I did enough to win this fight. I was home and Iím the champion, so every close round you have to give it to the champion. I think that even though that was a close fight that I did enough to win, but the judges saw something else. It doesnít matter to me. Iím ready to face Bernard Hopkins one more time to prove Iím the best.
JENNA: Alright now before we talk about a potential rematch letís talk about the bout itself. Early in the first round, it seemed like it was a pretty even contest and at the end of the round you hit him with a borderline shot and knocked him down. What were you thinking then?
PASCAL: The shot was on his ear. Iím not a dirty fighter. Bernard claimed that I was dirty. Heís the one whoís dirty and everybody knows that. Iím not a dirty fighter. Iím a clean fighter and I will always fight clean because I like to win fairly. Like I said, that was a clean shot on his ear and heís just trying to complain. Every time Bernard is unhappy. Heís trying to say, ďI got robbed! I got robbed!Ē Listen man, youíre 45 years old. Man up! Except that and try to come back stronger. Stop complaining. Stop crying like a baby Bernard, youíre 45 years old!
JENNA: Bernard was boxing a little bit better in the third round and you caught him with a clean shot. There was no doubt about that knockdown. What were you thinking when he went down for a second time?
PASCAL: I was saying to myself, ďEverything is going good for me, but I have to stay focused because Bernard is a tough customer and heís been there and done thatĒ. So even though I dropped him twice, I knew it would still be a tough fight for me.
JENNA: Okay, now it was a tough fight after that round. From the fourth round until the twelfth round Bernard was boxing very well. What were you thinking about the way he was coming back?
PASCAL: Bernard made some good adjustments and thatís where we saw his experience. Bernard has 27 world championship bouts. That was my sixth one, so Iím a young fighter. I learned from that fight and Iím going to come back stronger. Like I said, Bernard, stop complaining that you won the fight. It was a close fight. The judges decided it was a draw. Letís make it happen again. Thatís it!
JENNA: Being that you knocked Bernard down twice, do you feel youíre the stronger fighter?
PASCAL: Actually Bernard is a strong fighter. Heís physically strong. Heís tall. He has a decent punch, also. So I donít really think I had a big advantage on that because Bernard is a strong fighter himself.
JENNA: Okay now there is a little bit of a debate over who you will be fighting next. You have a rematch clause that you have to honor with Chad Dawson and there has also been huge demand from everyone for you to fight a rematch with Bernard Hopkins. Who do you think youíll be fighting next?
PASCAL: Of course Iíd rather fight Bernard Hopkins because with Bernard it was a close fight and against Chad Dawson it wasnít close at all. So of course I would rather fight Bernard Hopkins, but donít worry Chad! Iím not scared of you. Iím not trying to run away. Iím going to respect the clause. You want to do your rematch? Letís do it, and after that Iím going to take out Bernard Hopkins.
JENNA: Now there was a lot made of the judging for the bout with one of the judges having the tenth round scored even. Do you think being that you fought the last one in Canada that you should fight a rematch with Bernard in the United States?
PASCAL: Listen! Iím a soldier. Iím a warrior and I will fight anywhere in the world, any time, against anyone, and if Bernard can fill up 16,000-17,000 people in an arena, letís do it in the States. I have no problem with that.
JENNA: Alright! Well Jean, weíre also joined by my co-host Geoff.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Jean! Itís a pleasure to have you back on the show and I enjoyed watching your fight this weekend.
PASCAL: Thank you very much.
CIANI: Jean I wanted to ask you first, what about Bernard Hopkins surprised you most during the fight?
PASCAL: It was the way he made his adjustments. Heís a clever fighter. It helps that he has a lot of experience. He has a lot of tricks and itís the way he made his adjustments against me. It was great, but like I said, I learned from that and I wonít do the same mistakes twice. So thatís why I want to fight Bernard again to prove Iím a better boxer than him.
CIANI: Now you mentioned how he was able to make adjustments. One thing I noticed, especially through the first three rounds in the fight, you were having a lot of success landing left hooks, oftentimes lunging left hooks that were finding the mark on Bernard consistently. You seemed to get away from throwing that punch. Was that because you were looking for something else, or was he making adjustments that made it more difficult to find the openings with that shot?
PASCAL: He definitely made adjustment but the thing is after that I was too cautious because of his head. I was worried to get cut, because Bernard used a lot of his head and his forehead, and he does have a strong and hard head. So I was cautious because of his head and thatís why I was a little bit careful to throw my punches really close to him.
CIANI: Were there any points where you tired going down the stretch?
PASCAL: Yes, I was tired because itís a boxing match. Every round Iím going 110% so of course after every round I would be tired. But the thing is I was in shape because after the one-minute break I was ready to get into the next round and I wasnít tired. Thatís why I knew that I was in shape, but to be tired in a fight is normal. Itís part of the game and if youíre not tired after a boxing fight itís because you didnít give it your all.
CIANI: Now what do you think was the one thing during this fight that you did most effectively?
PASCAL: Honestly I didnít watch the fight yet. So I have to sit down, watch it, and see what I did good and what I did bad.
JENNA: Now Jean, you say that you want a rematch with Bernard. What do you think you will do different that you didnít do this time that will allow you to be more successful against him?
PASCAL: The one thing that Iím going to have on my side while I do the rematch is experience, because I gained a lot of experience during that fight. Iím a more natural boxer. Iím going to be more complete, and of course I wonít be the same. Bernard said every time I fought the young lions it would be the same. Of course I wonít be the same because I will be way better.
JENNA: People say Bernard looked the best he has in years. What do you think allows Bernard to be so successful, even at the age of 45 turning 46?
PASCAL: Bernard is a special case. Heís not the average 45 year old man. Heís taken care of his body, of his soul, of his mind, and heís a special athlete. Heís a special human being. There are no three, four, or five Bernard Hopkinsí on this planet. Heís a special guy. Heís a special man. I do respect him a lot as a human being and as a boxer, but I have a job to do and I think I am the best and I want to prove that Iím the best.
JENNA: How disappointed would you be if you were forced to fight Chad Dawson next due to a contract instead of Bernard Hopkins?
PASCAL: I wonít be disappointed because Chad Dawson is going to be another challenge. I think Chadís going to make the wrong move to fight me right away but if that is his teamís view. If he wants to fight me right now I have no problem. After that I will take care of Bernard Hopkins. Or if he wants to step aside and let me fight Bernard and then take the winner, I have no problem with that.
JENNA: You mentioned quite a few times during the interview that you wanted to fight Bernard and youíd do things differently. If you were to predict right now what would happen in a rematch, what would you say would go down?
PASCAL: The only thing that I can predict right now for a rematch is I will win this rematch. I will prove that I belong in the pound-for-pound list and Iím the best light heavyweight in the galaxy.
CIANI: Jean, while we have you on I wanted to get your opinion on some of the stuff going on in the Super Six super middleweight tournament with your former opponent Carl Froch. Heís got a fight coming up in the semifinals of the tournament. He will be taking on Glen Johnson and I was wondering what you thought of that fight?
PASCAL: Thatís going to be a tough fight for Carl because Glen, remember, in his 40s is still good. Heís taken care of his soul, mind, body, and thatís going to be a tough customer for Carl Froch. Thatís going to be a terrific fight, but I think Carl has the every tool needed to beat Glen Johnson.
CIANI: What do you think it is about guys like Glen Johnson and Bernard Hopkins that allows them to perform on such a high level at such an advanced age?
PASCAL: Itís easy. Those guys are special. They are special athletes. They are special human beings and there are not many guys or athletes like them on Earth.
CIANI: Going back to the Super Six for a minute, letís look at the other semifinals match coming up, and that one is between Arthur Abraham and tournament favorite Andre Ward. What are your thoughts on that one?
PASCAL: Thatís going to be an interesting match-up, but I think that Andre Ward is too smart, too fast, too skilled for Arthur Abraham and he should win this one.
CIANI: Going back to your fight with Hopkins, a lot of people thought Hopkins didnít look good in his previous two fights against Roy Jones and Enrique Ornelas. Do you think he was more motivated to look good against a young champion like you?
PASCAL: Of course, because he wanted to have the WBC belt but on top of that, he wanted to make history one more time and that was a great motivation for him. So for sure he was at his best and Bernard loves challenges and I was a big challenge for him.
JENNA: Well Jean, I have just a couple of more questions before we let you go and my co-host was talking about the Super Six and the semifinals match-up, but right now from what youíve seen of all the fighters, who do you think is going to win it?
PASCAL: Like I said, those guys are really good. Itís a tough tournament and anyone has a chance to win this. Iím going to watch every fight because Showtime did a great job with this tournament and the boxers have so far put on a great show.
JENNA: Well everyone wants to see a match-up between Carl ĎThe Cobraí Froch and Andre Ward in the finals. If those two are to meet, who would you favor in that match?
PASCAL: Honestly, that would be really a good fight. Thatís a tough call because Carl Froch is a tough customer. Heís physically strong. Heís a heavy hitter. Heís a smart fighter. Andre Ward is a good guy. Heís a great boxer, fast, clever, and both guys are my friends so itís really hard for me to predict the winner, but one thing is sureóweíre going to have a great boxing match.
JENNA: You mentioned before you want to climb up the pound-for-pound rankings. The top guy right now, Manny ĎPac-Maní Pacquiao is facing ĎSugarí Shane Mosley in May. What do you think about that match-up?
PASCAL: The pound-for-pound guy right now I think is Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather is the real deal. Manny Pacquiao is the second best boxer on earth right now. That will be a good match-up against Shane Mosley, but honestly Iíd rather Pacquiao face Andre Berto. Heís a young fighter and I think that would be a better challenge for Pacquiao.
JENNA: Now looking at 2011, what is your main goal?
PASCAL: My main goal is to get in the pound-for-pound list. I almost did on Saturday night. I missed on my chance, but it wonít happen again. Next time I will take that chance and I will win the fight.
JENNA: Jean, what do you have to say to all the critics who felt you lost this bout with Bernard Hopkins?
PASCAL: Listen all of the critics come from America and you guys love to criticize people. You guys love to say, ďI got robbed! I got robbed!Ē Listen, the American judge had Bernard winning this fight with one or two rounds and the two other judges had it a draw. So I think that was a fair call. The fight could have gone either way. Even though I think that I won the fight, that was a tough call, a tough fight, a close decision, and thatís why we have to make it happen again.
JENNA: Alright! Well Jean, itís been an absolute pleasure talking to you so soon after your bout and we thank you for your time and wish you the best of luck in 2011.
PASCAL: Thank you very much.
CIANI: Thank you Jean. Good luck.
JENNA: Enjoy the holidays.
PASCAL: Happy holidays, too.
For those interested in listening to the Jean Pascal interview in its entirety, it begins approximately nineteen minutes into the program.
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Article posted on 24.12.2010
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