An Inside Look

By Tom Donelson
Updated: January 13, 2008

GlovesIOWA CITY, Ia. — Jean Pascal is a slick Canadian fighter who has speed and agility. His speed allows him to break many of the rules of boxing; moving backward straight and keeping his hands down.

Against Omar Pittman, he gave the Philadelphia journeyman a boxing lesson. In the second round, a quick left hook sent Pittman down and for the next four and half rounds; Pittman seemed afraid of Pascal speed and superior boxing skills. That is until the seventh round when Pittman landed a perfectly timed left hook that sent Pascal reeling.

From there, it became a competitive fight as Pittman moved forward and tried once more to find lightening in the bottle. Pascal took the final stanza but after the fight, Pascal knew that he failed to impress; especially in lieu of a big money fight with Edison Miranda.

As for Miranda, he challenged former Contender fighter David Banks. Banks began his career as a self managed fighter before his stint in the Contender series and training under Buddy McGirt.

On paper, it was a battle between one of the best Middleweights in the world versus a potential prospect. In this fight, experience and skills easily overcame potential.

Banks moved and jabbed through the first two rounds and the fight appeared competitive but this was an illusion. Miranda kept moving closer and closer as he started to cut off the ring.

In the third round, Banks made one mistake as he kept his left low. This opening allowed Miranda to shoot a right over the Banks’ left and boom- Banks was out. After the fight, both Pascal and Miranda did the usual trash talking to set up their next bout.

Miranda has already fought the best in his division, losing a close bout to Arthur Abraham and getting knocked out by the present world champion, Kelly Pavlik.

Miranda’s victory hit parade includes Allan Green and former champion Howard Eastman. Certainly, Miranda has fought the better quality fighter. Pascal’s biggest win was over the tall and lanky Kingley Ikeke.

Fights are often determine by style and motivation. Pascal eased in the second half of the fight when it appeared that he had the fight in hand. It nearly cost him and against a better opponent, it would have.

Pascal does not have Miranda’s power and like Banks, can’t afford to make a mistake. As other boxer-punchers have found out, Miranda power and style often overwhelms opponents.

Rarely does Miranda lose a slugging match and unless a boxer can force Miranda to respect his power and occasionally force him back, Miranda usually gets his man.

Pavlik showed that a boxer who forces Miranda to fight moving back can win. Pascal may not be able to do that in his future confrontation with Miranda.

The upcoming bout between Pascal and Miranda is one of those fights to determine the pecking order in championship challenges. With Calzaghe looking for a big money fight with Hopkins, the WBA and the WBC are safely in his hands for the time being. (Of course, Calzaghe’s goal is to end his career as the light heavyweight champion, so maybe these titles will be available soon.)

Calzaghe is the world recognized best in the Super Middleweight and Kessler the second best. Lucian Bute is the IBF champion and he will be fighting the elderly William Joppy at the end of February So for Miranda and Pascal, the winner of their bout will put themselves in contention for a title shot at one of the titles latter this year.