Jean Pascal to challenge an unbeaten Cloud

By By Francis Walker BASN Boxing writer
Updated: June 18, 2012

I'm still a contender... I think

I'm still a contender... I think

NEW YORK, NY (BASN)—When Jean Pascal lost the WBC light-heavyweight championship to Bernard Hopkins last year, “The Executioner” became the oldest athlete to win a major title in any sport. Pascal was simply embarrassed by an older, smarter, and more experienced fighter.

Pascal needs to do something significant to erase the distaste of his nasty loss to Hopkins. Which is why Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) has decided to challenge young, undefeated Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) for his IBF 175-pound championship. The world title bout is scheduled to commence on Saturday, August 11, from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. SHOWTIME will televise.

“I have two words to say finally: I’m back,” Pascal said at a Montreal press conference. “It’s been a long, long time but this show is going to be a great night for Quebec. I’d like to thank Yvon Michel, Greg Leon, Don King and Team Cloud for giving me a shot because I know I am a good boxer. He’s the champion and I really respect Cloud because he’s like me. He’s a good guy, a family man and he wants to fight the best.”

Pascal realized his dream of becoming a world champion by besting Adrian Diaconu in June 2009. Pascal was on the verge of becoming one of the most recognizable stars in boxing following his third defense against Chad Dawson in August 2010. Pascal, fighting at home, looked spectacular in winning a technical decision over Dawson following an accidental clash of heads.

In his December 2009 rematch against Adrian Diaconu, Pascal fought that fight with a dislocated shoulder that had to be replaced several times during the fight. Pascal still won a unanimous decision.

In the first bout against Hopkins, Pascal scored two early knockdowns, but allowed “The Executioner” to bully his way into contention to escape with a narrow majority draw. The rematch was one of the most historic performances of Hopkins’ career, as he dominated a much younger, trimmer, and ripped Pascal to become the oldest fighter in sports to win a major title.

In order to erase the memory of last year’s embarrassment, Pascal needs to do something significant. A win against an undefeated world champion like Cloud would be a tremendous.

“The reason why I took this fight is simple,” Pascal said. “It’s because of you guys, the fans. You want to see the best versus the best. I am the former world champion. He is the current world champion but unfortunately for him on Aug. 11, he is going to leave as the former world champion and I am going to be a two-time world champion.”

Pascal added: “This man right here (Cloud) is dangerous. He is hungry but, with all due respect, I don’t think you are going to make your name on me. I know this is a big opportunity for you because I ‘m the door to success and big money.”

Tavoris Cloud has proven to be a very strong and dangerous world champion. Cloud has good power in both hands, but more noticeably is his relentless determination and refusal to lose. Cloud is 5-0 in world title fights dating back to his successful bid against Clinton Woods in August 2009. Cloud, who doesn’t have a big name like a Hopkins, Pascal, or Chad Dawson, hasn’t had the opportunities to fight on TV as frequent and has been inactive.

Cloud’s best performances include a dramatic decision win against Glen Johnson (2010) and a eight-round TKO of Yusaf Mack (2011). A big win against Pascal on a big stage like the Bell Centre in Montreal will open even more opportunities for Cloud to make himself a household name.

“I’m just glad to be here,” Cloud said. “Montreal is a beautiful place. I’m putting in a lot of hard work for this fight and on Aug. 11, I look forward to putting on a great show for you guys. Pascal could think he is the gatekeeper to bigger and better things for me, but I just come in and fight my fight.”

In addition to Pascal vs. Cloud, Canadian knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, (18-1, 15 KOs) of Montreal will be featured as well.

“I would like to thank SHOWTIME and Group Yvon Michel,” Stevenson said. “I don’t have my opponent yet but he’s coming soon hopefully. Now the IBF champion is Carl Froch. It isn’t Lucian Bute anymore but I will be focused. Obviously, Aug. 11 is very important to me. I’d like to be the No. 1 (mandatory challenger for the IBF title) but no one wants to fight me. It’s always some reason. No money, no this, no that. I know that’s [untrue] but now I’ll just stay focused on the fight ahead of me.

Stevenson, trained by Emmanuel Steward, is currently in training camp with world heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, who is preparing for a rematch with No. 1-ranked Tony Thompson on July 7, in Europe.

Adamek decisions Chambers, eyes September return

In a match-up between two former world heavyweight championship challengers, Tomasz Adamek took one step closer toward earning another title shot.

Fighting front of a packed house at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, Adamek (46-2, 28 KOs) bested “Fast” Eddie Chambers (36-3, 18 KOs) through twelve rounds, via unanimous decision on Saturday. The bout was part of NBC’s nationally televised Fight Night series. The victory also marked Adamek’s second consecutive since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko last September.

“Eddie was fast and very sneaky,” Adamek said. “I win this fight. Eddie is no puncher. He slaps his hands. I’ll come back in September. It’s time to rest.”

Chambers surprised Adamek with speed and movement, but Adamek was simply the bigger man with the better technical ability. Adamek took advantage of the fact Chambers injured his left arm after landing a punch in the first round. Adamek was easily able to time Chambers’ right hand and sneaky feints by jabbing, throwing right hands, switching directions, and forcing Chambers to constantly fight backwards.

When asked if he felt the effects of Chambers punches, Adamek emphatically said, “NO!” I can fight with anybody. This is my job.”

Chambers was asked whether his left arm injury occurred while he was in training camp. He said, “No. That was just a freak accident. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m brittle. I tried using it thinking maybe it would go back. I threw it. It caught him in an awkward way and I just tore it.”

Chambers, who in March 2010 was KO’d by heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko with less than 10 seconds remaining in the final round, added: “I’m very disappointed, very disgusted with the outcome.”

The judges scores of 116-112 (twice) and 119-109 strongly suggest that Chambers was way over his head against Adamek.

Perhaps a move to cruiserweight should be the next available option for Chambers. At 6′ 2,” Chambers weighed in at 202 pounds for Adamek (225 lbs) which was the lightest of his career.

“I’m extremely confident,” Chambers spoke of his ability. “I was probably 198. On the scale I was 205, but I had something in my pocket.”

Chambers’ trainer, James Ali Bashir believes: “Eddie can compete at either heavyweight or cruiserweight. I’d like to fight Marco Huck. I’d fight for a title or fight somebody that can guarantee me a title shot.”

Bryant Jennings rolling on

Undefeated Philadelphian, Bryant Jennings (14-0, 6 KOs) won a unanimous 10-round decision against Steve Collins (25-2,18KOs). Jennings has been on a roll in his last three fights – all of which were broadcast on NBC Fight Night. Jennings won a unanimous decision against Maurice Byarm I January. That was followed by a scintillating TKO of stoppage of former WBO heavyweight champion, Sergui Liakhovich in March.

Fighting already for the third time this year on national television, Jennings made the most of his opportunity by fighting an opponent with more knockouts than Jennings has fights. Collins tried to roll through Jennings by being aggressive, but that didn’t work. Jennings had an answer for everything Collins threw at him.

A right uppercut in the fourth round sent Collins crashing hard into the ropes. The referee then issued Collins a standing 8-count. All three judges scored the bout 100-89 for Jennings.

In other bouts on the Adamek-Chambers undercard: Junior middleweight Doel Carrasquillo (16-20-1, 14 KOs) dropped a unanimous decision to Jamaal Davis (14-8-1,,6 KOs) after eight rounds. The scores were 79-73 and 78-74 (twice). Undefeated middleweight prospect Tureano Johnson (9-0, 6 KOs) decisioned a guy named Roberto Yong (5-5-1 4 KOs). Jose Peralta stopped struggling welterweight, Dontre King (6-11-2, 2KOs) in the fourth round. Patrick Farrell (7-1-1, 3 KOs) out-pointed David Williams (6-5-1, 2 KOs). Also, undefeated middleweight John Thompson (8-0, 2 KOs) defeated John Mackey (13-7-3, 6 KOs).