There is an old adage in politics, you should never let your opponent define you.
“Done,” “exhausted,” and most recently, “doping,” all the words of his critics that Jean Pascal has heard over the years, but he never considered that they could apply to him.
For years, promoters were convinced that the former light heavyweight champion had come to an end and that he would be a cannon fodder for their protégés.
And yet… Pascal continued to thwart nearly everyone’s plans, beating the first contender for IBF champion Fanlong Meng on Friday night in Plant City, Florida. Like Ahmed Erbil, Marcus Brown and others, Meng suffered the first setback of his career.
“The worst mistake I could possibly make was to listen to what everyone had to say about me,” Pascal said in a phone interview RDS.ca. I know my worth. In sport or in life, I have never let other people’s opinions become my reality.
“That said, this is the story of my life. People always underestimated me very much. I wasn’t the best at school. math Or the smartest, but I’ve been working hard.One day, I did everything possible to represent my school budding talent. No one expected this. Everyone thinks I’m just good at sports…”
However, compared to the previous “return”, the 39-year-old boxer started further. First, he hasn’t played in nearly two-and-a-half years — the longest stretch of his career. What’s more, he is recovering from a severe personal slump due to a positive doping test, just weeks before his lucrative rematch with Badujak on June 6, 2021.
Pascal believes he was able to overcome these obstacles for two main reasons: his love for the sport, and a new coach who pushed him to go above and beyond.
“I believe that as human beings, we always have to learn. In fact, the only time we stop learning is when we die,” he explained. I have always been an avid student of boxing. My goal has always been to learn and improve .. But I always aim to win gold. Not silver or bronze.
” [Mon entraîneur Orlando Cuellar] Having worked with Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver in the past, he is used to working with older boxers. He has a great track record and in my experience we managed to combine all our strengths. »
Canada’s best ever?
In the past, Pascal often referred to boxing as being “75% mind and 25% body.” Jokingly, he said today that he has revised the ratio and it is now 90-10.
Backing up his claims, the former WBC and WBA belt holder said he appeared on the field very well aware that he had the upper hand over his Chinese opponents.
“I’ve always been good at dealing with southpaws, but I especially know I’ve had the best in my career,” Pascal admitted. As far as she is concerned, Meng has never met a boxer like me. I had no choice but to take him into uncharted territory.
“I showed him that there are different levels of boxing. As the bout went on, I became more and more in control. Even if the duel didn’t start perfectly, I didn’t have the slightest worry because I’ve been through it all. I’ve been there! »
Now? It’s hard to predict what’s coming next, as well-known options are pretty much on the table. A boxer like him will never find a fight, but can he really compete with the best in the division?
“My goal is to finish my career with a positive attitude,” Pascal concluded.I give it to my manager Greg Leon…if a boxer like Floyd [Mayweather fils] It took him so long because he wanted to be considered the best.
“That’s what I want as well. I want to be considered the best Canada has ever had. TBE. best ever. [Adrian] Diaconu, [Lucian] But…I’m the biggest poster. »
Could the final title fight be a game-changer? Still, Pascal will have to make up his mind to let others measure the value of his legacy.
Pascal causes surprise and wins by unanimous decision