At 40, Jean Pascal saw snow. He knows very well that Michael Eifert, whom he will face on February 9 at Place Bell, can derail his plans to win a third world title. At a glance, this belt seems difficult to achieve for the young German of 24 years.
When we look at these two boxers, the pairing for this fight which will be used to determine the mandatory opponent of the champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Artur Beterbiev, seems to have been botched.
On one side, you have Pascal (36-6-1, 20 K.-O.), double world champion and still ranked fourth contender in the IBF and the World Boxing Organization (WBO). On the other, Eifert, the IBF intercontinental champion ranked sixth with his record of 11-1, 4 KOs, acquired against opponents of a dubious caliber in some cases.
“My last opponents weren’t so bad, took offense at the boxer from Magdeburg through his promoter, Benedikt Pölchau. My sparring opponents are world class and I’ve had a great amateur career. I firmly believe that I am ready to face an opponent like Jean Pascal. »
“That’s exactly the trap, commented Pascal. And that’s the beauty of boxing: you never know what can happen. When you take an opponent lightly and don’t train properly for this type of fight, you can be tricked. »
Pascal even goes so far as to say that he is neglected for this elimination fight.
“Given my age: I am almost twice his age, recalled Pascal. I’ve seen it all in boxing and I’m still hungry. But I’m not going to hide it from you: I’m much less hungry than he is. He has everything to prove himself. I still want to stay at the top of the pyramid. To do that, I have to work hard, and that’s why I’ve been doing it every day since September in Montreal. »
Beterbiev in sight
It is clear that Pascal has decided to submit to a new training camp for a higher objective than that of facing Eifert: Beterbiev and his IBF belt are in sight. But as a fine fox, Pascal will not deflect the conversation. Not right away, anyway.
“Honestly, right now, I’m not thinking about that. My attention is completely on Eifert, he claimed. Without a convincing win over Michael Eifert there will be no sequel, my career will probably be over. I don’t want to think about what will happen next. […] After my victory, this is where I can think about the future. »
Pascal is a good player, certainly, but it is clear that Eifert is only an obstacle to overcome on the way to Beterbiev and a possible third belt for the Lavallois.
He was preparing to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) title against Badou Jack in June 2021 when he was found guilty of doping. Suspended for six months, he was stripped of his title. Dmitry Bivol is the current champion of the sanctioning body. He returned to the ring last May, defeating Fanlong Meng by unanimous decision to move up the rankings.
Pascal was also World Boxing Council (WBC) champion from 2009 to 2011.