Chad Dawson lost his undefeated record tonight, victim of an upset from Jean Pascal on the road in Montreal. Pascal outpointed Dawson on a technical decision after 11 rounds, when an accidental headbutt ripped open Dawson's eyelid. Official scores were 106-103 (twice) and 108-101, all for Pascal, who fought the best fight of his career. Bad Left Hook had it 107-103 for Pascal.
Pascal (26-1, 16 KO) used some effective charges, huge bursts of energy, and was helped by a shaky early performance from Dawson (29-1, 17 KO), who seemed to come into the fight very tight. It was Pascal's constant energy that looked better and won rounds, against Dawson's tentative nature and lack of output.
But Dawson, who was hurt himself during the bout, had Pascal reeling before the heads came together. We'll always wonder if Dawson, who was finally unleashing punches in bunches, might not have stopped Pascal and given us a stunning finish that could've lifted this from being a very good to a great fight.
After the bout, Pascal said he'd fight whoever, including Lucian Bute, and Dawson said he has a rematch clause, and that he'll exercise it. I can't wait for the rematch if that's what's going to come. It's still, in my view, the two best light heavyweights in the world, and they both had their moments. Dawson admitted he was outfoxed, but felt he could have stopped Pascal. He may well be right. I'd actually expect a rematch to be a better fight, given how much they learned about each other tonight.
Pascal is now the Ring Magazine light heavyweight world champion, and also picked up Dawson's IBO trinket to add to his WBC belt with the win. Congratulations to Jean Pascal, who will now be universally regarded as the best light heavyweight in the world, and deservedly so.