Former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal will return to the ring on December 10 in Montreal, but won't be facing Tavoris Cloud. Cloud's promoter Don King caused a roadblock in negotiations, according to Pascal's promoter Yvon Michel:
"But I spoke with [HBO's Senior Vice President of Sports] Kery Davis, who had said that he got a call from Don King, who said that he does not want to do a Pascal fight with Tavoris Cloud because I'm not giving him options on Pascal. And I'm not going to give options on Pascal."
King also apparently alleged that he might have Cloud fight on the October 15 HBO pay-per-view headlined by Bernard Hopkins vs Chad Dawson, which is just plain not happening. That show has a full lineup of Golden Boy and Gary Shaw fighters in action and is set in stone, with no room for a Tavoris Cloud fight.
Frankly I think King tried to push a little hard here, from the sound of things. Michel has no reason to give King options on Pascal fights. That's ridiculous. At this point, Michel is a bigger and better promoter than King, who is running low on name fighters under his care, and none of them have fanbases now that Devon Alexander has skipped off to Golden Boy. Pascal has a fanbase in Quebec that turns out for fights. Michel giving Don King options would be one of the stupidest business moves in recent memory.
But Pascal will fight on December 10, and Richard Cloutier says it will be televised on HBO, which may not be true (or may be). Amir Khan faces Lamont Peterson that night on HBO, and earlier we noted that Richard Schaefer is hoping to put Seth Mitchell or Gary Russell Jr on the undercard. I don't know if Khan vs Peterson and Pascal vs TBA is worth a split site for HBO, but Schaefer did say that Montreal would be considered for Khan vs Peterson, so that might work. Montreal is a fight crazy city and would turn out for that one.
One opponent who has been mentioned in the recent past for Pascal would be Zsolt Erdei, promoted by Lou DiBella. The WBC tried to set up a four-man tournament with Pascal facing Erdei, and Chris Henry facing Ismayl Sillakh. The latter fight is happening in Russia on the alleged Lebedev vs Toney card, but Pascal turned down the tournament idea, feeling he didn't need to compete in a tournament to get another title shot sooner than later. He's probably right. If he does face Erdei, I think that's a very interesting style clash and a fight that either man could win.