Jean Pascal retained the WBC light heavyweight title with a decision win over rival Adrian Diaconu tonight at Montreal's Bell Centre.
The judges' scorecards were 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111, but it appears most observers had the fight closer than that, or at least indicate that the fight was more competitive than the wide scores may indicate. Pascal (25-1, 16 KO) won the title from Diaconu this past June in the same building.
Diaconu (26-2, 15 KO) may have been helped by what we hear was a clear shoulder injury to Pascal, who won the fight essentially using his left hand only.
Here's the AP take:
After fighting to a draw through four rounds, Pascal appeared to lock his right shoulder and aggravate an injury that has plagued him recently. The shoulder seemed to lock up again toward the end of the 10th round, and Pascal even appeared to ask referee Michael Griffin for time before he was saved by the bell.
In his corner between the 10th and 11th rounds, Pascal's trainer worked on the shoulder and it appeared to pop into place. He finished the 11th with another vicious combination, and his flashy style stood in contrast to the jabbing, plodding offense of Diaconu.
Keep in mind the AP doesn't editorialize much, of course.
Bad Left Hook commenter Varry Galk contributed this quick take:
I had it 115-113 but the judges scored it 118-110, 117-111, 117-111. Pascal was clearly bothered by a right shoulder injury but Diaconu still couldn’t avoid Pascal’s all-left jab-jab-hook combinations.
The biggest news out of this fight is that this now makes a fight between Pascal and Chad Dawson a mandatory situation with the WBC, who ordered the winner of this bout to face Dawson at their ridiculous meetings in South Korea.
What's funniest about that is Dawson's goofy history with the WBC. A quick timeline:
- Dawson beats Tomasz Adamek for the WBC light heavyweight title
- Diaconu is installed as mandatory challenger; Dawson-Diaconu never does come off thanks to injury to Diaconu, but Dawson defends the WBC title three times (Jesus Ruiz, Epi Mendoza, Glen Johnson)
- Dawson gives up the WBC title to fight Antonio Tarver for the IBF belt, but really, he gave it up to fight Tarver for more money, recognizing that the belts mean nothing
- Dawson defends the IBF belt against Tarver successfully, then stages a rematch with Johnson
- Dawson-Johnson II has the interim WBC title on the line; why they needed an interim titlist when Jean Pascal was busy, fighting their top contenders, and totally healthy is anyone's guess
- And here we are with Dawson-Pascal being ordered
If Dawson can get a bigger money fight, say against Bernard Hopkins, do you want to guess what he'll do with the WBC's interim title? And why doesn't Dawson need to publicly apologize to the WBC, as they want Shane Mosley to do before they'll allow him to fight for Andre Berto's WBC welterweight strap in January?
Seriously, five-year-olds can poke holes in the nonsense these people put out there.