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Chad Dawson vs Jean Pascal rematch set for March 23 on HBO

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Promoter Gary Shaw says that Chad Dawson will face Jean Pascal on March 23, 2013, on HBO, in a rematch of their much-debated 2010 fight, which Pascal won by technical decision.

Ezra Shaw

Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal will meet again on March 23, 2013, live on HBO, barring any unforeseen setbacks, according to Gary Shaw, Dawson's promoter.

From David P. Greisman at BoxingScene.com:

"My agreement’s done. The agreement’s done with Pascal. Yvon Michel [Pascal’s promoter] and I have talked. We haven’t formally exchanged the contract. We haven’t formally exchanged the contract with HBO, but at this stage those are strictly formalities," Shaw told BoxingScene.com.

Dawson (31-2, 17 KO) is coming off of a humbling loss on September 8 against Andre Ward, when he went down to 168 pounds for a big fight to try and make a statement, and come up hopelessly empty, stopped in the 10th round when he decided he'd had enough of the punishment for one evening.

But Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) hasn't fought since May 2011, when he lost to Bernard Hopkins convincingly in Montreal, and it's a perfect setup for two fighters who really need one another right now. Dawson's stock took a big hit with the loss to Ward, while Pascal has all but vanished from the sport, attending fights frequently, but bailing on negotiations (or at least rumored negotiations) with several fighters, and a signed bout with Tavoris Cloud.

Pascal will first have to get by Aleksy Kuziemski on December 14, but that shouldn't be a problem. Even rusty and potentially a little out of shape, the 35-year-old Kuziemski should be easy work for Pascal, setting up the rematch of a 2010 fight that Pascal won on technical decision, when the fight was stopped due to a cut. Pascal was reeling a bit and Dawson coming on strong when the bout was cut short in round 11. Many have felt that Dawson would have scored a comeback KO had the fight continued, but that's certainly no guarantee.

Dawson-Pascal II is a fight both would absolutely need to win. A loss for Dawson would pretty much kill his appeal, as he's not particularly exciting to watch, doesn't move tickets, and doesn't have a big personality. Pascal needs it simply because he's been absent for so long that he currently feels like an afterthought even though his only career losses are to Hopkins and Carl Froch (that one at 168 pounds).