Ismayl Sillakh claims that Jean Pascal has backed out of negotiations for a WBC light heavyweight eliminator, probably ending the hope that the fight, which was said to interest both sides just a few weeks ago, will actually happen.
"I thought that the negotiations for the fight were going good," said Square Ring CEO John Wirt, Sillakh's promoter.
"Yvon [Michel, Pascal's promoter] told me that they were going to do it and Showtime was interested. But I got a call on Wednesday from Yvon that Pascal has decided not to fight Sillakh, basically that Sillakh was just too young and too dangerous. That’s the second time that Pascal has pulled out of agreed to elimination bouts.
"Don’t forget that other contenders who had agreed also pulled out when it was a four-contender tournament. Also refusing to fight Sillakh were Zsolt Erdei and Chris Henry. We think we have the greatest light heavyweight on the planet, and they must think so too because they all keep refusing to fight him."
News of the fight being in negotiations was met well by boxing fans, as Sillakh is one of the most talented prospects in the game today, and Pascal is a former lineal light heavyweight champion, no matter how briefly, or how much anyone might think it was a fluke.
But it appears as though Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KO) just isn't that interested in fighting right now. He hasn't been in the ring since last May, when he lost to Bernard Hopkins in Montreal, and has had a few rumored opponents and rumored dates that have just not happened. In the meantime, he's turned into something of a boxing socialist -- he's constantly at big fights, but never actually fighting.
Sillakh (17-0, 14 KO) is just hoping to land a good fight. His last two, both in Russia, have been far too easy, and have only served to keep him in fighting shape.
"I don’t care who they put in front of me," Sillakh said. "I’m starting to feel a little lonely here. I know my promoters asked for a purse bid, but Pascal pulled out rather than face me. I hope the WBC will consider naming me the mandatory because all of the other contenders abandoned their opportunity."
The WBC light heavyweight title is currently held by Bernard Hopkins, who will rematch Chad Dawson on April 28 in Atlantic City, live on HBO.