Veteran light heavyweights Jean Pascal and Badou Jack put on a hell of a show tonight in Atlanta, both men coming off the canvas and going the 12-round distance, with a controversial split decision leaning Pascal’s way in the end.
Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KO) won on scores of 114-112 in his favor twice, and one going Jack’s way, 114-112. It’s a terribly tough pill to swallow for Jack (22-3-3, 13 KO), who dropped Pascal in the 12th round and won the fight on both of BLH’s cards, 114-112 two times.
Pascal, 37, opened up an early lead on our cards, but the 36-year-old Jack came on really strong in the middle rounds and had a nice second half in the fight. Jack went down in the fourth round, late enough in the frame that Pascal couldn’t capitalize, though he tried with barely two seconds remaining when the fight restarted.
After Jack took over on the strength of his jab, he was able to drop Pascal in the 12th. He had time to finish, but the always-durable Pascal just wouldn’t go down a second time, fighting his heart out until the final bell.
“I won this fight. It was a close fight,” Pascal said after. “Badou’s a great fighter, but nobody can say it was a robbery. It was a close fight, it was a split decision. But I definitely won that fight because I’m the champ.”
Pascal stressed that he felt he definitely deserved the win.
“I think I was in control the whole fight,” he added. “I kept control of the middle of the ring most of the time. Badou Jack is a great fighter, but I won the fight.”
Jack, as you would expect, was a bit despondent, but he didn’t rant or rave.
“I don’t know, I felt I won the fight,” the Swedish fighter said. “But this is my brother, Pascal, he’s got a great chin. Maybe he was the better man tonight. I don’t know. I thought I was winning, but maybe I’m wrong. I would love a rematch.”
Asked if he’d do a rematch, Pascal told Jim Gray, “Any time.”