Earlier today, we mentioned that Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola are looking likely for an Aug. 3 FOX card at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and Mike Coppinger now reports that Kownacki-Arreola will be the main event that night, while light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne will face faded former champ Jean Pascal in the co-feature.
This fight has been in the works for months, first brought up in mid-February, and then looking like it would happen June 29 on Showtime. But that fell through, and the hope among some was that maybe Browne would fight Pascal at all, that maybe they’d find someone else for the emerging light heavyweight contender to face.
But nah, it’s gonna be the 36-year-old Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KO), coming off of a wide 12-round loss to Dmitry Bivol last November, who will oppose the 28-year-old Browne (23-0, 16 KO), coming off of a bloody beating of Badou Jack in January.
It’s not a fight that really anybody much likes, at least not that I’ve seen, but it really might not be as bad as all that. If you look at Pascal’s last five years in the ring, he’s gone 5-4. He’s no longer a reliable top 10 guy in my view, especially in a good division like 175 is now, but he’s proven capable of beating Lucian Bute, then-unbeaten Yunieski Gonzalez (though the result was debatable), and then-unbeaten Ahmed Elbiali.
The losses have been higher-profile — two to Sergey Kovalev, where he took a beating both times, and decisions to Eleider Alvarez and Bivol.
The real problem at the core of this matchmaking is that Browne aligned with PBC at 175 is in about the same position that Terence Crawford is aligned with Top Rank is at 147. At welterweight, PBC controls all the top names besides Crawford. At light heavyweight, Top Rank controls most of the top names besides Browne, save for Dmitry Bivol.
So in all reality, Pascal is probably about as good an opponent as there is available for Browne. And BoxRec still have Pascal ranked No. 8 in the world. I don’t have him in the top 10 at 175 — nor do The Ring or TBRB — but for me, at least, he’s not that far out, either. He’s still probably top 15.
I don’t know. It’s a fight that maybe isn’t quite as horrible as some believe, but then again maybe it is. I can see honest arguments either way.
Personally, my major issue with the matchup comes from the fact that style-wise, I just can’t see Pascal at this stage of his career actually beating Browne or really even threatening him, and I can very easily see Browne dishing out a bad beating. Pascal isn’t ancient at 36, I’m not running through the streets screaming for him to retire. But his style was never one meant to age well, and while he can still get the better of lesser opponents or undercooked prospects, his ability to really compete at the top level has pretty clearly passed.