Dan Rafael: Dan Rafael Boxing

Jean Pascal has plan in place

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
Pascal/ButeEric Bolte/USA TODAY SportsJean Pascal could be headed for a rematch with fellow Montreal star Lucian Bute later this year.

Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who re-signed with promoter Yvon Michel and also brought on co-promoter InterBox in a deal announced Thursday, has a plan in place.

Michel and InterBox’s Jean Bedard will promote at least Pascal’s next two fights in conjunction with Pascal’s new company, Jean Pascal Promotions. Pascal, a major star in Montreal, will return in September to fight in Quebec in the first fight of the agreement.

Top Rank has been contacted to see if Seanie Monaghan is interested in facing Pascal, according to a source with knowledge of the discussion.

If all goes well for Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) in September, the plan is for him to meet fellow Montreal star and former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute in December in a rematch. In perhaps the most anticipated fight in Canadian history -- although one that took place too late because neither fighter was still at his best -- Pascal easily outpointed Bute on Jan. 18, after which Pascal’s contract with Michel expired, leading to his free agency and the new deal signed this week.

Bute had an option for a rematch after the first fight with Pascal. If Pascal wins the proposed rematch with Bute, the plan would be for another huge all-Montreal showdown in the first part of 2015 against reigning light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

Of course, a lot can happen between now and then. Pascal has to win his fights first, although he is not going to be in much harm’s way. Stevenson would also have to beat Andrzej Fonfara on May 24 in Montreal, a fight for which Stevenson is the heavy favorite. Then it could get trickier. He would probably have one more fight before a possible Pascal match.

If Stevenson wins on May 24 and Bernard Hopkins defeats Beibut Shumenov on Saturday to unify alphabet light heavyweight belts, the plan Stevenson, Hopkins and Showtime have talked about is for a fall showdown between Stevenson and Hopkins (who is already 1-0-1 against Pascal in championship fights).

If Stevenson beats Hopkins, he would probably be looking at a fight with Pascal next -- and not the fight most fans would rather see, a showdown with titleholder Sergey Kovalev. That was in the works for the fall before Stevenson jumped from HBO to Showtime last month.

Vazquez, Calderon both return

October, 4, 2012

Former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez was supposed to face former champ Rafael Marquez in his next fight, but Marquez again withdrew because of an injury.

Marquez withdrew from the fight when it was scheduled for Aug. 4 and from the rescheduled clash this weekend. But this time Vazquez isn’t waiting for him and the show will go on.

Vazquez (21-2-1, 18 KOs) will instead face Puerto Rican countryman Jonathan Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder on Saturday night (PPV, 9 ET, $49.99) at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Vazquez's hometown.

“You are facing for the first time a fighter like me, a fighter of my level,” Vazquez told Oquendo at this week’s final news conference. “Oquendo is not a fighter of Marquez’s level, but I’m going to fight him. My job is to train and facing the best fighters and I’m going to win this Saturday to go for another chance for the world title, and after that the 126-pound (featherweight) division.”
[+] EnlargeVazquez vs. Oquendo
Jose Perez/PR Best Boxing Promotions Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico will face countryman Jonathan Oquendo on a PPV card Saturday.

Vazquez has not fought since losing a decision in February for a vacant 122-pound title to pound-for-pound star Nonito Donaire.

Oquendo was originally ticketed to be on the undercard of Vazquez-Marquez, but moved into the main event when Marquez bailed.

“I’m in good shape and condition for this fight. I’m very focused for Vazquez Jr. I want to become a world champion. I’m hungry for this fight,” Oquendo said.

In the PPV co-feature, strawweight titlist Moises Fuentes (15-1, 7 KOs) of Mexico will make his second defense against former champ Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon (35-2-1, 6 KOs) of Puerto Rico. Calderon was 105-pound champ from 2003 to 2007 and regarded as one of the best fighters in the world. Although not a puncher at all, Calderon possessed ridiculous defense and rarely lost rounds. Then Calderon moved up and won the junior flyweight title in 2007 and held it until 2010, when he ran into the powerful fists of the much bigger and stronger Giovani Segura, who knocked him out in back-to-back fights.

Last October, Calderon, a likely Hall of Famer, returned from the second loss to Segura by dropping back to strawweight for a decision win against .500 fighter Felipe Rivas. One year later, Calderon, 37, is back looking to reclaim his old belt against Fuentes.

“Everyone says that I’m old, but look at (Sergio) ‘Maravilla’ Martinez against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.,” Calderon said of the Sept. 15 middleweight championship fight between the 37-year-old Martinez, who won, and 26-year-old Chavez. “I’m very (well) trained and ready to win this title again.”

Fuentes, apparently, respects his elders.

“I don’t underestimated Ivan Calderon because they say that he is old,” Fuentes, 27, said. “I can’t think he is old. He is a former champion and a legend, so I train hard for this fight (so I can) keep my title.”

By the way, Marquez (41-7, 37 KOs) has also found himself another fight. Zanfer Promotions announced this week that Marquez will face countryman and former junior bantamweight champ Cristian Mijares (46-6-2, 21 KOs) in a junior featherweight fight Oct. 27 in Mexico City with the flyweight co-feature pitting former junior flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa (46-7, 28 KOs) of Mexico against former flyweight titlist Sonny Boy Jaro (34-11-5, 24 KOs) of the Philippines.