Jean Pascal vs Aleksy Kuziemski Preview Dec. 14
Former WBC world light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who is originally from Haiti, and now fights out of Montreal, Canada, will enter the ring in his adopted hometown on Friday December 14 when he takes on Aleksy Kuziemski in a 12-round bout at the Bell Centre. Pascal takes a record of 26-2-1 into the ring with him along with 16 Kos. He hasn’t fought since losing his WBC title by unanimous decision to American veteran Bernard Hopkins 19 months ago. Pascal had defended his title against Hopkins six months earlier when the two fought to a draw.
Pascal admitted that he’s pretty nervous about his return to the squared circle because he’s been out of action for so long and realizes he’s likely to have some ring rust. Pascal fought in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and so did his Polish opponent, who will enter the ring in Montreal with a decent record of 23-4 with seven Kos. Looking at his opponent’s record, it looks like Pascal doesn’t really have to worry about Kuziemski’s punching power, but he does possess some pretty good boxing skills.
Pascal is hoping to get past Kuziemski as he’s looking for a rematch with Chad Dawson, who’s now the WBC kingpin after beating Hopkins for the title. Pascal beat Dawson in their first meeting in August of 2010 when the fight was stopped in the 14th round due to a cut suffered by Dawson. The fight went to the scorecards and Pascal was awarded a technical decision. Pascal might be putting the cart before the horse though since he has a tentative but scheduled against Dawson for March 23 in Quebec.
The 30-year-old is basically treating this bout against Kuziemski as a tune-up, at least on paper, for the rematch with Dawson. Pascal turned pro in Montreal in 2005 and wasn’t really rested until he fought Kingsley Ikeke two years later and pounded out a unanimous decision over him. He lost a unanimous decision in 2008 to Carl Froch for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title. The Englishman Froch is now the current IBF champion after knocking out Lucian Bute, also of Montreal, earlier this year.
Pascal eventually won the WBC Light Heavyweight crown in 2009 when he beat another Montreal-based fighter in Romanian-born Adrian Diaconu by unanimous decision. He defended it against Silvio Branco, Diaconu, and Dawson, and Hopkins before losing it to Hopkins in their second bout.
Kuziemski is quite a bit older at 35 and he also turned pro in 2005. He’s been struggling of late though and all four of his losses have come in his last 10 fights. He’s also been knocked out in three of them by Jurgen Braehmer, Dmitry Sukhotsky, and Nathan Cleverly, even though none of them are really household names. His last bout was in March when he knocked out Leo Tchoula in the second round. He was fighting for the WBO Light Heavyweight Title in May of last year when England’s Cleverly stopped him in the fourth round.
With Kuziemski having little power and a weak chin this fight looks like a sure thing for Pascal. However, if he thinks that he might be in for a surprise. He needs to get some rounds in due his inactivity and he should then step up the pace. Look for him to stop Kuziemski in the second half of the fight.