The Montreal boxing scene took a hit Saturday night when its biggest star, Lucian Bute, got knocked out in the fifth round and lost his super middleweight title to Carl Froch in England. But Montreal’s second-biggest boxing star, former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, can soothe the hurt if he can win his shot at another world title.
Pascal will challenge light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud on Aug. 11 at Bell Centre in Montreal on “Showtime Championship Boxing,” Showtime and promoters Don King and Yvon Michel announced Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), a big puncher from Tallahassee, Fla., will be making his fifth title defense and first since a controversial split decision win Feb. 18 against former titlist Gabriel Campillo.
Rafael’s boxing blog
Get the latest scoop and analysis on the world of boxing from ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael in his blog.
“This fight with Jean Pascal is a bout I’m looking forward to,” Cloud said. “It’s going to be what I call a ‘Release the Kraken’ match. Everybody knows I come to fight. What I like about Pascal is that he doesn’t fool around, either. When I look for him, he will be there, and the same goes for me.
“Fans like to see leather thrown with bad intentions, and that’s what they are going to get in Montreal on August 11.”
Pascal, 29, lost a decision to Froch in a 2008 vacant super middleweight title bout and then moved up to light heavyweight, where he eventually claimed a world title and became the first man to defeat reigning world light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, winning an 11th-round technical decision in Montreal in August 2010.
Pascal retained the title in his first defense with a controversial majority draw against Bernard Hopkins in December 2010, setting up a rematch with Hopkins rather than the rematch he owed Dawson. Hopkins won the rematch with Pascal in May 2011 in Montreal to take the title on a unanimous decision and become, at age 46, the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world championship.
Pascal (26-2-1, 16 KOs) has not fought since, but will end his lengthy layoff against a top opponent.
“I want to thank Tavoris Cloud for giving me the opportunity to fight for his IBF light heavyweight belt and to prove who I really am in the ring,” Pascal said. “He has shown true class seeking out the best challenger in the division and for this he has my full respect. Our styles make for the best, most explosive and spectacular fight possible in boxing.
“Having been away from the ring for more than a year, I am hungrier and more determined than ever to get back on top … I am going to get back on the throne for good.”
In the co-feature, hot Montreal super middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, (18-1, 15 KOs), who is trained by Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward and has been scoring one highlight-reel knockout after another, will face an opponent to be announced, likely in a title elimination bout.
“I am so proud to be making my Showtime debut fighting in this major event in Montreal,” said Stevenson, a late bloomer at 34. “I am on a mission to destroy anybody that has the courage to get in the ring with me. I am not looking for any favors or compassion. My goal is to show the world that I truly deserve to be on a major network fighting Carl Froch for his IBF title.”