It’s the Canadian version of Mayweather vs. McGregor, except it really really really really isn’t.
If you were absolutely gripped by the drama that was Floyd Mayweather actually boxing former UFC champion Conor McGregor, then fasten your seatbelts, because we’re getting another “high-level boxer vs. MMA fighter” matchup, except it’s not nearly as earth-shattering or compelling.
Former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (32-5-1-1 NC, 19 KOs) is coming out of his whopping five-month retirement to face UFC veteran Steve Bosse, who recently won his professional boxing debut earlier this year. The fight is set for June 29th, and a venue will be announced on Friday. It looks like this will also be contested at cruiserweight (200 lbs), with Bosse and Pascal needing to be no more than 12 pounds apart.
Good info from @FredDaigle who reports Jean Pascal weight limit for fight vs Bossé will be set at 188. Rules of Québec commission stipulates weight difference can’t be more than 12lbs so this means Bossé weight limit would be set at 200 or less if Pascal comes in lighter #boxing
— Philippe St-Martin (@BoxRec_Canada) May 10, 2018
After unsuccessfully challenging Carl Froch for the WBC super-middleweight belt, Pascal moved up to light heavyweight and defeated Adrian Diaconu to become a world champion. He defended it successfully four more times before losing his rematch with Bernard Hopkins. Subsequent attempts to become a champion again proved unsuccessful, as he suffered two TKO losses to Sergey Kovalev. After dropping a decision to Eleider Alvarez, Pascal retired after an upset TKO win over rising prospect Ahmed Elbiali, Pascal called it a career at 35 years old… but it turns out he’s not done.
Oh yes, it should be mentioned that Pascal once called out Nick Diaz.
“UFC fighters are already saying they can fight, they can box. But I don’t see that, and Nick Diaz talks a lot of trash. He’s never had someone who can talk back to him like I can do.”
Bosse held an MMA record of 12-2, with a mark of 2-1 in the UFC, including a knockout of James Te Huna and a thrilling decision vs. Sean O’Connell. After pulling out of a bout vs. Jared Cannonier, the former hockey enforcer walked away from MMA and signed a pro boxing contract. His first boxing match was in February, as he beat Bolivian heavyweight Julio Cuellar Cabrera.
Other than being bigger than Pascal, Bosse doesn’t have remotely the skill level that even a faded version of Pascal possesses. This is 99.99% likely to be a Pascal win, but don’t let that stop you from asking the pivotal question, “Can Bosse’s use of MMA angles, combined with his expertise as an ice hockey enforcer, disrupt the boxing game as we know it?”