Jean Pascal Fights For IBF Title Shot, Thursday on ESPN+

Two-time former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal, who has held the WBA and WBC world titles in the 175 lbs division will face largely unknown Michael Eifert as the winner will become the #1 contender for the IBF light heavyweight world title. The bout which takes place at the at Place Bell, Laval, Canada, on Thursday, will broadcast worldwide on ESPN+.

Pascal, who still appears to be a top-5 light heavyweight in the world, which might also speak to the shallow nature of the division, is now 40-years-old, and getting over a case of COVID-19, which pushed the fight back a little over a month, as this fight was originally set to happen at the beginning of February. Now, the Canadian, who resides in South Florida is looking to land what might be his last chance to nab a world title and become a three-time light heavyweight world champion.

Pascal will be returning to the ring after a huge win on, in which he defeated heavily favored Meng Fanlong, at-the-time an undefeated decorated Chinese boxer, who was looking to place himself in the world title picture. Pascal didn’t just show talent in his fight against Fanlong, he also showed grit and determination.

“I feel great,” Pascal furthered to Anson Wainwright of The Ring. “I’m going to win this fight and win it impressively, and then I plan to shock the world, but first things first I’ve got to handle Eifert.”

Outside of the world title implications of this fight, the other major story is that Pascal got sick from COIVD-19 in the build-up to the fight. As we have seen prior, fighters have had mixed results after contracting the virus in their first fight back. Pascal is an older fighter, and part of the drama is that Pascal is not just fighting his opponent on Thursday night, on ESPN+, Pascal is fighting father time, and he is fighting back against an illness that shut down the world’s economy for several months in 2020. 

“I started to feel sick in early January,” Pascal told Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette via a phone call as Pascal finished training camp in Miami, Florida. “A few days later, I took a test and was positive, meaning I had to isolate and stop training. I wasn’t really sick, but was very tired. I had a bit of fever at the beginning and sore muscles. Then I improved. I took two or three weeks off but, since I’m back, I feel very good.”