Set to face Germany’s Michael Eifert in an International Boxing Federation eliminator on Feb. 9 at Place Bell in Laval.
“Boxing for me isn’t a job, it’s a passion,” Pascal said at a news conference on Friday. “I love my sport. Also, it keeps me in shape for the beach, for the girls. Seriously, boxing’s what I’ve done all my life, since I’m 13. It’s part of me. I’m still on top because I work hard, I stay disciplined and I’ve persevered.”
Pascal, ranked fourth by the IBF, has a 36-6-1 record with 20 knockouts. The 24-year-old Eifert is 11-1 with four KOs and is ranked sixth by the IBF.
You are reading: Laval boxer Jean Pascal battling for another title run at age 40
“I want to finish my career as a world champion,” said Pascal, who hasn’t fought in Canada since 2018. “Honestly, it’s a cliché, but I feel better. Of course, I have less speed. I’m not as fast as I was at 21, but I have more knowledge and experience. I think I’m a better boxer at 40 than at 21.”
Pascal is coming off a unanimous decision in May against previously undefeated Fanlong Meng and has won his last three bouts. But he also was stripped of his WBA title in 2021 after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs ahead of a scheduled rematch against Badou Jack. Jack said Pascal should be in jail for the transgression, while Pascal claimed he consumed the substances unknowingly.
Pascal won a split decision against Jack in 2019. That came four months after winning a technical decision against Marcus Browne — the bout stopped after Browne suffered a cut over his eye from an accidental head butt in the eighth round. Pascal was ahead by one point on all three judges’ scorecards.
Pascal also suffered defeats against Montreal’s Eleider Alvarez in 2017 and was outclassed, although he went the distance, by WBA champ Dmitry Bivol in 2018. Bivol has made many fighters look ordinary.
“I’m ready to challenge for a title,” Pascal said. “I have experience and I still have the head, everything for it.”
While Eifert will carry a slight height and reach advantage into the ring, he has only 66 rounds of experience compared with Pascal’s 333. Ten of Eifert’s bouts took place in Germany, and he made it clear — while joining the news conference from Munich — he has tremendous respect for Pascal, calling him a “legend” in the sport. Eifert said he believes, given the level of his sparring partners and his amateur boxing resumé, he’s ready for the challenge.
“Eifert is a well educated fighter. He’s young. He has nothing to lose. He’s strong. More of a boxer. Jean will be fighting more than his opponent. This is important to him. He’ll have a lot of focus and he’s fighting age also. Jean’s at a time where he can’t slip. He has to win impressively. If he wins impressively and we’re successful in bringing a lot of people here, his career will really be revived.”
Pascal will continue training in Montreal before departing for Miami on Boxing Day to work under Orlando Cuellar.
“Eifert’s not to be taken lightly,” Cuellar said. “It’s a must-win situation for Pascal. It could be his last hurrah. He still has it at 40, but he’s racing against the clock.”