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April 19, 2017

JEAN PASCAL: WINNING IS THE ONLY OPTION
By H. K. Leon

HL: How did this June 3 fight with Eleider Alvarez come about? It's been a long road. After Interbox and I agreed to go our separate ways, we were talking with several promoters to see what they were offering, we made offers to partner up with some promoters and for a while it looked like I was going to fight on the HBO Latino card on April 15. Then when that fight got complicated, we went in a different direction and were able to get this opportunity to fight Alvarez for the number one spot on June 3.

HL: What do you mean the April 15th HBO opportunity got complicated?

Jean Pascal: "Your father had lunch with HBO and it looked like we had a deal. I was in camp getting ready to fight Felix Valera and then things got complicated because the deal changed as soon as Sullivan Barrera pulled out of his fight with Artur Beterbiev. I'm not going to get into the specifics about what changed, but this is not how I like to do business so I went in another direction."

HL: How did the deal with TGB Promotion come about?

JP: "We started talking with Tom Brown and he's a great guy, it was the easiest promotional deal I've ever made in my life. The deal was done very quickly, and I couldn't be happier with the position I'm in. I know with TGB's support I'm going to get the opportunities I'm looking for, and it didn't take long for him to prove that with the Alvarez fight."

HL: Obviously what everybody wants to know is if you're victorious over Alvarez, will you fight Stevenson next?

JP: "Right now Adonis Stevenson doesn't exist to me. I'm dealing with reality and the reality is I'm fighting the WBC's mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez. I'm taking things one step at a time and the only person I'm focusing on is Eleider Alvarez."

HL: But I know you're not planning to lose so if you do become the mandatory challenger, you would want to face Stevenson next.

JP: "That goes without saying, but right now it's all Alvarez because if I don't take care of the task at hand, then we're speculating and not dealing with what is real, at this stage of my career, that's something I can't afford to do. I am focused on Alvarez, I've been training for Alvarez for a month already, and I plan on being in the best shape of my life on June 3."

HL: What are your thoughts on Alvarez as a fighter?

JP: "I've known him since he first got to Canada, we had the same trainer for many years and we've sparred many, many times. I respect Alvarez as a person, I think he's a great guy and I also respect him as a fighter. He deserves a lot of credit for taking this fight because as the number one contender he didn't have to."

HL: Then why do you think he did?

JP: "I can't concern myself with what he's thinking, I can just give him respect and credit for taking on the challenge and looking to make a name for himself in Montreal."

HL: What would a victory in this fight mean to you?

JP: "Everything. My goal is to become champion again and this fight gets me one giant step closer towards that goal."

HL: Other than victory, do you have a prediction?

JP: "No, I can only say that you will see the best Jean Pascal you've seen since I fought Chad Dawson for the title. I will be at my best and winning is my only option. At this point of my career, these opportunities aren't going to fall from the sky for me, so I'm definitely planning to make the most of it."

HL: What's it going to be like for you to fight a guy trained by your former long time trainer Marc Ramsay?

JP: "It's going to be very strange. I have nothing but respect for Marc, I appreciate all of the help he's given me in my career and I believe we achieved a lot of success together. Marc and I still talk from time to time and I expect us to remain friends after the fight."

HL: What's it been like working under Stephane Larouche?

JP: "It's been wonderful, I'm adding some new things to my game and like Marc he's a great coach, so I expect that Stephane and I will be just as successful as I was with Marc. Stephane and my strength coach Andre Kulesa have me working my ass off and I'm really looking forward to showing the fans a great performance on June 3."

HL: How do you feel about fighting on the undercard of Adonis Stevenson?

JP: "It doesn't bother me. When I was on top he used to fight on my undercard, now he's the champion and I have no probelm being the co-main event. This is the kind of event that is going to get the fans in Quebec excited about boxing again, and I love my fans, I always fight the best for the fans, so I'm happy to be able to help bring excitement back to Montreal and Quebec."

HL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

JP: "I want to thank the fans for their support, I'm back on June 3, I'm fighting one of the best light heavyweights in the world and I'm looking to put on a show."



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