JJ: You have a very big fight coming up May 25th. An All-Canadian match up where you’ll be taking on Lucian Bute. What do you think of this particular fight?
Jean Pascal: It’s going to be a great fight. It’s a big fight in Canada and I think also worldwide because it can even Mayweather, Pacquiao for us. Everybody was waiting for this fight and May 25th everybody is gonna be able to see us fight. I am really glad to be a part of this event because we are going to make history in Canada. It is going to be the biggest fight ever in Canada and I’m a part of it and I am proud of that.
JJ: Originally you were supposed to take on Chad Dawson in a rematch. What happened with that and how did this opportunity come about with Lucian?
(transcribed by Michael C Harris)
Jean Pascal: Yeah, I was going after my belts because Chad Dawson has my belts right now, the W.B.C. and the RING Magazine. I was going after my belts but Lucian Bute finally decided to call me out so I said “yes” and I didn’t sign any contract to box him (Chad Dawson) before my fight against him so that’s why I switched and I think I made a good move because this fight is really an important fight because Lucien Bute is from my town and I want to show the world that I’m the best in my town.
JJ: Do you think this fight with Lucian Bute is coming a little bit late seeing that he’s lost to Carl Froch in one of his last few fights? Do you think this fight should have happened sooner?
Jean Pascal: Honestly, I don’t think so. Even though he lost against Carl Froch he’s still in his prime time. I’m still in my prime time and we’re still young. It’s not because he lost one fight that Lucian Bute is done. He’s not done. He’s far from done. I know he’s going to be well prepared for this fight; I’m going to be well prepared for this fight. Southpaw versus orthodox and it’s going to be a good matchup and I’m going to train really hard for this fight and to pull out the “w” at the end.
JJ: In your last fight against Aleksy Kuziemski you hurt your shoulder and you pretty much had to fight most of the bout with one arm. How is that shoulder feeling now?
Jean Pascal: The shoulder feels like steel. Both shoulders feel like steel. I’ve been in rehab for the last 2-3 months and I’m doing really, really well and I have no more pain in my shoulders, so I am expecting to have great shoulders for my next fight.
JJ: You said you shoulder feels like steel and you have injured both your shoulders in your career. Do you think as you get later and older that this is a problem that will keep popping up?
Jean Pascal: Honestly, I don’t think so. Right now we’ve done some rehab and my shoulders are really really strong, stronger than ever. Maybe before my shoulders were fragile, but now I have fixed that problem and I don’t expect to have those problems ever again.
JJ: Lucian Bute had the loss to Carl Froch then he came back and fought Denis Grachev and he didn’t look that good. You having looked at that fight, what did you see?
Jean Pascal: It’s always tough to come back from a fight like he did against Carl Froch getting knocked out in the 5th round. Of course his confidence was really low and he probably had that in his mind, but in that fight I think he’s back on track. If you guys watch the last round he was doing really really well. The old Lucian Bute, the old champion and I think he’s going to be back on track in the next fight against me.
JJ: I want to get your opinion on a fight you actually sat ringside for. That was the fight between the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins, against a guy you were originally supposed to fight Tavoris Cloud. What did you think when you watched that?
Jean Pascal: That was a good fight. Bernard did it again. He got the “w” again. Bernard is an old fox, he knows all the tricks; All the dirty tricks in the game. ….I’m not trying to take anything at all from him. He won. He schooled Cloud really well and he deserved that victory.
JJ: Are you at all disappointed that you didn’t get a first shot at Tavoris Cloud and take that title belt.
Jean Pascal: Of course, of course, I was supposed to fight Cloud in August but I had a ham injury so I was really, really mad but things happen for a reason so I’m gonna put that behind me and maybe I’m gonna do a part 3 with Bernard Hopkins.
JJ: If you are able to beat Lucien Bute what are the plans for Jean Pascal? Do you have a rematch with Bute or do you look to Chad Dawson and taking your title belts back?
Jean Pascal: Right now I’m focusing as much as I can on Lucien Bute, on this fight, because this is the biggest fight of my career. This is the most important fight of my career, so I need to focus totally on Lucien Bute. So now I don’t think further than May 25th.