In an exciting fight featuring two of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world, Jean Pascal defeated champion Adrian Diaconu via unanimous decision to win the WBC light heavyweight title.
The fight was held in front of 13,000 screaming Montreal fans. Both Pascal and Diaconu hail from the city, and the crowd was mixed with its support. It seemed Diaconu had more fans in attendance, but the crowd appreciated the great effort from both men. The Pascal vs. Diaconu fight earned its way onto a short list for Fights of the Year thus far.
Pascal was able to beat Diaconu by using his superior hand speed and foot speed to launch his own combinations without getting hit by Diaconu’s slower returning fire. Pascal began the fight dancing around Diaconu, but soon he began to open up more and trade on the inside.
Indeed, for the majority of the fight Pascal was playing with fire. He kept his hands down around his waste and depended almost entirely on head movement to avoid Diaconu’s shots. The tactic didn’t come back to hurt him, and even on the inside Pascal held the advantage with his faster punches and more complete offensive attack.
Pascal worked the body and the head, while Diaconu was relegated to head hunting mode for most of the fight, constantly stalking Pascal to try to land his own shots. Pascal was the busier man, and he consistently got his punches off first.
In the 5th round Pascal surprisingly sent Diaconu to the canvas. Diaconu was hurt, but also seemed off balance when the shot landed. Later in the round he hurt Pascal with a counter shot, but was unable to send him down to the mat to equal out the round.
By the end of the fight, Diaconu had a large swelling on his right cheek and a cut under his left eye. Pascal, hands down and all, looked largely untouched.
When the scorecards were read, Pascal emerged victorious with scores of 115-112, 116-112 and 116-111. The 116-112 scorecard shows that with Pascal also being hurt in the 5th, one judge probably scored the round a 10-9. Pascal improves to 23-1 and Diaconu falls to 26-1.
One of the best fights to be made now at light heavyweight is between Pascal and fellow champion Chad Dawson. Both fast fighters with power, it would be an intriguing match between young stars.