Saturday’s co-main event of the PBC on FOX broadcast began with Brown boxing beautifully and controlling most of the Real-estate, appearing at times to be well on his way to cruising toward a wide decision victory, and possibly even a stoppage, as Pascal looked alternately frustrated, unsteady on his feet, gunshy and confused, as he was also seen resorting to some questionable tactics and was guilty of fighting dirty at times.
However, this all changed with one punch in the 4th Round.
The seismic change in the fight occurred when Pascal launched a ridiculously ambitious hybrid right-hand hook/uppercut -mind you, while simultaneously being caught flush with a right hook from Brown a millisecond before Pascal’s missive landed- that floored Brown, hard. The champion got up, seemingly on still unsteady legs but would eventually regain his bearings to close out the round back in control of his faculties.
It was more of the same in rounds five and six, as Brown continued to wisely use a pulverizing right jab and nice hook, things would again take a dramatic and unexpected turn in the seventh round when Pascal, -clearly deserving of more credit for his wily and crafty veteran tactics and possible possum-playing than this scribe originally intended to attribute to him- dipped back into his bag of old veteran tricks, rolled under an overhand shot that was telegraphed by Browne and unleashed an absolutely hellacious right hook (reminiscent of a similar hook albeit a left hook that was used to dramatic effect a few months ago by his countryman Ryan Ford to win a more lightly regarded version of the WBC light heavyweight belt), once again rocking Brown and dropping him hard with about :30 to go in the round.
Following the knockdown, a bloodthirsty Pascal, now sensing he had his man in serious trouble, threw caution to the wind, as he attacked and eventually scored another knockdown with a right to the body, left hook upstairs combination along the ropes just before the bell that ended the round.
The next (8th) round began with each fighter sensing the time was now to seize control of the fight, and the action intensified up until a brutal clash of heads opened up a gruesome cut over the left eye of Browne (and would also be to blame for the mini-Hasim Rahman-like hematoma that soon appeared on the brow and forehead of Pascal) prompting the New York State Athletic Commision-sanctioned physician at ringside to advise the referee to stop the fight, without hesitation.
As the cut occurred in the 8th round, the official rules stated it would be a technical decision, with each round being scored, including the final 8th round, even despite the fact that the last round was halted before it could be completed. Each of the three judges at ringside saw the fight the same, and Pascal was awarded the decision by identical scores of 75-74, and declared the new WBA and WBC light heavyweight champion, evidently revitalizing a career that had recently appeared to be on life-support, due to declining performances, and as evidenced by the fact that going into Saturday’s bout, Pascal was 4-4 with one no-contest in his previous eight fights.
As for Pascal the upset win will undoubtedly lead to at the very least a few more big-money fights for the Proud Haitien fighting out of Laval, Quebec as he will now be seen as a revitalized player -if not force- in a suddenly talent-laden division. However, here’s hoping that Al Haymon and his very astute brain trust carefully consider the matchmaking for Pascal moving forward, and, keep the names of the two fighters that lost their lives -just two days apart- in 28-year-old Russian fighter Maxim Dadashev, and 23-year-old Hugo Santillan of Argentina, while also taken into special consideration that at times, Pascal did look to be shot and/or like a fighter that may need to be saved from himself, even despite his dramatic and improbable win.
That, and also being cognizant of the state of Pascal’s fellow Haitian transplant to greater Montreal, and long-time rival, though never opponent, in former 175-lb. kingpin Adonis Stevenson. While Stevenson’s story appears to have a more positive ending, as he has reportedly made a miraculous comeback, his life was still permanently altered by the sport of boxing, his chosen profession. Mais pour maintenant, c’est la felicitations pour la grande victoire, au champion du monde!!