Former world light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) risks his No. 1 ranking this Saturday night against Argentinian invader Roberto "The Beast" Bolonti (35-3, 24 KOs) in the 10-round main event on a pay-per-view card, presented by Interbox, at the famed Bell Centre in Montreal.
Bolonti was originally scheduled to fight Lucian Bute, who was forced to pull out of the fight with a back injury, and Pascal was supposed to fight Donovan George. "I would like to thank (promoter) Jean Bedard and Interbox for making this fight happen," Pascal said.
"Roberto Bolonti is a top quality opponent. His record speaks for itself with him having earned considerable experience at the highest level. My team and I welcome this challenge and anticipate that it is going to be a hard fought fight against a strong and rugged opponent.
"As always, I am going to bring all of my abilities into this fight, as well as very strong preparation, supported by a strong entourage that includes Roy Jones, Jr., Russ Anber, Angel Hernandez and Robert Schinke. I am committed to an exciting, high quality performance in keeping with what I always produce."
The WBC and WBO both rank Pascal as the No. 1 light heavyweight contender. The Haitian-born Pascal, who lives in the Montreal suburb of Laval, as also ranked No. 4 by the IBF. Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev, respectively, are the WBC and WBO 175-pound division champions.
"At this point in my career," Pascal explained why he is risking his lofty ratings, "every fight is an important fight. Nothing is really taken for granted. With each fight there is always a risk of my current position, not only in terms of rankings, but also with fans who support and follow me through the media and social networking.
"My team and I have studied my opponent's style very carefully. We were excited when this fight came to light as a result of various negotiations. Bolanti was initially chose for Lucian because of his high quality record and his experience at the top level.
"Bolonti has traveled before to unfamiliar countries, as he did in Germany not long ago to challenge WBA 'regular' light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer. Make no doubt, Bolanti is a top quality opponent and I welcome the chance to fight him in this important challenge."
In his last fight this past June 7, Bolonti lost a 12-round decision to Braehmer. The tough Argentinian's only other career loss as a professional was to world-rated Tony Bellow, also by 12-round decision, in 2012 for the WBC Silver title. Bolonti has never been stopped in 38 pro fights.
The 32-year-old Pascal will not have his longtime head trainer, Marc Ramsey, in his corner this Saturday night. "Marc has helped me prepare for this fight like he has for every fight in my professional career," Pascal noted.
"He is going to be away helping David Lemieux with his fight and that is important. (Ramsey will be in middleweight Lemieux' corner for his middleweight fight vs. Gabe Rosado, which will be shown on the jumbo-screen at Bell Centre but not on the PPV broadcast.)
"We work as a team here and there are several fighters involved in the team. There are also several on staff who work within the team. Most of my team from the last fight, which I won against Bute, will be with me for this coming fight.
"Russ has been with me my entire professional career, Robert since my amateur days, plus Roy and Angel. This team surrounding me is extremely strong. I like to surround myself with a strong entourage and this fight is no different in that respect.
"Roy Jones, Jr. continues to be an instinctive fighter and he's also a top level analyst. In terms of speed an intuition in the ring, I have modeled myself around his style, so, he is an outside evaluator of my instincts and he reinforces that style of fighting in me. I appreciate that. In terms of his analytical skills, he is a boxing analyst for HBO, and that alone speaks to his quality.
"In addition, Roy is working with a rapidly growing number of high quality boxers in their corners. He just returned from a high profile bout on the HBO card in Macau. As an analyst, he studies opponents and brings a lot of creativity to a battle plan. Finally, he helps me in the ring with my technical sparring, always teaching me new tricks of the trade."
During his outstanding nine year pro career, Pascal has defeated Chad Dawson, Adrian Diaconu twice, Silvio Branco, Bute and Aleksy Kuziemski, among the more notables. His only two losses have been to Bernard Hopkins, who Pascal also fought to a draw, and Carl Froch.
"I predict a win Saturday night but this fight is going to be a challenge," Pascal concluded. "Bolanti brings a lot of experience and he is going to be rugged like most every Argentinian boxer that comes through the national system.
"I have fought many rugged fighters in my career and welcome this opportunity. As always, I commit to the highest standard of boxing and I bring all of myself to each and every fight. If you look through the various fights on my record, they have always been exciting and I've always been prepared. This fight will not be an exception."
Tickets are on sale and available to purchase by visiting www.evenko.ca, or calling 1.855.310.2525 and Club de boxe Champion (1.514.376.0980).
Pascal-Bolonti headlines a stacked pay-per-view card available throughout North America. Integrated Sports Media will distribute it in the United States for live viewing at 8:00 p.m. ET - 5:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DirecTV, DISH, and Vubiquity for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. Saturday night's event will also be available on PPV in Canada on Indigo and Bell in French and English, as well as via Rogers, Shaw and Sask-Tel in English only.