Here we go. Chad Dawson (29-0, 17 KOs) is clearly the best 175-pounder in the game. But he's going to have win in Jean Pascal's (25-1, 16 KOs) backyard of Montreal.
This fight will be for Pascal's WBC light heavyweight title. Dawson has been great lately, with wins over Glen Johnson (twice) and Antonio Tarver (twice) over his last four fights.
Ring announcer Michael Buffer made a nice tribute to the late Jay Larkin. Buffer, instead of his trademark "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" start, shouted, "Let's Get this Party Started".
Check back in a few minutes for live analysis.
ROUNDS 1 THRU 3: Jean Pascal has fired up the home crowd. He's really taken it to Chad Dawson, whose lack of aggression has cost him. Pascal was the most active, taking round one. Dawson started well in round 2, but Pascal was again more aggressive. Dawson hasn't really used his jab, which has allowed Pascal to come inside. Dawson took round 2 and round 3. After three rounds, Pascal is ahead 30-27 (3-0).
ROUNDS 4 THRU 6:This is truly an odd-ball fight. After practically sleep-walking through the first three rounds, Dawson came back strong, taking the second and third rounds. Dawson began to land his jab, pretty much preventing Pascal from completing any combos. Pascal landed the bigger shots, but they were few and far in-between. Pascal came back in round six and landed some quality body shots. Dawson is starting to turn the corner, but he needs to bring the heat. After six rounds, Pascal leads 59-56 (4-2).
ROUNDS 7 THRU 9: Whatever momentum Chad Dawson had came to a halt. Pascal is finishing his combos and Dawson is only using his jab. He's not following up the lead right, which is now allowing Dawson to counter with combos. Pascal hurt Dawson in each of the last three rounds, winning rounds eight and nine. After nine rounds, Pascal leads (87-84) 6-3.
ROUNDS 9 THRU 12: It was an odd-ball fight with an odd-ball ending. Pascal won round 11, but Dawson poured it on in the 11th. But the fight was stopped, because Dawson's eye was seriously cut after an accidental head butt. I had Dawson winning the round. Based on that I have Pascal winning the fight, 106-103.
The judges scored the bout, 108-101, 106-103, 106-103, all in favor of Jean Pascal.
I wish I knew what happended to Chad Dawson. He seemed like he was in a trance. Pascal was the more active fighter. Even when Pascal took a breather, Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs) wasn't pressing the action. This was a well-deserved win for Pascal. (26-1, 16 KOs).
Next up for Pascal could be a fight against Lucian Bute, although he called out Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe. The more makeable fight right now would be Bute.
As for Dawson, he needs a rematch in the worse way. He's already beaten Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver. But Johnson is old and Tarver is all but washed up. There is a rematch clause, but Pascal can take another fight before fighting Dawson again.