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WBC orders Hopkins-Pascal rematch

Light heavyweight opponents Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins

Light heavyweight opponents Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins face off at pre-fight press conference. Thursday, December 9. Photo Credit: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

It looks like Bernard Hopkins is going to get his wish.

In the moments following his draw against Jean Pascal in a WBC light heavyweight title bout last month, the 46-year-old former champ was calling for an immediate rematch.

The order came down from the WBC early Thursday afternoon, forcing Pascal to take on Hopkins in a rematch. Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs) and Hopkins have 30 days to make a deal. If they do not reach one, a purse bid will be ordered for Feb. 4 at the WBC offices.

"The WBC board of governors has voted in favor of ordering the immediate rematch between WBC champion Jean Pascal and emeritus champion Bernard Hopkins for the WBC light heavyweight championship of the world," WBC president Jose Sulaiman wrote in a statement. "The winner of this fight has the obligation to fight Chad Dawson immediately without any intervening contest."

The order puts Pascal in a difficult predicament. Pascal is contractually obligated to a rematch with Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs), whom he beat in a prior bout. If Pascal decides to fight Hopkins, he could be sued by Dawson's camp.

Nonetheless, Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) and Golden Boy Promotions were delighted to hear the order.

"I'd like to thank Mr. Jose Sulaiman and the WBC Board of Governors for ordering an immediate rematch between Pascal and I," said Hopkins. "This is a great thing for boxing and hopefully fans will get to see another great fight with Pascal and I. I'm looking forward to starting off the New Year by making history as the oldest athlete to win a major championship in any sport."

The rematch with Dawson, according to a report on ESPN.com, is contingent on a network playing the same or more than HBO did for the first bout. Pascal defeated Dawson in an 11th-round TKO last August.

There's been no word if HBO is interested in a Dawson-Pascal rematch.

Showtime with aired the Pascal-Hopkins bout, is reportedly not interested in a Dawson-Pascal rematch.

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