Jean Pascal might be double the age of his upcoming opponent Michael Eifert, but the two-time light heavyweight champion said it gives him one major advantage: experience.
Pascal and Eifert kicked off the build up to their February 9 fight with a press conference on Friday. Pascal told FIGHT SPORTS after the presser that Eifert might have the youth, but he’s got the experience.
“I am almost double his age,” Pascal, 40, said of his 24-year-old challenger.
“… I’m a veteran so I’m going to use my experience to bring him to the deep water and win the fight.”
Pascal became an Athens Olympians in 2004. Then, just five years later, he became the WBC light heavyweight champion as well as the IBO champion and held onto the belts until 2011. He lost the straps when he faced multi-world champion Bernard Hopkins in a rematch in May 2011.
Years later, Pascal attempted to snatch WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol’s crown, but that turned out to be a failed bid via unanimous decision. He bounced back in his next fight against Marcus Browne and gained the WBA interim world light heavyweight title.
His last loss was to Bivol in 2018, but he has been on a three-fight winning streak since then.
Aside from his championships, Pascal has compiled a resume of notable names including Badou Jack, Sergey Kovalev and Carl Froch, to name a few.
But his career wasn’t always sweet.
In 2017, Pascal announced retirement on social media.
“I was letting people get to my head,” he told FIGHT SPORTS.
“The media was telling me [that] I’m old, I’m washed up, I need to retire… So because of that I said, ‘You know what? Maybe they’re right.’
“At one point I told myself, ‘Jean, you’re still in love with the sport. You still go some gas left in the tank, so why should I leave the sport?’ So I said, ‘You know what? F—all of this, F—all the social media and believe in yourself.
“I did, and after that I beat up Marcus Browne and I became a two-time world champion.”
Now, Pascal is looking for another shot at the gold, but he said he knows he must focus on Eifert, who he described as a “technical” fighter and someone who is “hungry.”
Eifert, of Magdeburg, Germany, has been a professional since 2018. He only has one loss thus far, which is a majority decision loss to Tom Dzemski. In his latest fight, he earned the IBF inter-continental light heavyweight title, which put him in the title eliminator with Pascal.
But Pascal wasn’t always expected to fight Eifert.
Pascal was supposed to face Olympics bronze medalist Joshua Buatsi, but that fight fell through after his promoter, Eddie Hearn, rejected the IBF final eliminator order.
“He did a good thing because [Buatsi’s] goal was to fight for a world title, and facing me, he would probably have his first loss. So that’s probably why they pulled out,” Pascal added.
“But right now, I’m happy that I’m facing Michael Eifert, and I’m going to give my fans a great show.”
Pascal will fight in his hometown of Laval, Canada and hopes for a sold-out crowd. He told FIGHT SPORTS further that if he’s able to get past Eifert, then maybe WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev is next for him.
“If I don’t beat this kid [Eifert] up, I won’t fight for a world title. So right now, I’m very focused on Michael Eifert and after I beat him, then I will be able to think about what’s next for me, and maybe next will be Artur Beterbiev.”