"Jean will dictate the pace of the fight, not Hopkins." - Pascal promoter, Yvon Michel.
Given that Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) had not been knocked out in 59 career fights, and tasted canvas only twice before in 420 rounds, Pascal's decision to go for an early takeout seemed a bit misguided. If Pascal has learned anything from the first fight, it wasn't apparent at a press conference for the rematch. "I won the first fight in Quebec City, and I will decisively win the rematch," Pascal says. "But this time when I send him to the canvas, I'll make sure he doesn't get up again. Hopkins isn't getting any younger, and he gave everything he had left in his body the last time. He can't be any better."
Hopkins, for his part, begs to differ. "I'm a threat and my age doesn't matter," he says. "Pascal knows it. He was credited with two knockdowns and is almost twenty years younger than me, and he still wasn't able to win the fight. I gave Pascal an old-fashioned beating and I'll do it again."
Perhaps the biggest problem Pascal faces is Hopkins's vast experience in major fights, including 24 championship bouts. Over the course of his career, Hopkins has developed into one of the great ring masters of all time, and benefits from having trainer Nazim Richardson in his corner. Richardson is astute at making adjustments, as he did against Pascal. After the fifth round, Richardson told Hopkins: "We don't want to be throwing big shots like that. He is going to go big, so you go small, with short shots inside."
From that point on, Hopkins began throwing a flurry of short, choppy punches, which kept Pascal on the defensive more than he would have liked. The final punch stats clearly indicate Hopkins was the aggressor. Hopkins connected on 153 of 502 shots, compared to just 86 of 350 for Pascal. Hopkins also dominated in power punches, landing 129 of 311, while Pascal succeeded with 57 of 102. Not surprisingly, Pascal won only one round from each of the judges in the final seven.
The winner of this fight is expected to face the victor of the co-feature, Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs) versus Adrian Diaconu (27-2, 15 KOs).