Shoulder injuries won't keep Canada's Pascal from title bout

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The Canadian Press
12/18/2012 2:35:50 PM
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MONTREAL -- Boxer Jean Pascal got the verdict he was looking for on his injured left shoulder.

Doctors told the former light heavyweight champion from Laval, Que., on Tuesday that he had tears in the shoulder and in a biceps muscle tendon, but they aren't serious enough to keep him out a title fight in March against (Bad) Chad Dawson.

"I'm really happy about it because my goal was to fight for the world title in March," he said. "But I have to take care of my body, and that's why I'll be back in the gym on Monday and why I'll celebrate Christmas in the gym."

Pascal (27-2-1), who is righthanded, was injured early in his 12-round victory by unanimous decision over Aleksy Kuziemski on Friday night at the Bell Centre. The 30-year-old fought with only his right hand from the fourth round onward, but still had enough to overpower Kuziemski (23-5).

Pascal's doctor, Francis Fontaine, said the fighter completely tore the "long head" tendon that attaches the biceps to the shoulder and had a small tear in a shoulder muscle.

While both are painful, neither requires surgery. He said Pascal will need an injection of platelet-rich plasma (PTP) and have physiotherapy twice a day, but he should be able to return to normal training within three or four weeks.

The biceps injury came when Pascal caught his glove in the ropes while trying to throw a left hook. He had partially torn the same muscle in the same way during training in 2008.

Pascal's career has been marked by shoulder and hand injuries, and Fontaine agreed he was a high-maintenance athlete.

"In the gym we call him Formula One," he said. "He needs a lot of tune-up.

"You have to take extra care of those athletes, but when everything is in place, they can do a performance that nobody else can match. So it's give and take."

Pascal's bout with Dawson, who he stopped in 11 rounds two years ago, is tentatively set for March 23 either in Montreal or Quebec City.

Promoter Yvon Michel said the HBO specialty channel hopes to have the winner face the victor of a proposed March 9 match between veteran Bernard Hopkins and IBF champion Tavoris Cloud.

If Pascal and 47-year-old Hopkins both win, it would set up their third meeting in three years.

"I never thought I'd fight Hopkins once and now I might fight him a third time," said Pascal. "That's crazy because he was boxing before I was born."

Pascal held the WBC belt when they fought to a draw in December, 2010 in Quebec City, and Hopkins won a unanimous decision and took Pascal's title in May, 2011 in Montreal. Hopkins then lost the belt to Dawson in April.

After his defeat, Pascal went 19 months without fighting before facing Kuziemski.

Pascal hits Kuziemski (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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