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Pascal outpoints Diaconu, wins WBC title

19
Jun

Former super middleweight standout Jean Pascal out-boxed and out-fought previously undefeated light heavyweight contender Adrian Diaconu over 12 hotly contested rounds, scoring a well-deserved unanimous decision over the WBC titleholder in front of 13,569 fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec on Friday night.

Showing no diminished speed or power fighting at the higher weight, Pascal (23-1, 15 KOs) relied on his ultra-quick reflexes and a stick-and-move gameplan that allowed him to consistently outmaneuver and beat Diaconu (26-1, 15 KOs) to the punch throughout the entertaining fight, which he won by scores of 115-112, 116-112, and 116-111.

Diaconu applied his signature pressure during most of the rounds and often gave as good as he got during the many exchanges that took place during the fight but the Montreal-based Romanian was simply too slow to corner and catch his frenetic challenger with consistent punches.

Pascal, who lost a bid for the vacant WBC 168-pound title in a thrilling 12-round battle with Carl Froch just seven months ago, didn't just stick-and-move all night. The Montreal-based Haitian stood his ground and let two- and three-punch combinations go to Diaconu's head and body a number of times during the fight, often appearing to be the harder puncher of the two.

Pascal, 26, dropped Diaconu with a big left hook in round five, but had to survive some rocky moments in the final seconds of that thrilling stanza, as the defending titleholder rallied with a big right hand.

After dropping most of the first six rounds, Diaconu, 31, gave it his all over the second half of the bout. He pressed the action in rounds six, seven and eight, but was rocked at the end of the eighth. He buzzed the game Pascal a few times in the 11th round with big right hands, but was staggered himself in the 12th.

At the end of the night, Diaconu's face – which sported a badly swollen right cheekbone and a bloody mouse under his left eye – told the story of the fight.

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