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Jean Pascal returns against Fanlong Meng on May 20 in Florida

Former Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Photo by Vincent Ethier/ InterBox
Fighters Network
09
Mar

News reached The Ring that former Ring Magazine champion and WBC light heavyweight titleholder Jean Pascal will end a two-and-a-half-year hiatus to face unbeaten fringe contender Fanlong Meng in Plant City, Florida, on May 20.

Pascal had been due to rematch Badou Jack on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Logan Paul exhibition last June. However, he tested positive for a variety of PEDs and the fight was scratched.

The 39-year-old Pascal, who has always protested his innocence, is now ready to return against Meng.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Pascal (35-6-1, 20 knockouts) told The Ring. “I’m back with a lot to prove. The fight with Meng is a great opportunity for me to get right back where I belong – the top of the division.



“He’s a good fighter, he’s undefeated for a reason, but he’s never been in with anybody like me.

“After this fight, him and (Egyptian fighter) Ahmed Eibiali will have something in common – losses to me in Florida in fights that his people should never have made.”

Pascal claimed the WBC 175-pound title by outpointing Adrian Diaconu (UD 12) in 2009 and made four defenses. However, losses to Bernard Hopkins (UD 12), Sergey Kovalev (TKO 8 and RTD 7) and Dmitry Bivol (UD 12) suggested that his time at the top had come to an end.

To his credit, Pascal revived his career by posting rousing wins over Marcus Browne (TD 8) and Jack (SD 12). He has since lost that momentum due to his failed PED tests and an extended time away from the ring.

Meng (17-0, 10 KOs) represented China at the 2012 London before turning professional in 2015. The 34-year-old southpaw has impressively stopped Frank Buglioni (TKO 5) and future world title challenger Adam Deines (UD 12). He was on the cusp of a world title fight with IBF/ WBC 175-pound titleholder Artur Beterbiev, but politics prevented him from going to Russia. Meng knocked off some ring rust with a workmanlike display against Israel Duffus (UD 10) last October.

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

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