Jean Pascal (29-1-2, 17KO’s) didn’t quite get the result he was hoping for last night in only his second bout of the year, whilst facing Argentina’s Roberto Bolonti (35-3, 24KO’s). The bout itself was serving as a warm up for a bigger fight scheduled against WBA/IBF/WBO champion Sergey Kovalev on March 14.
The light heavyweight contest scheduled for ten rounds reached a premature conclusion in only the second round when Pascal hit Bolonti on the break with a short right hand which connected and dropped his opponent heavily. Bolonti was to remain on the canvas for nearly fifteen minutes after being checked over by two neurological specialists and then attended to by paramedics at the scene, who removed him from the ring on a stretcher to a local hospital.
Referee Michael Griffin called it a no contest at 2:29 of the second round after concluding that the ending was the result of an unintentional foul by Pascal, with both fighters retaining their pre-fight records and the Canadian fighter stating, “It was an unfortunate incident, I wanted to put on a good show.”
He continued, “I was doing well for the first two rounds. It happened really fast but he hit me once behind the head and again on the ear and I didn’t hear the referee say break. I saw the opening and I hit him. If he is really hurt I wish him a full recovery.”
“He punched me in the ear so I punched back. That was an unintentional punch, I don’t know what to say, I’m not a dirty fighter, I’ve never done that in my life.”
During the first round, Bolonti looked to be getting the better of the action as he simply outworked his home opponent with more clean and active work. The second round however was to start in disaster for the away fighter after he was dropped with a left jab which seemed to invigorate Pascal’s appetite for the job at hand.
Former middleweight champion and Pascal trainer Roy Jones Jr was disgusted at the outcome, “When you hit him for real and he goes down then their is a difference. When he was hit with a jab he got straight back up because he was embarrassed. When he started faking, there was no chance he was getting back up. The punch wasn’t as hard as the jab – it was disgusting.”
On the under card, light heavyweight prospect Schiller Hyppolite (14-1, 10KO’s) knocked out Norbert Nemesapati (15-2, 14KO’s) in the eleventh round to gain him the vacant Silver WBC international light heavyweight title; Joel Diaz Jr (18-0, 14KO’s) stopped Pedro Navarette (28-20-3, 17KO’s) with a sickening body shot, whilst light middleweight amateur starlet Steven Butler (9-0, 8KO’s) forced a stoppage of Lyes Chaibi (12-8-2, 2KO’s) after an accumulation of shots in what was an entertaining step up for the young fighter.