Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins bout on
Light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal has come to terms with promoter Yvon Michel, paving the way for Pascal's May 21 HBO-televised rematch with former champ Bernard Hopkins.
Hopkins promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy and Michel are still talking about sites -- likely in Montreal or Quebec City, site of the first fight on Dec. 18 -- but the fight is on.
Michel told ESPN.com that they hope to have the site settled next week.
Schaefer won a purse bid for the fight last week, bidding $1,911,500 to beat Michel's bid of $1,752,000. The fight went to a purse bid because Michel and Pascal could not reach an agreement before the WBC's bid deadline.
Under the bid rules, Pascal is due 55 percent ($1,051,325) with Hopkins due 45 percent ($860,175). However, both fighters have agreements with their promoters that will pay them substantially more than the figure due based on the purse bid because the fight will generate far more than the amount of bid.
Schaefer and Hopkins came to an agreement long before the bid. Now, finally, Pascal and Michel have reached one.
"We went to the bid because we had a deadline," Michel said. "But Pascal has a minimum for each fight and a percentage [of profit]. We had to adjust the numbers for him to be happy, so we needed more time to come to the agreement, but there was never a doubt that he wanted to fight Hopkins again. There was never a doubt in our mind. He trusted us and his team. We just needed time. I already spoke to Richard and we will sit down and see the pros and the cons of where the show should be."
Said Pascal: "I want everybody to know that I never doubted my long-term association with my promoter or my team. They all have my confidence. Our negotiations were cordial, respectful and I am happy with the result."
Pascal, 28, of Montreal, is due to leave for Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday for the strength and conditioning part of his training camp, which will last for about a month.
Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs) retained the title against Hopkins via disputed majority draw in December, when one judge had it for Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) and two others had it a draw. Pascal scored two early knockdowns, one of which was highly questionable, but Hopkins dominated most of the rest of the fight.
Hopkins, who turned 46 in January, will once again bid to become the oldest world champion in boxing history, a record held by former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to regain the title in 1994.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.