He gives hope to print guys, and web guys and Bronx residents.
Greg Leon, publisher of the site Boxing Talk, has done pretty darn well for himself in the last few years, and upped his game a notch higher with word that he is now CEO of light heavyweight Jean Pascal's promotional company.
He has been working for a few months now, he told me, on a deal announced on Wednesday, one which seems to give Pascal, the Haitian-born Canadian a good deal of leverage and autonomy.
Basically, Pascal stays with promoter Yvon Michel, but is also working along with InterBox, the other large-scale Canadian promotional outfit. "It's a two-fight partnership," Leon told me. The boxer's promotional deal with Michel was up after his last fight, which came on Jan. 18 in Montral, and saw him down Lucian Bute (UD12), an InterBox athlete.
A release which went out Wednesday talked about the ramifications of the deal:
Greg Leon, CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions, said, ""I want to thank Group Yvon Michel and InterBox for making our negotiation smooth and seamless. Jean Pascal Promotions and I are truly looking forward to promoting with such outstanding organizations. Jean Pascal is already the box office champion of the Canadian market and without question that is a position that he will only have a firmer stronghold of following these next two events. We are looking forward to giving the fans the fights they are craving and I have no doubt that Jean Pascal will be the last man standing when all is said and done."
"We will work closely with GYM and InterBox across all platforms to design an integrated strategy that grows Jean Pascal's brand globally. Our entire team is very excited with the deal we have concluded," added Raven Brosier, consultant for Jean Pascal Promotions.
Leon said Pascal's promotional arm won't be a vanity project, that they will sign boxers, with an eye toward building a brand which will help provide a transition to Pascal's post in-ring tenure.
Leon wouldn't give me much when I asked what's next for the ex light heavy world champ. "It depends which network his next fight is televised on," he said.
The Bute bout was on HBO, but the talent is spread out in the light heavy division. HBO has a multifight deal with Sergey Kovalev, while Adonis Stevenson is tied in to Showtime, because he's on board the Al Haymon express now. If Bernard Hopkins beats Beibut Shumenov on Saturday, then the oldster will be able to bargain with two belts in hand.
Leon admitted he does have a preference on the direction Pascal takes, but is keeping his thinking under his cap, as negotiations will be ongoing.
His next foe will be announced within a month or so, Leon said, but the site will likely be Montreal, where Pascal sells seats. Pascal will be able to fill the undercard with some of his JPP talent, Leon said, and we could well see him in the ring in September, and then again in December.
Leon seems like he's not in a rush to call out the two top dogs in the division, Kovalev and Stevenson, and would like to let a mega-clash marinate some. Off the top of my head, I can see another bout with Bute getting hashed out. While the January contest wasn't a thriller, Bute did show he has the ability to fight with energy and ferocity in the last part of the last round, so if he could bottle that flurry, and apply it more consistently, then he could, concievably, have more luck in a re-do.
Pascal, age 31, appeared on many radar screens when he had some luck in a 2008 loss to Carl Froch. He enjoyed wins over Canuck Adrian Diacanou (2009), and then won an upset W against Chad Dawson. A draw and a loss with Bernard Hopkins in Quebec kept him busy in 2010 and 2011 and he tread some water until the January faceoff with Bute.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?