Hunter Leon: You recently announced on social media that you will resume your boxing career. Was there ever any doubt? Jean Pascal: "Not really because right after my fight with (WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitriy) Bivol, I knew I had plenty of gas left in the tank. I never make excuses and Bivol was the better man that night, but the facts are the facts. A lot of people don't know that I was pretty sick the week of the fight. I was training in Puerto Rico and when I went back to Canada to do some media before I left for Atlantic City, I caught a cold and it kind of zapped my energy all week long. I wasn't going to pull out of the last HBO Championship Boxing main event at the last minute so I went in there and gave it my best.
"Bivol is a great fighter and I really believe he's the best at light heavyweight right now, but I couldn't pull the trigger that night. My training was good, my condition was good, but I was off. I was never really in danger in the fight...He landed some good body punches, but that's it. I know I can go twelve rounds with the best when I'm not at my best, so I believe in myself and I believe in my heart that I can and will become world champion again this year, it's just a matter of time."
HL: What would you say to critics who say you sound like Evander Holyfield towards the very end of his career?
Jean Pascal: "I would say that Evander Holyfield is one of the best ever and every boxer is different, but Evander never had your father making his fights. (laughs) With his connections I don't think it's going to be long before I'm fighting for another title, I'm confident in his ability to deliver."
HL: When can we expect you back in the ring?
JP: "By the end of June the latest. I don't have an exact date, but when I do I'm sure you'll be finding out the same day I do."
HL: What did you think about Kovalev's recent victory over Alvarez?
JP: "Honestly Kovalev fought a good fight. He stuck with the game plan, getting killed by Alvarez the first time humbled him and I think Kovalev listened to his black coach this time around."
HL: Who do you like in the Dmitriy Bivol-Joe Smith fight?
JP: "Bivol. He's the better fight, but Joe Smith Jr always has the chance to land a lucky punch and get the knockout."
HL: Will you look for a tune-up next or are you trying to face the best possible opposition asap?
JP: "I don't need another tune-up. I've been at the highest level of boxing for most of my career. Like since 2008 I've been at the championship level and after going twelve rounds with Bivol easily, I don't think there's any need to wait. I want to fight the best guys that I haven't fought yet asap."
HL: Anything for the fans in closing?
JP: "I want to thank all of my fans for their support. You guys keep me going, I wouldn't be where I am without you and I appreciate all the love. For the haters, I love you too and look forward to proving you wrong and making you eat your words!"