AMIR KHAN this week admitted that he knew it was over before it ended. That while training for Kell Brook, his 35-year-old body could not do the things it used to do. It’s a realisation nearly all fighters face. Jean Pascal, now 39, must have had doubts as he put his body through the mill in recent weeks and months. This will be his first fight since he contentiously outpointed Badou Jack in December 2019. The rematch was aborted when Pascal, 35-6-1 (20), failed doping tests. Jack had previously suggested that Pascal had been up to no good prior to their first fight, too.
Pascal was initially ‘shocked and embarrassed’ when three illegal substances were discovered in his body in May 2021. He did not comment when a fourth was found the following month.
Barely a year on the Florida Athletic Commission welcome back the former light-heavyweight titlist. Whether his opponent, Fanlong Meng, will be so forgiving is something we will all discover on Friday (May 20) as they collide inside Whitesands Events Center.
Meng, 34, is a southpaw fringe contender with a record of 17-0 (10). He has some solid wins on his ledger, like the 2018 fifth round stoppage of Frank Buglioni which convinced the amiable Londoner to retire. There’s also the points win over Adam Deines in June the following year.
Meng is beatable, no question. Tall and awkward, he can be outfought on the inside. But if Meng is beatable, Father Time, as Khan discovered, is not.
Meng may not look great doing it, but he can edge this one on points.