A duel against Jean Pascal while waiting for Beterbiev

Fanlong Meng has big ambitions.

A duel against Jean Pascal while waiting for Beterbiev

Fanlong Meng has big ambitions. With a victory against Jean Pascal next week, the Chinese would be in a good position to rub shoulders with champion Artur Beterbiev by the end of the year.

If the name of Meng (17-0, 10 KOs) rings a bell for Quebec fans, that's normal.

The 34-year-old southpaw was scheduled to face unified IBF and WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0) in March 2020 in Quebec. However, the pandemic has screwed up the plans of Top Rank and Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM).

“There was the pandemic, but also other reasons why our fight did not take place, underlined Fanlong Meng during an interview with Le Journal. I still want this fight. After all, I'm still the IBF's top contender. My goal is to fight all the best boxers in the 175lb division. »

Why didn't Beterbiev confront Meng? Yes, the pandemic was a factor.

However, he can avoid his mandatory challenger if he accepts a unification bout. This will be the case during his next duel. On June 18 in New York, he will cross swords with WBO champion Joe Smith Jr.

A paid fight for the two finalists, but above all more sales for the television networks in the United States.

Confront a lion heart

Before thinking about big matches, Meng must focus on her next opponent: Jean Pascal. Even though he has slowed down over the past few years, the former world champion still has a lion's heart.

On May 20 in Florida, it will be the Quebecer's first duel since he was involved in a doping story last May.

"I've seen several Pascal fights over the past few years and I know what type of boxer he is," said the Inner Mongolia native. My focus is not on him, but on me. I want to fight a fight. »

"I had a good training camp and I'm very well prepared. What made him special was being able to put on the gloves with training partners with the same style as Pascal. It helped me a lot,” he said.

Meng has no intention of reinventing the wheel to emerge victorious from this duel.

“People know my style. To win, I'm going to have to keep this style. I will have to impose it and do what it takes to target its weaknesses. »

In addition to being left-handed, Meng is able to measure his distance well with his opponent. His left hand is short and powerful. He is able to throw it effectively.

Roy Jones Jr. as Idol

Meng got hooked on boxing after watching several boxing matches as a teenager.

"My dream was to become a professional," said the athlete. Afterwards, I made my amateur career and competed in the 2012 Olympics. My favorite boxer was Roy Jones Jr. because of his style and the way he handled his fights. »

When he decided to make the leap to the pros, Meng made the decision to move to the United States. He never looked back afterwards.

“The United States is the mecca of boxing. If you're going pro, you gotta come here. There is electricity in the air at boxing nights. »

By facing Jean Pascal, Meng will have international visibility. He must prevail with a sparkling performance to get closer to a world title fight.

On the other hand, we can count on Pascal to try to play the spoilsport.

ProBox TV executives pulled off a feat in anticipation of their May 20 card. They obtained the necessary authorizations to broadcast the duel between Fanlong Meng and Jean Pascal in China.

A market of 1.5 billion people that makes American promoters salivate.

Meng is crossing her fingers that this breakthrough on Chinese soil will be successful from all points of view.

"It's very meaningful to me," Meng said. It's never been done before. Professional boxing has never been accessible to the Chinese population. For the first time, my family will be able to see me in action.

"I don't think it's going to add pressure to my shoulders. I would rather say that it motivates me like never before. With my experience, I will be able to manage my emotions. »

He will also face a cunning opponent who is able to take advantage of this type of situation. Pascal will try to bring Meng to the unknown by all means.

Impressed by Bivol

Meng had a front row seat to watch the fight between Canelo Alvarez and WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, which was taking place in Las Vegas.

"Bivol had the right game plan and he followed it to the letter," said the southpaw. He has an excellent defense. He blocked several shots from Alvarez before launching good counterattacks. »

With his win, Bivol proved he shouldn't be underestimated even though he doesn't have the biggest punch in the 175lb division. We would like to see a clash of unification between Bivol and Artur Beterbiev in the fall.

Change for Spencer

Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) boxer Mary Spencer (4-0, 3 KOs) will not face former champion Chris Namus on May 28 in Brampton.

Spencer will instead face Yamila Esther Reynoso (12-10-3, 8 KOs) in an eight-round duel presented at the CAA Center.

Victim of a minor injury, Namus had to forfeit. However, his duel against Spencer has been postponed to June 23 at the Casino de Montreal.


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