When he learned that Carl (The Cobra) Froch wanted him as a sparring partner, Jean Pascal couldn't believe it.
"At first, I said no way," Pascal said yesterday. "But then I decided it would be good for me, because we had a good fight. I'll look back and be better for it."
Froch was thinking the same thing. The undefeated WBC super middleweight champion, Froch will fight Jermain Taylor in Connecticut on April 25 (televised on Super Channel) and figured Pascal, the man he beat in a bout that went 12 rounds in December, would help provide the perfect preparation. Pascal's willingness to spar with Froch played a major role in the decision of Froch, a native of Nottingham, England, to train for the Taylor fight in Niagara Falls.
"Two proud warriors," Froch, who was at the Cabbagetown Boxing Club yesterday, said of his relationship with Pascal.
"We have a lot of respect for each other and there are no hard feelings."
The 31-year-old Froch is 24-0 with 19 knockouts in his career, while Taylor, whose best days probably are behind him, is 27-2-1 with 18 knockouts. Taylor, 30, hails from Little Rock, Ark., and is a former middleweight champion.
Not surprisingly, each man is predicting fairly bad things for the other once they get in the ring. The next boxer who recoils when placed before a microphone will be the first one.
"I was not impressed with (Taylor's) fight against Jeff Lacy (last November, which Taylor won)," Froch said. "I did not see anything new.
"The fact is, on the 25th of April, we're going to find out exactly what he has left. I'm going to put pressure on him with hard, heavy shots."
Taylor, who goes by the nickname 'Bad Intentions,' has been quoted as saying that Froch "won't be able to hold up to the firepower I'm bringing in the ring."
Before he and Pascal went the distance, Froch had not fought into the 12th round since July of 2005, a span of seven bouts. But Froch, in hindsight, is glad it went that long. If it happens with Taylor, he will be ready.
"I know I can go guerilla warfare for 12 rounds," Froch said. "I didn't know I had that in me. Now I do."
That Froch got Pascal as his sparring partner was shrewd, TSN boxing analyst Russ Anber said.
"(Pascal) is somebody who is going to match Taylor's strength, Taylor's hand speed, and he is probably a little more elusive than Taylor is," Anber said. "It's an absolute benefit for Froch. I would be quite surprised if Jermain Taylor has one of the top super middleweight fighters as his sparring partner."