It wasn't a war of words that marked the weigh-in for Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, but what was in the challenger's stomach as short-lived histrionics took a back seat to some eggs and orange juice.
Hopkins, who at 46 is attempting to become the oldest title holder in history, failed to make weight on his first attempt on the scale in Montreal Friday afternoon, coming in four ounces more than the 175-pound limit. He was given two hours to drop the weight but did so within 60 minutes.
The Philadelphia-born former champion and future Hall of Famer, known as the Executioner, said an early morning meeting with HBO caused him to eat later than he wanted, hence the extra weight.
"That's what happens with old age. I ate good," Hopkins said. "Egg whites and juice."
He also made no secret of how he shed the extra ounces to qualify for the light-heavyweight title bout Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
"I just lost a pound," he said. "Don't go in the bathroom I just used."
Pascal, the 28-year-old WBC champion from Laval, Que., also came in overweight at 175.1 pounds but qualified after stripping down, including taking off his tuque and underwear, and getting on the scale again.
The official weight for both Hopkins (51-5-3, 32 KOs) and Pascal (26-1-1, 16 KOs) was 174.14 pounds.
Pascal and Hopkins fought to a draw in November. Hopkins, considered a long shot then, was knocked down twice early, but controlled the rest of the bout. The WBC ordered a rematch.
The pre-fight buildup has been marked by verbal jousting between the boxers. Pascal, who has promised to knock out Hopkins within four rounds, kept up his attack during the weigh-in.
"It will be your last fight," Pascal said to Hopkins, who muttered something in reply before leaving the stage.
Even as the boxers went their separate ways to prepare for their confrontation in the ring, those who run the fight game were already looking ahead to another major bout in Canada.
"If Bernard wins I think the people of Montreal, of Quebec, will accept him as their own, and having another major fight here would be good for the sport," said Hopkins' promoter, Richard Schaefer, comparing the passion of Canadian fight fans with those of the U.K., who would fly to Las Vegas to see countryman and former light welterweight champ Ricky Hatton box.
Schaefer talked about a potential match between Hopkins and Chad Dawson, a light heavyweight on the undercard Saturday.
Dawson, who was dethroned as light heavyweight champion by Pascal, is fighting Adrian Diaconu. The winner is expected to fight the victor of the Hopkins-Pascal bout.
"This is boxing so anything can happen, but I expect that if Bernard wins he will defend the title against Chad Dawson,"
HBO vice-president Kery Davis said after the weigh-ins.