Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"The Shark" Bites Back at Jean Pascal

WBC light heavyweight titlist Adrian “The Shark” Diaconu responded to challenger Jean Pascal's comments that appeared yesterday on this website.

In the piece, Pascal essentially dismissed Diaconu, his abilities and his title. Pascal said that he will win easily on Friday night when the two meet for Diaconu's title belt at Montreal's Bell Centre. Pascal also talked about a sparring session from several years ago, before he even turned pro, in which he claims he got the better of Diaconu.

“Listen, talk is cheap,” said Diaconu who hails from Romania but now, like Pascal, resides in Montreal. “Come the time of the bell the time for talking will be over. When it comes time to fight there won't be any room for him to say too much and there won't be any time for talking.”

Diaconu is undefeated with a record of 26-0, 15KOs. He has been a pro for eight years but is largely an unknown, even among those that follow the sport of boxing closely. Few in the industry have seen him fight and those that have admit to only seeing brief clips of his bouts on YouTube.

Diaconu says his style, “Is like Mike Tyson's, who is my idol. I'm also a four-time world amateur champion. The thing about me is that I can fight anywhere in the world and feel comfortable,” said Diaconu who has fought in the U.S., Canada, Romania and Germany.

The thickly built Diaconu seemed mostly amused by Pascal's comments, especially about the sparring session that he was apparently on the wrong end of.

“I honestly don't remember too much about what happened back then,” said Diaconu. “I remember he was an amateur, still. I seriously don't remember that much about it.” The best guess is that the sparring session took place at least five years ago before Pascal had turned pro and well before Diaconu had become the WBC 175-pound belt holder.

Diaconu says he has trained very hard for this fight and that he plans on sticking to the course of action that he and his team have developed to defeat Pascal. He is expecting many friends and supporters from Romania to cheer him on, although he admitted that Pascal will likely have more fans in attendance than he will.

And like “Broadway” Joe Namath, who “guaranteed” that his New York Jets football team would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, Diaconu is making the same proclamation for his fight against Pascal.

“I want to tell you something,” said the likable Diaconu. “I'm ready to go. I'm going to guarantee a win and I'm looking for a great fight, a fight for the fans. I like for the people to remember me like a great champion. Boxing has given me everything that I have. All I know is boxing.”

June 2009

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