Former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal (36-6-1, 20 KOs) returned to the ring on Friday night and earned a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Fanlong Meng (17-1, 10 KOs) on a ProBox TV fight card from Plant City, Florida.
The 30-year-old Pascal was coming off of a two-and-a-half-year layoff, and while Meng started off well by outboxing Pascal, the wild-swinging former champion began connecting with regularity in the middle rounds.
Pascal’s biggest round came in the ninth when he floored Meng in the closing moments. Final scores were 116-111, 115-112, and 114-113 in favor of Pascal.
“The layoff affected my timing,” said Pascal afterward. “I tried to take the fight round-by-round. He was a very tough fighter, more than I expected. I saw that I could hurt him, so I pushed and pushed him. I tried to knock him out.”