Pascal beats Diaconu for WBC crown
Jean Pascal dealt Adrian Diaconu his first defeat, seizing the WBC light heavyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision.
Pascal knocked down Diaconu in the fifth round of an action-packed bout as the he triumphed over Romanian-born Diaconu in a battle of Quebec-based fighters in front of 13,659 fans at the Bell Centre.
Judge Maximo de Luca scored the bout 115-112, John Keane scored it 116-112 and Jack Woodburn saw it 116-111 for Pascal, who improved to 23-1 with 15 knockouts.
It was Pascal's first fight since stepping up to light heavyweight. He lost a bid for the WBC super-middleweight belt to Carl Froch on December 6 in Nottingham, England.
He didn't disappoint, downing Diaconu with a left in the fifth and unleashing another flurry after the champion rose.
Diaconu was able to withstand the onslaught and finished the round with a burst of his own.
In the 11th round, Diaconu rocked Pascal with a right to the jaw and the two fighters went toe-to-toe in an exchange that brought the crowd to its feet.
There was more action in the 12th, when a bloodied Diaconu was unable to put Pascal down.
Diaconu, making his first defence of the title, fell to 26-1, with 15 wins inside the distance.
Diaconu had emerged with the title after a victory over Chris Henry in Romania in April of 2008, which gave him the interim belt. Then unbeaten Chad Dawson was stripped of the title for refusing to face Diaconu.
Two scheduled defences against Silvio Blanco of Italy were canceled, so Diaconu's only bout since his win over Henry was an eight-round decision in a non-title bout against David Whittom.