Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal got a new opponent -- Roberto Bolonti -- for his fight on Dec. 6 (Integrated Sports PPV) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, InterBox promoter Jean Bedard announced.
The change, which was made on Monday, is the second major one to the card, which also lost its original headliner, light heavyweight Lucian Bute, the former super middleweight titleholder and Montreal's most popular fighter, to a back injury last week.
Bute was scheduled to face Bolonti in the main event with Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs), a late addition to the card and Montreal's second most popular fighter -- who is coming off a lopsided January victory against Bute -- slated to fight Chicago's Donovan George in the co-feature.
When Bute withdrew from the card because of the injury, Pascal-George was elevated to the main event. Now with George out, Pascal, 32, will face Bolonti, 35, of Argentina, instead.
There were rumblings just a few days ago that George (25-4-2, 22 KOs) would also drop off the card, prompting his promoter, Bobby Hitz, to issue a statement saying that was untrue.
"We highly dispute any reports that Donovan George pulled out of this fight. It's true that he just had twins, but we are still a go," Hitz said. "We were still negotiating the final details with InterBox. Since Bute pulled out of his fight, there's been a lot of confusion as to how to elevate this fight to the main event. A lot of people were muddying the waters on how to make this thing happen. We have flight arrangements and we are scheduled to arrive in Montreal on Nov. 30, and we intend on fulfilling that."
Well, they won't be, because Bedard pulled the plug on George's participation, saying that negotiations to get the deal signed had dragged on for too long.
"There comes a time when negotiations have to stop and you've got to move forward," Bedard said. "Pascal versus Bolonti was a scenario we'd already considered, and we think it's the right one. Plus, it's important for Jean Pascal to fight."
Bolonti (35-3, 24 KOs), who is coming off a lopsided decision loss in June challenging light heavyweight titlist Juergen Braehmer in Germany, was happy to remain on the card.
"This time, I was lucky to have a good, long-term training camp," Bolonti said. "It would have been a shame not to have the opportunity to fight. Although his style is different than Bute's, Pascal is just as big of a challenge for me."