Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul’s June 6 fight card is down a world title bout after Jean Pascal was removed from his rematch with Badou Jack for testing positive for three banned substances.
Light heavyweight world champion Pascal was set to fight Jack for the second time, but failed a VADA test that showed he had Drostanolone, Drostanolone metabolite and Epitrenbolone in his system.
If hardcore fight fans were iffy about tuning in for the spectacle of the main event, this was the fight that likely would have sold them the pay-per-view, after the pair’s action-packed 2019 bout which was won by Pascal in very controversial circumstances.
Both men landed knockdowns in the first fight, which went to a split decision that saw reigning champion Pascal retain his belt much to the chagrin of Jack.
Taking to Twitter, Jack confirmed the news, saying: “My fight with Jean Pascal is OFF as he tested positive for 3 different steroids.
“We suspected he was dirty the first time around and VADA confirmed it this time. I’m still fighting on June 6th and my team is looking for a replacement opponent.”
He continued in a further tweet, recalling his 2016 super middleweight world title defence against Lucian Bute, who later tested positive for Ostarine which saw their draw changed retroactively to a DQ win for Jack.
“This wasn’t the first time this happened to me,” he added. “Lucian Bute took steroids for our fight & now Jean Pascal.
“Are you so scared of a fair fight with me that y’all need to take steroids to fight me?”
Mayweather Promotions boss Leonard Ellerbe told Dan Rafael’s Fight Freaks Unite newsletter that Jack intends to stay on the card, with an opponent currently being scouted.
“It’s very, very unfortunate,” Ellerbe said. “I know Badou has worked so hard and he was so excited about getting redemption in this fight and very confident that he was going to destroy Pascal in this fight.
“This is just very unfortunate. Thank God for VADA testing. Badou had some concerns and he brought them to me and Floyd after the last fight and we ensured that VADA testing was in place.
“That’s what we do at Mayweather Promotions. We insist on testing and we pay for it. We always want a level playing field.
“Pascal was trying to set himself up to have a clear advantage in the fight and it’s just unfortunate. I’m very disappointed in him and these actions. I’ve lost a lot of respect for him, a lot of respect.”
The card will still feature some high-quality boxing, with Luis Arrias facing former super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd.
However, it will also include the boxing debut of Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, a former NFL star, in an exhibition bout with 33-year-old bareknuckle fighter Brian Maxwell.
The bill will be topped by Mayweather vs Paul; a bout which sees a 6″2′ cruiserweight with an 0-1 record in Paul taking on 5″8′ welterweight legend Mayweather, who retired a fifteen-belt 50-0 pro.