Jean Pascal dominated war horse George Blades at the Bell Centre in Quebec as the former world light-heavyweight champion successfully prepared for his big showdown with Lucian Bute in early 2014.
The 30 year-old shook off nine months of ring rust pretty early on, but found the dogged American a tough nut to crack despite hitting Blades with some of his biggest punches throughout the first four rounds and being several classes above.
In the fifth, Blades was finally floored twice as Pascal proved his undoubted class, and with future opponent Bute watching on at ringside, the talented operator ended the fight with a superb double right hand to complete a third knockdown and a TKO win.
Also on the bill, Eleider Alvarez kept up his undefeated run by out-pointing one-time ranked contender Edison Miranda over ten rounds. The 29 year-old light-heavyweight looked on his way to a comprehensive victory over the veteran after five rounds, until a lull in the sixth and seventh allowed Miranda some hope – before a knockdown in the eighth made the win certain.
Judges at ringside rightly gave the Quebec-based Colombian a 99-90, 97-92, 95-94 triumph after he saw out the final two sessions without fuss, with the close card handed in by Ray DeCarufel a questionable one to say the least. Alvarez improves his record to 13-0.
Further down the undercard, home favourites Kevin Bizier and Antonin Decarie completed unanimous six-round decision successes over Guiseppe Lauri and Salim Larbi respectively to move onwards and upwards in their careers.