Russian wrecking machine Sergey ‘The Krusher Kovalev’ defends his WBO WBA and IBF light heavyweight titles against the experienced former world champion Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on March 14th.
Jean Pascal has the advantage of a home crowd in Montreal but there is an icy and sinister persona about the Russian which gives off the unquestionable sense that he will not be affected by anyone outside of the ropes. The unbeaten Sergey Kovalev has been cleaning out the division fight by fight and the boxing public are now waiting in anticipation for him to face off against WBC champion and fellow knockout merchant Adonis Stevenson. Now residing in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, Kovalev has amassed 23 knockouts in his 26 professional victories and in his last fight beat the legendary Bernard Hopkins. Although 49-year old Hopkins is past the peak of his powers, he is still a legitimate world champion who had been beating younger fighters including Jean Pascal back in 2011. Hopkins had the know-how and experience to survive the distance against Kovalev but surviving was as good as it got for Bernard. He was physically outgunned and completely dominated from minute one to minute thirty-six in a manner that no fighter had ever beat him before. Kovalev looks very big and strong at the weight and looks at the peak of his powers.
Jean Pascal has been rebuilding since being beaten by the wiley veteran American Bernard Hopkins. The Haitian born Canadian is arguably the physically strongest and most explosive fighter that Kovalev has come up against so far. After losing his world titles to Hopkins he drafted in none other than the legendary Roy Jones Junior into his team and the addition to his coaching team looked to have paid dividends in his last officially sanctioned bout against fellow Canadian Lucian Bute who he beat via way of a 12 round unanimous decision. With that win Pascal re-established himself as a threat in the division and has some momentum back in his career. He will have to be right mentally to take on the toughest challenge of his career; he has sometimes lacked the focus to deliver his best performances.
Kovalev has a similar reputation to Gennady Golovkin in being one of the most feared fighters in the sport. They don’t look the most technical of boxers and are not attractive in style but seem to be made of steel and push forward with a relentless pressure. Most importantly of all, they punch extremely hard. He is the heavy favourite going into this match up and whilst Pascal can be something of a lose canon making him a dangerous man you will be struggling to find many punters who aren’t backing ‘The Krusher’ on Saturday night. Pascal can tire and look fatigued and become ragged in the latter stages and it could be then that Kovalev seizes the opportunity to crank up the pressure.
KOVALEV W26 KO23 L0 KO0 D1 KO% 85.19
PASCAL: W29 KO17 L2 KO0 D1 KO%51.52