Monday, November 28, 2022  |



Jean Pascal: Sergey Kovalev fight ‘greatest held in Canada’

Sergey Kovalev last fought in Canada in November 2013 in Quebec City, Quebec, when the Russian light heavyweight knocked out Ismayl Sillakh in the second round of the first defense of his WBO title.
Kovalev will return to Canada on March 14, this time at the Bell Centre in Montreal, where he’ll defend his IBF/WBA/WBO titles against former RING/WBC champion Jean Pascal on HBO.
“The ring is the same everywhere,” said Kovalev, 31, during a Monday press conference at La Cage aux Sports of Boucherville, Quebec. “I plan to show who I am to Canadian boxing fans, and I aim to do the things they like to see in a ring.”
Nicknamed “The Krusher,” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 knockouts) likes to score stoppage wins, having gone 14-0-1 with 13 knockouts in his past 15 fights. Kovalev won the belt by fourth-round stoppage over Nathan Cleverly, flooring him twice during their bout in August 2013.

In his last fight last month, Kovalev scored a first-round knockdown during a shutout unanimous decision over Bernard Hopkins, adding the loser’s IBF and WBA belts to his own WBO title.

Called, “the best possible opponent I could face in the weight division” by Kovalev, Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting for the sixth straight time at Bell Centre.

“I respect Sergey Kovalev, because he is the king of the light heavyweight division,” said Pascal, 32. “This will be the greatest challenge ever faced by a Quebec-based boxer. But with discipline and hard work, as well as the support of local boxing fans, nothing is impossible.”

Coming off a no-contest against Roberto Bolonti on Dec. 6, Pascal has said that he plans to “surprise a lot of people when I take those belts” from Kovalev.

Prior to Bolonti, Pascal had won his previous fight in January by unanimous decision over former IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute, representing his third straight since losing his WBC title via unanimous decision to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011.

During that time, Pascal has also scored a unanimous decision over Aleksy Kuziemski in December 2012 and a fifth-round knockout of George Blades in September 2013.

“If you’re a boxing fan, this is the perfect Christmas gift to give to someone you love,” said Pascal. “Because it will be one of the greatest fights ever, and the greatest ever held in Canada.”



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