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Jones Jr. says Pascal wants rematch against Kovalev

Jean Pascal Roy Jones Jr. Sergey KovalevBy Dan Ambrose: Trainer Roy Jones Jr. says that former WBC 175lb champion Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) wants a rematch against unbeaten IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) to try avenge his 8th round knockout loss from last March in Canada.

Pascal, 32, was stopped on his feet after having been hurt in the 8th. Jones Jr. thinks that Pascal has learned his lesson of not getting hit with Kovalev’s jabs, and he feels he’ll do better the second time around.

“We definitely want that rematch,” Jones Jr. said via Fighthype. “I feel like Pascal gave Kovalev the best fight of all so far, so I think doing it again will be a good idea. I think he’ll [Pascal] will listen this time and not let Kovalev hit him with his jabs. I think he’ll be a smarter guy. He’ll be much more competitive this time around.”

I don’t think there will be any difference in a second fight. Pascal will probably duck below the waist to try and avoid getting hit with Kovalev’s jabs. It won’t work. Kovalev is going to hit the shorter Pascal with his jabs at will, and the fight will be another mismatch.

Kovalev has a title defense coming on July 18th against Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. After that fight, Kovalev doesn’t have any fights scheduled. Perhaps his promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events might be interested in putting Kovalev back in the ring with Pascal if the price is right.

Without Pascal redeeming himself by beating someone in between then, it makes it difficult to take a Kovalev-Pascal rematch seriously. Pascal should really think about getting back in the ring and proving that he can beat a top light heavyweight contender instead of the weak opposition he’d been facing before Kovalev fought him last March. Before Kovalev beat Pascal, the Canadian based Pascal had fought Roberto Feliciano Bolonti, Lucian Bute, Aleksy Kuziemski and George Blades in the last three years. None of those guys are major players in the light heavyweight division.

If Jones Jr. believes in Pascal, he should let him prove himself against top contender Artur Beterbiev first. If Pascal can beat Beterbiev, then he should get a rematch with Kovalev. But if he can’t beat Beterbiev, then it would show clearly that Pascal isn’t for real and doesn’t rate a second fight against Kovalev.

Without a big win over someone like Beterbiev, I think the interest in a second fight between Kovalev and Pascal would be minimal at best. There’s no reason for that fight because Pascal doesn’t have the fire power or the talent to beat Kovalev.

Kovalev wants a fight against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, but that fight can’t happen unless Stevenson comes over to HBO for it to take place. That’s not looking good. Without a fight against Stevenson, Kovalev’s options are pretty limited for a big fight at light heavyweight. He’s not going to get a fight against WBA regular light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer, and the rest of the contenders, aside from Beterbiev, don’t have the talent or the popularity to make it an interesting fight.


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