Kovalev: I don’t think Roach changed Pascal at all
By Chris Williams: We heard how trainer Freddie Roach was going to change his fighter Jean Pascal (30-4-1, 17 KOs) to make him a better fighter than he was before he took over as his trainer. Unfortunately for Pascal, we found out tonight how much Roach had improved his talent, which was clearly not at all. Pascal was stopped in the 7th round by IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Kovalev, 32, says he didn’t see any change at all in Pascal’s ability. It was the same Pascal, as far as Kovalev was concerned.
“I don’t think Freddie Roach changed him at all,” Kovalev said. “He was actually easier for me. I hurt his ego the most because they stopped the fight when he was sitting in the corner on the bench. I hurt my left hand a little from a very hard punch. I broke his nose, maybe that is when I hurt my hand. I don’t like him. I punish him.”
I have to say that Roach’s stock really went down after tonight. His fighter Pascal wasn’t unchanged from before Roach took over as his trainer. Thanks to Roach, I think Pascal is even worse than he was before. Kovalev was right about Pascal being easier for him this time around compared to when they tough before back in March of last year. The reason why Pascal, 33, was easier this time was because Roach tinkered with his fighting style and messed him all up by having him box instead of slugging like he’d always done.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) January 31, 2016
If I’m Pascal, the first thing I’d do is dump Roach as my trainer. I’d go back to the guy that was training me before, because nothing good can come of Pascal being with Roach in my view. Roach tried to turn Pascal into a boxer in one camp. Talk about your huge blunders. You don’t try and change a fighter that has found success his entire career by slugging with his opponents. Roach should know that. Things obviously didn’t go well for Pascal in his first fight with Kovalev when he punched with him. The reason why it didn’t go well was because Kovalev is a better fighter with superior punching power. In other words, Kovalev is a better slugger than Pascal. But that’s why it was a bad idea for Pascal to fight Kovalev again in the first place. Pascal met his match against Kovalev, and there was nothing he could do to beat a guy like him no matter what he did. When you meet a guy that is simply too good for you, you move on and look in another direction instead of trying to change your fighting style.
Pascal needs to come in with a big broom and sweep Roach out of the gym and look for a new crew to train him in the future. Pascal needs to find another trainer, and go in another direction from Kovalev. Instead of fighting the Russian again, Pascal should look to take a few tune-ups and then go after WBA “regular” light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer to win his title. Braehmer is considered a paper champion in the eyes of a lot of fans, and it’s a very winnable fight for Pascal.