Kovalev-Pascal final punch stats
By Dan Ambrose: Light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev may have closed the door finally on his rivalry with Canadian based fighter with his dominating 7th round knockout win last Saturday night on HBO Championship Boxing at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
While the 32-year-old Kovalev never officially put Pascal down on the canvas, he gave him enough of a beating to cause his trainer Freddie Roach to keep him on his stool following the 7th round of the fight. It was a wise decision for Roach to have stopped the contest because Pascal was no longer throwing punches after the 3rd round, and he was just out there soaking up punishment needlessly against the hard hitting Russian fighter Kovalev.
The final punch stats were lopsidedly in Kovalev’s favor with him landing 165 of 412 punches for a connect percentage of 40 percent, according to CompuBox. For his part, Pascal landed just 30 of 108 punches for a 28 percent connect percentage. That comes out to just 4.3 punches landed per round for Pascal in the seven rounds of the fight.
That’s dreadful. Only landing 4 punches per round is the signs of a massacre, but those are definitely legitimate stats. I had Pascal landing only 3 punches in round 4, and only 1 punch per round in rounds 5, 6 and 7.
It’s a wonder that Pascal’s trainer Roach didn’t stop the fight without even asking Pascal by the 6th, because he was no longer throwing any punches to speak of. It was just Kovalev out there hammering Pascal with everything in his toolkit and waiting for him to drop. It’s a credit to Pascal that he was able to take the kind of punishment that he did at the hands of Kovalev, because a lot of fighters would have dropped for the 10 count with the kinds of blistering shots that Kovalev was landing in the fight.
Pascal needs to review the kind of training that he did with Roach so that he can’t make that mistake in future fights. Pascal had the look of someone that may have overdone it in training camp. Pascal looked weak and couldn’t pull the trigger on his punches, even in the early rounds of the fight. Whether that was by design due to him wanting to box Kovalev, or a case of being overstrained is unclear. What is clear is that Pascal should not go back to the same plan for his future fights should he decide to continue his 11-year pro career.
Pascal might want to consider retirement at this point because he’s starting to look like a shot fighter. In my view, Pascal lost his last three fights to Kovalev and Yunieski Gonzalez. Unless Pascal is going to look for one big cash out fight against the likes of WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, I think retirement would be a good option.
I’m not sure that Stevenson vs. Pascal fight can get made, but if it can, then that would be a nice cash out option for Pascal to go out of the sport with a nice payday.
It’s doubtful that the Canadian boxing public will want to pay to see Pascal fight Lucian Bute again after Pascal’s one-sided fight in 2014. But if the Canadian fans were willing to watch Pascal fight Kovalev again, then I guess they’ll put up with another Pascal-Bute fight. That at least would be a winnable fight for Pascal. Bute lost his last fight to IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale, but he looked pretty good in that fight. Bute would probably smell blood in the water in a rematch with Pascal, and would go after him in a more aggressive manner than he did in their fight in 2014. Bute fought like he was afraid to throw punches in that fight. He was a much different fighter in his win over Andrea Di Luisa and in his recent loss to DeGale last year.
“No, I don’t like rematches, but this was a personal fight because Pascal was a special person,” Kovalev said after the fight. “I mean, he’s not polite with anybody around him and don’t respect fighters. Anybody he don’t respect, believe me. When I’m in Montreal, everyone said to me, ‘Kick his ass.'”
Let’s just hope that the boxing public doesn’t keep seeing Pascal vs. Kovalev fights in the future, because it’s not enough for them to build up these mismatches by trash talking each other outside of the ring. It’s a bad product for the fans inside the ring. They can keep peddling these horrible fights to the boxing public if they want, but at some point there’s going to be diminishing returns. Kovalev needs to be fighting better fighters, period. As for Pascal, I think he needs to retire or go look for a cash out fight against Stevenson.