Kovalev TKOs Pascal in 7
By Dan Ambrose: In an easy one-sided fight, IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) gave challenger Jean Pascal (30-4-1, 17 KOs) in a slow beat down in stopping him in the 7th round on Saturday night on HBO Championship Boxing at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Pascal’s new trainer Freddie Roach stopped the fight after the 7th round in order to protect Pascal due to the punishment he was taking. Pascal looked like he had a nose injury. His nose was badly swollen up and it looked really bad. His left eye was swollen as well.
After the fight, Kovalev said that he intentionally didn’t finish off Pascal in order to punish him because he sees him as a bad person.
“I was fighting more to give him [Pascal] more pain, to punish him more,” Kovalev said to HBO’s Max Kellerman after the fight. “I don’t respect him at all.”
When asked about his thoughts about fighting Andre Ward later this year, Kovalev said “I’m very happy if this fight will happen.”
At this point, Kovalev switched subjects, saying he wants to fight a unification fight against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, who Kovalev referred to as a chicken. Stevenson just happened to be in the ring at the time and he had to be retrained and taken out of the ring after he started looking riled up.
“I’d like to unify all the titles. I’d like to fight Adonis Chickenson,” Kovalev said in referring to Stevenson.
Kovalev then started making a good imitation of a chicken. Stevenson then came forward and said “I’m the champion of the world! I’m the champion of the world” At that point, Stevenson was escorted out of the ring before the two of them could get into it.
The Kovalev-Pascal 2 fight tonight was even more one-sided than their previous fight in March of last year. Whatever changes that Roach made with Pascal’s fighting style, it was for the worse. Roach did not improve Pascal at all. If anything, he made him worse by having him fight passively during the early rounds, which is when Pascal is usually at his best. Those ended up being wasted rounds for Pascal, because he wasn’t attacking Kovalev like he was in the first fight in trying to land pot shots.
— Sergey Kovalev (@KrusherKovalev) January 31, 2016
In the 1st round, Kovalev appeared to drop Pascal with a jab to the head. However, Pascal caught a break with the referee ruling it a slip. Pascal threw almost no punches in the first and the 2nd rounds. It was all Kovalev with him teeing off on a passive looking Pascal with jabs, right hands and left hooks. Kovalev’s jab was like a power punch. Pascal’s head was snapping back each time Kovalev would nail him with a jab.
Pascal landed some nice shots near the end of the 3rd round. There was a brief toe-to-toe exchange in last 20 seconds that favored Pascal. He landed some clean shots. However, instead of hurting Kovalev with the punches, they seemed to anger him. Kovalev looked like he wanted to tear Pascal apart after the round ended. Earlier in the round, Pascal had picked up Kovalev and tackled him on the canvas in a football move. Kovalev responded by punishing Pascal with hard power shots. Pascal chose to clinch at times to try and shutdown Kovalev, but this led to Kovalev nailing Pascal with jackhammer short punches to the head over and over while he was being held. Kovalev made Pascal pay each time he held in that round.
The 4th round was a very one-sided round with Kovalev landing at will with power shots. Pascal only landed two punches in the entire round according to my punch stats. Pascal was mostly taking severe punishment in moving around the ring and covering up.
Pascal retreated to the ropes early in the 5th round, and he got nailed with monstrous shots from Kovalev. The referee was looking closely at the action as if he was getting ready to halt the fight. Kovalev badly hurt Pascal with a big right hand at the start of the round that had him nearly helpless and covering up. To Pascal’s credit, he was able to make it out of the round without going down, but he was fortunate that the referee didn’t stop the fight. He looked like he was going to.
The 6th round was just as one-sided as the 5th round was with Kovalev doing all the punching, and Pascal just taking one vicious head shot after another. After the 6th round ended, Roach said to Pascal in the corner “You can’t just lay on the ropes. If you keep doing that, then I’m going to stop it. You’re taking too much punishment.”
Pascal got worked over a couple of times in the 6th, when he retreated to the ropes and just covered up as Kovalev nailed him at will with power shots. It was unbelievable how much punishment Pascal took in the round, because he was getting clean by Kovalev with nearly every punch and he wasn’t throwing anything back at him.
Roach agreed to let Pascal come out for the 7th on the condition that he needed to show him something otherwise he was going to stop it after the round ended. Unfortunately for Pascal, he only threw a couple of token left hands in the round, and spent most of the time just taking shots, moving and clinching.
It looked like Kovalev was taking it easy on Pascal from the 6th round. Kovalev had Pascal ready to go in the 5th, but after that round, Kovalev slowed way down and seemed to be fighting at 75 percent of his full capacity instead of 100 percent like before. I think Kovalev was on the level when he said he was trying to prolong the beating in order to punish Pascal and give him more pain due to his bad feelings for him. Pascal had called Kovalev a racist during the run up to the fight, and he really angered him.