Jean Pascal hasn’t been relevant in boxing for the last couple of years. He has fought mostly in his hometown of Canada and none of his opponents have been notable names. Many fans have long forgotten how intense of a fighter he actually is. Pascal has had set backs in the ring mostly due to injury. Most recently, he came back from a shoulder injury that hindered him from fighting consistently. While Pascal has been on his hiatus from the limelight, a new breed of light heavyweight contenders have been destroying the competition. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev has gone from contender to champion during that time. Proving to be worthy of such praise, Kovalev went out to Pascal’s hometown in Montreal Saturday night seeking out to destroy his reputation. Since Pascal has been out of the limelight for so long it was a mystery just how the fight would play out. Many critics and fans alike believed Kovalev was way too strong for Pascal and would destroy him in a few short rounds. The crowd in Montreal was hoping for a fighting spirit in Pascal rooting him on Saturday night. To add more motivation to Pascal his daughter Angel was at ringside cheering for her father. During the telecast on HBO it was well documented how much love Pascal has for his daughter. She is the inspiration to him continuing on in his career which has been full with ups and downs.
From the start, Kovalev jumped on Pascal from the opening bell. He opened things up with some thunderous jabs that went through the defense of Pascal. In the first several rounds Pascal was only measuring him up with one shot. He didn’t throw combinations and instead persisted on throwing wild hooks hoping to land a shot that would put Kovalev down. Finally in the third round Kovalev rocked him. Pascal had never went down in his entire career. Kovalev proved he was much different than anyone he has ever faced. Kovalev landed a crushing right hand that had Pascal go through the ropes and down for the first time ever. With his legs buckling, Pascal was able to make it to the corner and continue the fight. In the very next round, he came out with shaky legs and was holding on to dear life. This showed us the tremendous amount of heart that Pascal has and proved to have a nice chin as well, since he was rocked several more times in the fourth as Kovalev was trying to end the fight. Instead, Pascal was able to get his legs back and started to land some clean shots of his own. Pascal was able to land more shots through the defense than any other fighter had. Even Kovalev himself had to admit after the fight he was hurt at least once during the fight. That says a lot considering even in his hometown Pascal was highly underestimated.
Kovalev came in the heavy favorite in the fight causing Pascal to add a picture of Rocky on his trunks.
Kovalev had never been past the 8th round in his career since his figh against Hopkins, but by the time that round began a serious fight was beginning to break out. Kovalev was never discouraged with any of the shots he was taking and just came forward applying serious pressure in the beginning stages of the 8th round. Then after a slippage in the center of the ring Kovalev cornered Pascal and landed a big combination that had him almost out on his feet. Instead Kovalev wasn’t able to capitalize because he again slipped on the mat giving Pascal a much needed break. Pascal was still out of it, however, and slipped all the way to the opposing corner during the short break. With Pascal leaning on the ropes to hold him up Kovalev landed another two flush punches to the head of Pascal and the referee stepped in. He called a halt to the fight with much disappointment from Pascal. I believe the referee did the right thing because a few minutes before hand Pascal was out on his feet. His pride and the ropes were the only thing keeping him up. With about 90 percent of boxers suffering some sort of head injury in the careers the stoppage saved Pascal from further damage. Adonis Stevenson was in attendance and approached Bernard Hopkins after the fight and stated “trust me I will fight him.” Alluding to the fight everybody wants to see a unification bout against Kovalev. When asked about the possibility of a fight with Stevenson Kovalev simply stated “I’m ready for anybody.”
The main event of the night was full of action. However, I wish I could say the same about the undercard. With the heavyweight division starting to heat up I thought we were going to be treated with a competitive battle. Steve Cunningham is picking up at the bottom of the division. He has been highly competitive since he joined the heavyweight division but hasn’t picked up a win that would solidify him as a top ranked competitor. In stepped untested contender “Czar” Glazkov. One similarity the fighters had coming into the contest was that both fighters have a low output of punches. Both are strong fighters though and possess enough power to turn out the lights on anybody. This was also the biggest fight of both fighters’ careers. So I thought both men would give us their best. Instead we just had a jabbing contest that never really got going. Both fighters were in the fight and nobody distanced themselves on the score cards. Still everybody at ringside thought Cunningham was out working Glazkov to earn a decision. Cunningham has lost close decisions before and Saturday night was no different. To the commentators surprise Glozkov won the decision pretty decisively. Late in the fight Glazkov did land some harder shots and that may have just persuaded the judges that he won the fight. Hopefully this won’t discourage Cunningham enough for him to call it quits but he does need to take some time off and take a new approach to his boxing style. As for Glazkov ,he needs more work and more dedication to the sport if he wants any other heavyweight to take him seriously.