Traditionally, rematches in sports can be blown out of proportion. In the sport of boxing getting a rematch entails the fact that you have gained more respect from your opponent then he originally had for you. There is the occasional rematch clause but more fighters are opting out of it with little to no consequences. The fact remains that you still have to garner enough respect to earn your way to a rematch in today’s boxing world.
Right now, we focus our attention on this weekends rematch between current light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev vs Jean Pascal. The last meeting happened ten months ago with Kovalev ending Pascal’s night early in the eigth round. Each man had one fight a piece since then. Kovalev looked even more impressive and got another KO under his belt, while Pascal struggled and earned a very controversial decision win against an up and coming prospect. Pascal did provide some excitement in their first bout but gained little respect from Kovalev after the knockout came. So the question undoubtedly is does Pascal have enough to gain the Russian’s respect?
Since numbers don’t tend to lie history tells us that once a fight ends in a knockout, the second fight will end quicker. After his last lack luster performance, nothing we have seen from Pascal tells us the rematch will be any different. Then he throws us a Wild Card, literally. Pascal has moved on to train in the Wild Card Gym with new traniner Freddy Roach. Leading up to this fight on Saturday night, Roach has been very judgmental of Pascal’s bad habits in the ring. Considering what he has done for other fighters like Miguel Cotto this may be the best thing Pascal has done for his career but we haven’t seen a fighter like Kovalev in quite some time. It is hard to believe anyone can beat him at this point.
I don’t know what type of new wrinkle will be added to Pascal’s game that will make a difference in this fight. I am predicting only what history has shown us in the past. Kovalev will win much quicker than he did ten months ago. This fight will just be added to the string of highlights already in his young career. I am interested in seeing what Roach can provide in adding depth to Pascal’s career. I believe he can add enough to give him more shots at bigger fights in the future. This weekend, however, he doesn’t stand a chance. You can fully expect Kovalev to move on in his reign of terror and supremacy.