Same Result, Different Day: Sergey Kovalev stops Jean Pascal again in rematch

January 31, 2016

Kovalev punches Pascal / Photo Credits: David Spagnola/Main Events

Undefeated WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) retained all three of his titles with a dominant win over former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal (30-4-1, 17 KOs) in their rematch bout Saturday night, as Pascal's corner halted the bout prior to the start of Round Eight.

Pascal, who was hoping for a different result after switching to highly-respected trainer Freddie Roach, started off cautiously and went quickly downhill from there, as his punch volume diminished significantly after the early rounds.  Perhaps a reason for that decrease in energy was an apparent broken nose Pascal suffered during the fight.

"I don't think Freddie Roach changed him at all," said Kovalev.  "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."

By the fifth round, Pascal seemed to be barely able to stay on his feet, and unlike his first bout with Kovalev, was making little effort to retaliate. Roach nearly stopped the fight a round earlier, but Pascal pleaded for one last chance in the seventh round.

After a lot of trash-talking prior to the bout, Kovalev seemed intent on punishing Pascal, as he frequently would nail Pascal in the corner with a hard combination, and then back away rather than attempting to finish his opponent.

"Regardless of what he is as a person, Sergey Kovalev is a great champion," said Pascal. "I give him all the credit he deserves. This is the first time he showed he is a clean athlete and I was pleased to prove this by paying for his VADA drug testing. I will be back and better than ever, but as always I know my performances dictate my narrative so I will let my next fights do all my talking."

Now with Pascal out of the way, the two men everyone wants to see in the ring against Kovalev both happened to be seated in the arena -- former Super Middleweight champ Andre Ward and current WBC Light Heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson.

When asked about a potential fight with the talented Ward, Kovalev said, "I am very happy this fight will happen."

Stevenson, despite his public posturing for a Kovalev bout, fights on a rival network, and therefore, might have certain entanglements hindering the making of such an event.

Those concerns apparently mean very little to the intimidating Kovalev.

"I want to unify all four titles," said Kovalev.  "I want to fight Adonis Chickenson."

The Undercard: Mikhaylenko defeats Mayfield by unanimous decision

Dmitry "They Mechanic" Mikhaylenko (21-0, 9 KOs) won the vacant USBA Welterweight Title with a unanimous 10-round decision over Karim Mayfield (19-3-1, 17 KOs).  The judges scored the bout 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91.

After the fight, Mikhaylenko said, "It was a lot of hard work in the ring. Mayfield was tougher than I thought he was going to be. He hung on me too much but I was able to throw more punches. I am happy with my performance."

Mayfield, who took the fight on short notice, came out of the gates swinging so hard he nearly fell over. Both fighters threw wild punches in the early fast-paced rounds, but the Mechanic's pressure and punch volume eventually carried to the win, as he dominated the remainder of the fight.

Mayfield added, "He is tough, very durable. He was able to absorb my punches. He took some good shots from me, but he was able to recover very well. Really tough guy. Future champ. You need more time to prepare for a guy with Mikahaylenko's style. I would like a rematch and have the proper time to prepare."

By Staff of and news services

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