Kovalev TKO’s Pascal In Action Packed Light


Sergey KovalevSergey Kovalev (27-0, 24 KOs) retained his light heavyweight titles with a TKO of Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) in round 8 of an action packed fight. In what could have been a complete blowout, Pascal showed the heart of a champion after weathering a hellacious beating at the hands of Kovalev earlier in the fight. Pascal may have ultimately come up short, but he stayed in long enough to be the first to expose some flaws in Kovalev that may be able to be exploited down the road.
The bout began with Kovalev pursuing Pascal and landing shots with relative consistency while Pascal seemed hesitant to stand in front of him and take any chances. Whenever Kovalev would bring more pressure, Pascal was happy to tie him up until the referee would break them up. The fight continued this way, until the second round when Kovalev landed a hard right that seemed to hurt Pascal.
As the third round started, Kovalev continued to land with consistency, but every once in a while Pascal would unleash some dangerous looking hooks that threatened to land with more consistency as the fight went on. Just as it looked like Pascal was getting his timing down, Kovalev caught Pascal with a left and then a right that knocked him through the ropes. Pascal was out on his feet as the bell rang, and it seemed like it would be all Kovalev from that point forward.
Kovalev came out in the 4th round looking to finish a not fully recovered Pascal and teed off on him for the first minute of the round. With Pascal unwilling to throw any punches, a stoppage would not have been unexpected but he weathered the storm and landed a hail mary right hook in the final minute of the round that made Kovalev back off and reconsider going for broke.
It was in round 5 that Pascal got to show what he was made of, as he came out landing huge shots, on Kovalev. It almost seemed like Kovalev checked out before the fight was actually over and Pascal was taking advantage, timing Kovalev with looping counters. The fight was anything but finished as Pascal continued to bring the fight to Kovalev in spots during the 6th round and showed tremendous heart after essentially being “knocked out” at the end of round 4.
By round 7, the threat of Pascal’s dangerous counter shots continued to loom but it became clear that the fight was taking its toll on him as Kovalev began to take back control and land with more consistency. Right before the bell Kovalev buckled Pascals legs, which ended up being a sign of things to come.
Pascal came out of his corner still reeling from the shot he took at the end of the previous round and Kovalev could not miss. He battered Pascal, wobbling him during the onslaught but Kovalev went after him so hard, he fell to the ground and gave Pascal a brief reprieve. While Kovalev collected himself, the ref saw Pascal stumble toward the corner and had to make sure he was okay to continue. The ref let it continue but he had already made up his mind that Pascal was done and two clean shots from Kovalev was all it took for the ref to stop the fight.
People will say that this was a quick stoppage, but the fight was already over when Kovalev slipped and Pascal stumbled around for the duration of the brief break in the action. It was a good stoppage as Pascal didn’t have anything else left to prove.
Kovalev, answered questions about his chin, but his defense was more suspect than ever during this fight. With hopes of a light heavyweight unification bout against hard punching Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev will have to sure up his defense if he expects to come out of the fight with all of his faculties.