Which version of Sergey Kovalev will fans see when “Krusher” steps into the ring on March 14: the bazooka power-puncher or the strategic tactician?
“I am going into the ring for my next victory,” Kovalev said during a media conference call in support of the event. “Knockout or decision doesn’t matter as long as I get the victory. Sure I am going to get my next victory. How it will happen, nobody knows.”
Kovalev will take on Jean Pascal at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The fight will be broadcast on HBO World Championship Boxing. Kovalev will be defending his WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight world titles.
Despite his reputation as feared knockout artist, undefeated Kovalev enters the ring against Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) having previously shutout common opponent Bernard Hopkins in one of the finest displays of the sweet science in recent times. Although Pascal himself failed to get to past Hopkins twice, Kovalev knows better than to take the Canadian lightly.
“Any fight is different because opponents are different on different dates,” the Russian bruiser said. “I can win somebody very easy but then can be very hard for somebody else. Pascal had problems with Hopkins but I beat him easy. It depends on the situation. It will be interesting what will happen March 14. Jean Pascal will see a problem.”
“I am not speculating in the future what will happen,” Kovalev said. “It just so happens that I stop my opponents early. Jean Pascal is my hugest challenger. This fight can be 12 rounds again. We can get score decision. Anything can happen. If it will be KO, it will be good for me. I am going to ring to show how I can do boxing. I want to see the result of my preparations.”
But opponent Jean Pascal has different designs.
“This fight is going to be a great, classic fight of the best against the best,” Pascal said, also on the conference call. “Sergey thinks he is the best. I think I am the best. It is going to be a big night in Montreal.”
Pascal was last in the ring against Roberto Bolonti. That fight was controversially ruled a ‘no contest’ when Pascal punched out Bolonti while coming out of a clinch. Previous to that, Pascal had dispatched Lucian Bute, George Blades, and Aleksy Kuziemski since suffering his first career-defeat to Bernard Hopkins in 2011.
“Sergey had a great fight against Bernard,” Pascal said. “In my mind I won both fights against Hopkins. Earlier in my career I defeated Darnell Boone. I whooped him and it took Kovalev two fights to defeat him. He has been dropped twice but I have never been knocked down in my career. That is why I am calling for an epic night on March 14.”
Despite fans’ incessant calls for a unification showdown against WBC light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev, who is Sports Illustrated and RING Magazine 2014 Fighter of the Year, knows better than to look past his upcoming opponent.
“I don’t care who I fight next,” Kovalev said. “My next fight against Pascal on March 14. That is the only thing I am thinking about right now. I am not thinking about anyone else.”
Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (19-0-1, 12 KOs) and Steve “USS” Cunningham (28-6, 13 KOs) co-feature for the Kovalev-Pascal card.
Tickets are on sale now at the Bell Centre ticket office, at http://www.evenko.ca, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525, or through Club de Boxe Champion 514-376-0980.
Road to Kovalev-Pascal premieres this Saturday, February 28 at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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