Surging WBO/WBA/IBF unified lightheavy champ Sergey Kovalev defends against fading former WBC titlest Jean Pascal at the Montreal Bell Centre in Montreal, Saturday, March 14. Sadly for boxing this is probably the best financial offer for Kovalev who will be fighting against his second straight stinker-stylist after surgically dismantling the propped up carcass of Bernard Hopkins who failed to land a single signature headbutt much less any punches of authority.
The storied lightheavy division has been the most densely populated division by both historical numbers and great fighters, yet is so weak today that poor representatives such as Hopkins and Pascal have been able to continue on well past their sell date as relevant light heavies. The physically fragile Pascal displayed some talent and natural attributes in his prime, but never put together the heart for fighting more than in spurts or the stamina or to pressure anyone over the distance. Lacking knockout power, his style needed to coast along after quick starts with running finishes to cop his usual hometown decisions.
Pascal needs to make things as ugly defensively as he can to survive, thus it’s difficult to see him pulling off such a blatant hometown robbery, but there have been worse robberies. Kovalev is very hungry and willing to risk his chances away from home because he’s a Russian expatriot always fighting in the other guy’s backyard not to mention very big and strong at the weight. He knows how to meld aggressive, effective boxing technique with spectacular power. The other Canadian, Al Haymon “advised” Adonis Stevenson, doesn’t want to know him, so poor Kovalev will be stuck fighting in the vacuum of club fighters left in the former storied lightheavy division even if he wins.
The subcard looks somewhat dreary with Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov, 19-0-1, 12 KO going against Steve “USS” Cunningham, 28-6-0, 13 KO. Glazkov is a legitimate contender with a non-dramatic plodding, pressuring style that will not be flattered by the fast running, tap, tap American style of the game but past it Cunningham out of his depth at heavyweight. Main Events and InterBox are the co-promoters and more power to them for keeping smaller promoters, contenders and champs busy.