Two of the world’s top light heavyweights face off in a highly anticipated title showdown when HBO World Championship Boxing presents a tripleheader headlined by Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal and featuring Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Steve Cunningham and Isaac Chilmeba vs. Vasily Lepikhin this Saturday, March 14 at 9:45 p.m. from the Montréal Bell Centre in Montréal, Canada.
In the main event, undefeated Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs) of Kopeysk, Russia, now living in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., takes on Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) originally from Port-au-Prince Haiti, now living in Laval, Quebec, Canada in a 12-round light heavyweight title contest. The fast-rising, hard-hitting Kovalev has taken the division by storm with an 85% knockout ratio, and solidified his standing with a 12-round unanimous decision in a title unification bout against future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins last November. One of the sport’s top attractions thanks to his fan-friendly style, Kovalev enjoyed a banner year in 2014, earning fighter of the year honors from a host of boxing news organizations. The fight marks his sixth HBO appearance.
Also known for his rugged style and never-back-down approach, Pascal was last seen on HBO in Jan. 2014 when he defeated Lucian Bute. He’ll draw support from a partisan hometown crowd in this showdown.
In the co-feature, Vyacheslav Glazkov (19-0-1, 12 KOs) from Lugansk, Ukraine, now living in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., takes on Steve Cunningham (28-6, 13 KOs) of Philadelphia in a scheduled 12-round heavyweight title elimination fight. The winner will be a contender for a heavyweight title bout with Wladimir Klitschko.
Glazkov was a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist for Ukraine. Cunningham, a former two-time cruiserweight titleholder, has drawn inspiration from his nine-year-old daughter Kennedy, who has triumphed over a heart defect and survived a heart transplant. Both fighters are making their HBO debuts.
In the opening bout, Isaac Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs), originally from Blantyre, Malawi, now living in Johannesburg, South Africa, takes on undefeated Vasily Lepikhin (17-0, 9 KOs) from Gelendzhik, Russia, in a scheduled 12-round light heavyweight contest. Rising steadily in the ranks of the light heavyweight division, Chilemba has a 4-0-1 record against undefeated opponents. In his third North American appearance, Lepikhin will look to make a major move in the rankings.