Home News Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal fight preview & analysis

Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal fight preview & analysis

Credit: Bob Lévesque

This Saturday, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) will march back into Jean Pascal’s (30-3-1, 17 KOs) home turf to defend his Light Heavyweight World Titles in the much-anticipated rematch televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET. With the well-publicized history of bad blood between these two high-intensity fighters, fireworks are expected at the Bell Centre on Saturday. Below is the scouting report for this exciting rematch:

Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev
Jean Pascal
28-0-1 (25 KOs)
30-3-1 (17 KOs)
Kovalev has shown time and time again that he can knock anyone out with any punch he throws. He has also shown that he can take a punch just as well as he can throw one. He withstood some major shots in the first bout with Pascal, which ultimately ended any doubt about his chin.
Pascal is a gamer in every sense of the word. He is a crowd-pleasing fighter with good hand speed when he puts his punches together. He has good power in both hands and a good chin. He has competed against the division’s top fighters since 2008, before Sergey even made his pro debut.
Kovalev tends to leave openings in his guard which allows him to get hit. He has a fearless style that could get him into trouble with the power that Pascal brings when he decides to put his punches together.
Jean has a tendency to turn a boxing match into a slugfest which could be a dangerous move against the heavy-handed Krusher, but this is something Freddie Roach, Pascal’s new trainer, has said he aims to improve.
Kovalev has not been on the world stage as long as Pascal, but he has beaten two world champions (Bernard Hopkins and Nathan Cleverly) and two former world champions (Gabriel Campillo and Jean Pascal).
Pascal may still have a slight experience advantage. He has been in eight major title fights, and holds victories over Chad Dawson and Lucian Bute.
Krusher has unbelievable power in both hands. He throws every punch with bad intentions and puts together impressive combinations. He is also a very effective body puncher; he has ended a number of fights with shots to the midsection.
Although Pascal possesses solid power in both hands, he cannot match Sergey’s power. The Krusher has solidified his spot as the heaviest hitter in the light heavyweight division.
Kovalev has good hand speed that picks up once he smells blood and goes for the finish. He delivers a nasty onslaught of punches that has proven to overwhelm his opposition.
Pascal’s speed becomes more noticeable during his flurries of punches. He really turns it on when he has his opponent hurt and delivers a relentless attack that has proven effective in the past.
Sergey has only fought 12 rounds once in his career. He defeated former multi-division champion Bernard Hopkins in 2014 in a 12-round unanimous decision.
Pascal has been 12 rounds on nine separate occasions. His previous fight went the distance and he earned a decision win over previously unbeaten Yunieski Gonzalez.
Sergey shows great accuracy with the long-range aggressive style that he utilizes. He possesses very accurate and powerful body shots as well.
Pascal does not utilize his jab as well at times and tends to get somewhat wild when unloading flurries of punches. However, he has an overhand right that be a game-changer if landed flush.
Sergey’s primary strength is his offense which has been established as his best defense. He likes to stalk his opposition, however, which can lead to him taking unnecessary shots from his opponents.
Pascal does not move around the ring as well. He likes to stand in front of his opposition and let his hands go. Sometimes this can become his best defense, but led to his demise in his first bout with Krusher.
Kovalev has been knocked down twice in his career, but he has risen to the occasion both times to finish the fight. He also recovered well against Pascal after taking some thunderous shots from the former champion.
Jean has a really good chin and is willing to stand and trade with the division’s best and most powerful punchers. He has been in with many great fighters throughout his career, and has only been stopped once in his career. However, that knockout came from Kovalev just last year.
Kovalev is an offensive power-puncher who likes to buzz saw through his opponents. He likes to walk his opponents down utilizing a long-range aggressive style until he smells blood and can go for the finish.
Pascal is an aggressive fighter that will not hesitate to stand and trade with anyone. His fearless fighting style has kept him atop the light heavyweight division for many years.
Kovalev wants to leave no doubt in the minds of those who question who is the best light heavyweight in the world. He has opted to defend his titles in a rematch of the toughest bout of his career against former titleholder Jean Pascal. Not only will he be rematching the highly ranked light heavyweight, but he has agreed to do it in Pascal’s backyard once again.
Pascal refuses to take days off in the ring. His most recent bout was against former undefeated and ranked prospect Yunieski Gonzalez. After earning a decision in that bout, and handing the young up-and-comer the first loss of his career, he has decided to get right back at it against the division’s best and hardest hitter in Sergey Kovalev.
Crowd Support
Kovalev will, once again, march into enemy territory as he fights in Jean Pascal’s backyard. Also, because there is still bad blood between these two stemming from their last fight, expect the fans to be even more hostile towards the champion.
Pascal will have the clear crowd-support advantage as he fights in front of his home crowd. Expect the Canadian fans will be heavily on his side.
The Match-up:
  1. Will Sergey let the hostile Canadian crowd get to him and his game plan?
  2. Will Pascal improve his defense now that he is working with Freddie Roach?
  3. Will Sergey be focused on the Pascal fight and not look ahead to other fights?
  4. Will Pascal be able to handle The Krusher’s power this time around?

According to Main Events’ matchmaker and NABF Matchmaker of the Year, Jolene Mizzone, “The most important thing about this fight is the fact that both these fighters were willing to step back in the ring with each other again. Pascal was stopped in the last fight against Sergey and those thoughts and the power he felt have to weigh heavily on him, but he also has Freddie Roach in his corner now. Sergey got hit a lot by Pascal and it says a lot that he is willing to go right back to Pascal’s hometown to prove he is the best in the light heavyweight division. And with all the bad blood between these two, the tensions will be running high.”