Pascal’s motivation for the rematch was the hiring of trainer Freddie Roach with whom he felt he discovered the strategy to defeat Kovalev. What Pascal didn’t take into consideration was that Kovalev had already solved him first, having been beaten by TKO in 8 one-sided rounds 14 months ago. The changes he hoped for with Freddie Roach were never on display, most likely neutralized by Kovalev’s concussive power. But let’s face it as well, for a fighter at 33 years old and at this stage of his career, he’s not going to reinvent his style even with a hall of fame trainer in the corner.
As if the first match wasn’t conclusive enough, the beat down in the rematch proved to be far worse. Hard thudding jabs and massive right hands from Kovalev landed at will. Pascal attempted to fire back with the same counters he had landed successfully in their prior bout, but Kovalev anticipated each move. As the rounds progressed, the beating worsened with Pascal slowly being picked apart. The 5th round was a brutal one, hard body shots hurt Pascal and trapped him on the ropes where Kovalev was able to unleash combinations at will.
Pascal just may have the biggest heart and hardest chin in boxing, using all his might to stay on his feet. At the end of the 7th, Roach signaled to the referee they had seen enough, attempt of redemption had failed.
Sergey Kovalev remains king in the light heavyweight division and with the Adonis Stevenson match dead in the water, Andre Ward has stepped up to the plate to challenge the Russian destroyer later this year, which turns out to be a more intriguing fight than Stevenson.
Hard to say if Jean Pascal is done as an elite fighter, but by his own words, he still considers himself a top 175 pounder and is willing to take on any other opponent, curious to see where he goes from here.
On the undercard, an all-Quebec affair between Francis Lafreniere and Renan St-Juste turned into a grueling 10 round war. Lafreniere and St-Juste stood toe to toe, landing bruising shots on each other. Lafreniere, the fresher of the two, constantly moved forward and backed up St-Juste who countered with power shots. More than once, St-Juste was out on his feet but never went down and stood his grown, resulting in savage exchanges.
After the final bell, Lafreniere was the winner by unanimous decision. By far, it was the fight of the night, stealing the show, and reaping a standing ovation from a crowd of almost 10,000 at the Bell Centre.
Canelo and Khan Break the Internet
Some breaking news coming from the Golden Boy Promotions camp sent the online boxing world in frenzy. In fact, they announced an agreement was reached for Canelo Alvarez to defend his middleweight title against Amir Khan on May 7th, on an agreed catch weight of 155lbs. An unexpected choice from Canelo as Khan was never in the conversation as a potential opponent for this spring. Khan finally gets the big fight he’s long coveted for after being snubbed by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, while Alvarez finds an opponent for his interim defense as he prepares for a September showdown with Gennady Golovkin.