On March 14, in Montreal, Canada, the undisputed light-heavyweight Champion of the world, The 31-years-old Russian, Sergey Kovalev, will try to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO belts against the former WBC Champion, 32-years-old Jean Pascal of Canada.
All odds fully goes to Kovalev, but I wouldn't put Haiti born Pascal to the side so early. He is experienced and very dangerous opponent. He has demonstrated his skills, big heart and strenght against the many highest class opponents. Let's have a look on the most recognisable fights in Pascal's carrier.
In 2008, Pascal lost in very close to The Englishman Froch. By that time Jean wasn't really on the championship's level and just "burned-off". In 2009, follows two confident wins over The Romanian Diaconu, Pascal already being the champion. 2010, the victory with the technical decision over Chad Dawson. The draw and the very questionable loss against Hopkins, in 2010 and 2011. And finally, the easy win over the former IBF super-middleweight Champion, Lucian Bute from Romania, in 2014. Kovalev doesn't have such a big fights so far. Of course, Sergey earned the victory against Hopkins, too. But we all know that that wasn't The Alien Bernard we remember anymore.
Yes, Sergey Kovalev right now is riding on the wave, but by now he hasn't really fight any seasoned opponents, except The Spaniard Campillo and mentioned above "old chap" Hopkins. Sergey is always starting very fast and strong, but could he continue the same after 6 or 7 rounds against the real crafty fighter. I am sure he can, if only his own chin won't let him down literally. The fact is that Kovalev, being the amateur fighter back in Russia, had a couple of really bad knockouts. So, how Sergey will deal with the experienced and real strong rival into the twelve-round battle, still be a question!
PREDICTION: Kovalev will try to finish the fight early, or at least, to hurt Pascal at the opening rounds and then control the action till the last bell. Pascal can try to counter-punch Kovalev during The Russian's first attacks, or wait for the early squall and then try to catch Kovalev with the big one, when Sergey will be hepped on his attacks and, possibly, will neglect his own defense. But in any case, it is very hard to predict, will this fight go the distance or it will finish earlier. I bet 60/40 on Kovalev!
At the same show their title shots will have two other post-Soviet fighters. The Russian, Vasili Lipikhin, will fight for the vacant NABA light-heavyweight title against the experienced African, Isaac Chilemba from Mali. But The Ukrainian, Vyacheslav Glazkov, will try to take USBA heavyweight belt off the former WBC and IBF cruiserweight Champion, The American, Steve Cunningham.