Kovalev halts Pascal in hard-fought win
IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) stopped former WBC titlist Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) in the 8th round on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Kovalev was given the toughest fight of his professional career while he dropped Pascal, who had never previously been knocked down in his career, in the third and then stopped him in the eighth as he retained his three 175-pound world titles.
Both came out firing hard shots a couple of rounds in. Pascal, competing in his home town, had some success, landing a hard left hook in the second round, but Kovalev did not budge.
Pascal landed some clean shots in the third round, but Kovalev again took the blows. The Russian roared back and nailed Pascal with a left hook that had him rocked and on the verge of going down.
Moments before the round ended, Kovalev landed a right hook that floored the Haiti-born puncher for the first time in his career.
Pascal still hadn’t recovered in the fourth and was unable to fight back as Kovalev teed off. But the challenger landed enough shots, including two hard right hands to the head, to stay in the fight.
Pascal’s right eye was now swollen but in the fifth, he backed up Kovalev with some shots of his own and the champion was forced to tie him up.
Pascal enjoyed the better of things in rounds six and seven but ultimately couldn’t avoid the fight-ending blows that came in the eighth.
Kovalev blasted Pascal into the ropes with a series of punches and looked like he was about to stop him, but Kovalev slipped on the canvas.
It gave Pascal a brief reprieve but as soon as the action resumed Kovalev moved in for the kill and landed two hard right hands to the head and the referee Luis Pabon rightly jumped in to wave it off at 1:03 of the round.
Also on the card, unbeaten Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (20-0-1, 12 KOs) defeated American veteran Steve Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator.
Former two-time cruiserweight titlist Cunningham was busier throughout the fight, out-landing Glazkov, but the Ukrainian landed the more powerful shots. It was a close fight but all three judges had it for Glazkov by scores of 116-12, 116-112 and 115-113.
Glazkov is now in a mandatory position to challenge countryman and world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Other results on the card:
Dierry Jean W Carlos Manuel Reyes KO 3
Nadjib Mohammedi W Lee Campbell TKO 6
Dmitry Mikhaylenko W Felipe De la Paz Teniente RTD 5
Isaac Chilemba W Vasily Lepikhin UD 10
Yves Ulysse Jr W Miguel Antoine TKO 5
David Theroux W Lukasz Janik TKO 3