Getting on Sergey Kovalev’s bad side is probably not one of the best ideas, but it seems as though Jean Pascal has done just that. Ever since “Krusher” knocked out the Haitian-born Canadian, Pascal has clamored for a rematch, and he got one.
Now, according to Kovalev and his team, Pascal will regret climbing into the ring against the Russian star for a second time.
Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) already knocked out Pascal in March 2015, stopping his foe in the eighth round before a capacity crowd at Bell Centre in Montreal. It was the first time Pascal had ever been stopped, but he never made excuses for the loss. It didn’t take long for the former WBC light heavyweight champion to begin calling out Kovalev, demanding a rematch and promising a different result.
It wasn’t exactly what boxing fans desired, as they collectively demanded Kovalev to face Adonis Stevenson, but when that battle failed to come to fruition again, Pascal it was. Kovalev is thrilled about the fight.
“I am excited to be fighting him again,” Kovalev told Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “He has been talking a lot since our first time so I want to shut him up. He is very disrespectful.”
The two were once counterparts, vying to achieve the same thing, but in the weeks leading up to their Saturday night rematch, typical pre-fight banter became personal. The teams began attacking each other verbally. At the final pre-fight press conference earlier this week, Pascal accused his rival of being a racist, claiming that Kovalev has made remarks about not only him but also about Stevenson.
Kovalev’s trainer, John David Jackson, who is black, defended his pupil by scoffing at the racist claims from Pascal, but when more words were exchanged at the presser, the situation almost became physical.
“I hope he tries to knock me out,” Kovalev stated. “I’ll just capitalize on that and knock him out again. I think he might be more aggressive or desperate this time because I already knocked him out.”
Kovalev also admitted that he not only isn’t bothered by the fact that the rematch is in Pascal’s hometown, he is happy to be fighting in his enemy’s backyard. According to “Krusher,” he’ll actually have the advantage because most of the fans in Montreal don’t support Pascal.
“He wouldn’t fight me in my country and that’s okay,” he said. “The people in Montreal don’t like him anyway so I’ll be the favorite fighter when we fight.
“I was in a restaurant with my team on time in Montreal (for the first fight) and they asked me if I was an athlete because of what we were wearing,” he added. “When these people found out that I was fighting Pascal, they told me that they were cheering for me because they don’t like him. They say he doesn’t respect people and thinks he’s better than everybody. They don’t see him as their fighter and it will be my pleasure to knock him out for them again.”
Provided that Kovalev gets the job done and retains the WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles, all eyes will undoubtedly be fixated on the future in hopes of he and Stevenson, who currently possesses the WBC title, will finally let their fists fly against one another. However, the Russian is convinced that the fight probably won’t happen and the reason is simple.
“Adonis doesn’t want to fight me,” he remarked. “He keeps saying he does but this fight hasn’t happened yet. He’s scared to fight me. If he wasn’t, I would be fighting him and not Pascal again. When I knock Pascal out again, Adonis will be even more afraid.”
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