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Jean Pascal vs. Yunieski Gonzalez
Round 1Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs) narrowly escaped an upset loss by out-pointing late-replacement Yuniesky Gonzalez over 12 rounds. The two tore into each other from the opening bell, resulting in one of the most action-0packed wars of the year. Both men were hurt in the fight, but neither was able to score a knockdown. In the end, the three ringside judges all favored the Montreal-based Pascal via tallies of 96-94. Cuba’s Gonzalez, who broke into tears when the verdict was announced, lost for the first time as a pro; he now stands at 16-1 with 12 KOs.
Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi
Round 1Kovalev comes right out after him but Mohammedi backs away, looking to jab. Kovalev is patiently stalking his challenger, tossing out a few jabs. Mohammedi misses with a right hand but Kovalev isn’t reckless, taking his time. They continue to flick rangy jabs at each other, with neither man landing anything remotely hard two minutes in. Kovalez pops with an errant right to the head, but it’s more glancing than anything. Kovalev fires off two jabs to the body before being tied up by the extremely cautious Mohammedi. 10-9 Kovalev.
Round 2There is some redness on Kovalev’s nose as the round starts. Mohammedi meets him in te center of the ring, but he flicks a few pitter-patter punches towards the champ’s face. Mohammedi lands a decent blow to the head, but Kovalev stumbles into the ropes, gets tied up and tumbles to the ground. Clearly not a knockdown, Kenny Bayless rules it a slip. He’s up and ready to go. Kovalev quickly nails him with an overhand right, and Mohammedi’s senses are scrambled. Mohammedi stumbles into the ropes and “Krusher” tees off until he’s down. Mohammedi is badly hurt and allowed to continue. Kovalev is looking for the kill, drills him with another right hand, and Mohammedi is about to go. They tie up and Mohammedi is down., but ruled a slip. A right to the body cripples the Frenchman but he survives the round. 10-8 Kovalev.
Round 3The Russian pops him with a right hand and Mohammedi’s legs are rubbery again. He hangs tough, flicking out the jab to keep Kovalev honest and it works for a while. Mohammedi misses with a right hand and then walks into a perfect right/left to the face. He’s down and fumbling around on his knees. He’s shaking his head back and forth to clear the cobwebs as Bayless counts. Mohammedi likely has no clue what’s going on as he is counted out while he barely is able to stand up at the count of 10.
The Official ResultSergey Kovalev def. Nadjib Mohammedi via KO (2:38), R3
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