HEAD TO HEAD: Sergey Kovalev vs Jean Pascal

How Kovalev and Pascal measure up in all the key areas of battle

ON Saturday March 14, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev will defend his WBO, WBA and IBF light-heavyweight titles against Jean Pascal at the Centre Belle in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Kovalev is known for his knockout power, but he is travelling to the lion’s den to face Pascal on his home turf. Pascal, a former world champion, is known for his great chin – he’s never been knocked down. Below is the scouting report for this explosive match-up:


Category Sergey Kovalev Jean Pascal
Age 31 32
Record 26-0-1 (23) 29-2-1 (17)
Strengths Kovalev possesses knockout power in both hands; he has the ability to end a fight with any punch he throws. He is able to physically break his opponents down throughout the bout. He cuts the ring off very well. Pascal is quick when he puts his punches together and has power in both hands. Having never been knocked down, he has a really good chin. He has been competing against the division’s top fighters since 2008, before Sergey even made his pro debut.
Weaknesses Kovalev tends to leave openings in his guard allowing himself to be hit. He has been knocked down before but not hurt. Pascal has only fought two rounds in the last 14 months, which may cause him to experience some ring rust. He has a tendency to tire out late in fights, so he could run into a problem if he does not conserve his energy properly. He has a tendency to let his opponents get into his head. In his second fight with Hopkins, he was noticeably rattled when Bernard started doing push-ups in the ring prior to the seventh round.
Experience Kovalev may be at a slight disadvantage here since Pascal has fought more top-level opposition. Pascal has been in seven major title fights, and holds victories over Chad Dawson and Lucian Bute.
Power Kovalev has unbelievable power in both hands, he throws every punch with bad intentions, and puts together effective combinations. Although he has power when he puts his punches together, he will be at a disadvantage here when paired up against Kovalev’s power.
Speed Kovalev has average speed that picks up once he smells blood in the water and goes for the knockout. Pascal’s speed becomes more noticeable during his flurries of punches; he really turns it on when he knows he has his opponent hurt and can possibly finish the fight.
Endurance Sergey proved he could go the distance when he went 12 rounds for the first time in his most recent bout against the legendary Bernard Hopkins. Pascal may have the advantage here as he has gone 12 rounds on eight different occasions.
Accuracy Sergey demonstrated great accuracy with his one punch knockouts. He also throws very accurate and powerful body shots. Pascal will be at a disadvantage here. He does not utilize his jab at times and tends to get wild when unloading flurries of punches.
Defence Sergey’s main focus is his offense; there are times when his offense is so effective that it becomes his best defense. Pascal does not move around the ring well. He likes to stand in front of his opponents and let his aggressiveness overwhelm them, which sometimes may be his best defense.
Chin Kovalev has been knocked down twice in his career, but he has risen to the occasion both times and come back with the victory. Jean has a really good chin and is willing to stand and trade with the division’s best and most powerful punchers. He has never been knocked down.
Style Kovalev is an offensive fighter who likes to walk his opponents down and go in for the finish. Pascal is an athletic, aggressive fighter that will not hesitate to go for the finish if given the opportunity.
Intangibles Rather than take some more time off or settle for a tune-up bout after his title unification win over Bernard Hopkins, Sergey is taking on the division’s number one contender who has never been stopped and that held the light heavyweight crown from 2009-2011. Bernard Hopkins tried in vain to get into Sergey’s head but the Krusher was immune to his head games. After his last bout ended in a controversial no contest midway into the 2nd round, Pascal has decided to waste no time at all and challenge the division’s scariest puncher and current WBO, WBA, and IBF titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev.


Crowd Support Kovalev will be at a disadvantage here since he is fighting in Jean Pascal’s backyard. Pascal will have an advantage here as he will be fighting in front of his home crowd where he has fought in his previous 11 bouts.
The Match-up
  1. Will Pascal be able to take Kovalev’s power?
  2. Will Kovalev be able to cut off the ring from the awkward Pascal?
  3. Will Pascal’s ring rust be a factor in this fight?
  4. Sergey went 12 rounds for the first time in his career in his last fight against Bernard Hopkins. Will that be a factor in this fight?
  5. Was their scuffle at the final press conference on Wednesday an indication that one of them is winning the mental fight? If so, which one?




About Kovalev vs. Pascal

Kovalev vs. Pascal is a 12-round fight for the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship Titles. The fight will be televised as part of a live triple header on HBO World Championship Boxing® Saturday, March 14 from the Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Tickets are on sale now at the Centre Bell ticket office, at, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525 or through Club de Boxe Champion 514-376-0980. This event is a co-promotion of Main Events and InterBox, presented by Vidéotron in association with Mise-O-Jeu.

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