Quick Results: Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal II
Last Saturday, boxing’s other “most feared fighter” made an appearance on HBO against the formidable Jean Pascal. Kovalev took the first match by KO, though highly contested by Pascal back earl last year. Their first meeting saw plenty of action and passionate exchanges, and with Pascal stirring up plenty of pre-fight controversy, it was a tense situation going into the main card. Here’s a recap for all those that missed the action!
The Main Card
Sergey Kovalev punishes Jean Pascal into submission
With new trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Jean Pascal makes another attempt at dethroning the light heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev in what some observers have considered a controversial first fight stoppage. The broadcast opened up with an interview with former 168-lb champ Andre Ward discussing his move up to light heavyweight and an eventual showdown with Kovalev, should both win as expected.
The fight opens up as a brief feel-out period before Kovalev knocks Pascal down onto the canvas, though officially ruled a slip. After the first round, things began to turn south for the Haitian born Canadian. Pascal looks bothered by every punch being thrown in there, even the jab, and by the third round, Kovalev is clearing dominating the fight. Pascal is still trying and landing hard shots in return; they’re just having zero effect on Kovalev. Two rounds later, Kovalev is teeing off on Pascal’s face in the corner, and all three HBO commentators think the fight should be stopped. At the end of the 6th, Roach threatens to stop the fight, but begrudgingly allows the fight for one more round. Unsatisfied with the return, Roach stops after the 7th and shows a good example of what it means to be a boxing coach. Kovalev scores an uncontested 7th round TKO this time around.
There was no love gained in the post-fight interview as Kovalev said he drew the fight out in order to “punish a bad person”. Crowd boos the attitude, but Kovalev doesn’t seem to care. When asked whom he might want to fight during the interim as Andre Ward adjusts to the light heavyweight division, he calls out Adonis Stevenson by calling him Adonis “Chickenson” and clucks into the mic. Stevenson is actually ringside and comes in to create a huge sideshow. Until Stevenson is able to work out the political barriers with his promoter, however, it will remain just that.
Kovalev is probably one of the strongest light heavyweights I’ve ever seen in boxing. His style destructive, relentless, and he quite literally walks his opponents down behind a bulldozer pair of fists. The way that he breaks fighters down is actually quite scary, and it will be interesting to see how a defensive technician like Andre Ward stands up that sort of firepower. That may actually be the best fight in boxing.
Dmitry Mikhaylenko outworks Karim Mayfield over 10 rounds.
The card opened up with the Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko fighting in a 10-round welterweight fight against Karim Mayfield. Fans may recognize Mayfield, not necessarily for his skillset or fighting ledger, but as one of the last two names that were contending for the final fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., though to be honest, more likely mentioned to make Mayweather’s choice of Andre Berto not as bad. Mikhaylenko, on the other hand comes in with an undefeated record and a touching story of fighting to help support his paraplegic mother. He is the feature of the fight as Mayfield comes in as a late replacement.
Mayfield bull rushes out of the corner, throwing hard but undisciplined haymakers. The trend sets in for the majority of the fight with Mayfield coming out hard in the first 30 seconds, but then being effectively outboxed for the rest of the round. By the middle of the fight, the question no longer was who would win the fight, but whether or not Mikhaylenko had an appealing enough style to draw bigger fights in the future. Mikhaylenko wins by lopsided scores of 100-90 twice and 99-1. Overall, not an exciting fight, but perhaps helped build a platform to a name we’ll see in the future.
The Mixed Martial Arts of Victorian London
Before BJJ, there was Bartitsu.
Jonathan Maicelo: The Last Inca
Peru's up-and-coming boxing star.
Kron Gracie on Jiu-Jitsu, Skateboarding, Older Brothers, and Famous Fathers
The ties that bind are strong.
Joel Tudor on the Art of Surfing, Fighting, and Style
A surf icon helps MMA keep its sense of tradition.
Japan's Karate Kid: Kyoji Horiguchi
Japan's brightest MMA prospect.