Brave Pascal Krushed
Kovalev stops challenger in eighth round of brawl
Light-heavyweight champ Sergei Kovalev last night stopped Canadian favorite Jean Pascal in front of a heavily partisan crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal
Kovalev, nicknamed Krusher and with the deadpan demeanor of the seasoned streetfighter, simply proved too powerful for a game challenger.
Under the adoring eyes of teenage daughter Angel, Haitian-Canadian Pascal chose to mix it with the rangy LA-based Russian from the start.
By Round 3
, with Pascal continuing to believe that he could stand toe to toe, Kovalevís heavy hands began to tell, a massive right finally propelling the challenger half-way through the ropes.
It was the first knockdown of Pascalís career. Luckily the eight-count was instantly followed by a timely round-ending bell.Round 4
and Kovalev flooded hungrily forward.
Miraculously, the punishment seemed to re-energize Pascal who connected with two big bombs of his own in the last minute of the round to sheer pandemonium in the arena.
Daughter Angel, who was being led out of the arena did an about turn and went back to her seat
She will have enjoyed Round 5
, a barnstormer with Pascal actually doing enough at the end to win it. More pandemonium.
In Round 6
Kovalev continued to allow himself to be picked off by the bobbing and weaving challenger who landed the cleaner harder punches while making the champ look clumsy. Another round to Pascal.
But it was not to be: like all great fighters, the champ can take it as well as give it.
Pascal looked weary coming out for Round 7
with a boiled egg shaped-bump beginning to form beneath his right eye and tv commentators urging him to keep his guard up. Now Kovalev went to the left jab poking it forward throughout the round like a broomstick handle, always looking to set up the grenade in his right hand.
As the round drew to a close and both men looked a little punched out, a sneaky Russian left wobbled the challenger at the bell.
Pascal's corner worked furiously to revive their man. But as Round 8
opened Kovalev swooped to his task like a shark smelling blood in the water.
Suddenly, Pascal had no answer to head-jarring blow after blow - but as the ref moved in to stop the punishment it was Kovalev who was suddenly on the deck!
Sadly for Pascal it was only a slip. Seconds later, with Russian cudgels pounding away right and left, the referee jumped to save the hometown favorite from serious hurt.
Championship bid Krushed, the brave challenger may come to realize that this wasnít the occasion for testosterone to get the better of tactics.
Written by Stan Wenners.
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