Respect all around at Kovalev-Pascal press conference
Unified title fight officially set for March 14, 2015 in Montreal
BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec, Canada, Dec. 22, 2014 – In the first face-off between the triple light heavyweight champion and the former holder of several belts in the same weight division, there was nothing but respect all around at a press conference that was held Monday to officially kick off the unified Light Heavyweight World Championship fight that will take place between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KO) and Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO). The bout is to be televised on HBO on March 14, 2015 at the Bell Center.
Even though he holds the unified WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion title belts, Kovalev praised Pascal highly at Monday's press conference. “He's the best possible opponent I could face in the weight division,” said Kovalev, who was named Sports Illustrated's 2014 Fighter of the Year Monday.
“I respect Sergey Kovalev because he is the king of the light heavyweight division,” said Pascal, the former WBC, IBO and The Ring Light Heavyweight champion. “This will be the greatest challenge ever faced by a Quebec-based boxer, but with discipline and hard work, as well as the support of local boxing fans, nothing is impossible.”
The champ vs the local favourite
Kovalev said he won't be bothered by the fact that the fight will take place in Montreal, where Pascal is one of the most popular boxers on the local scene.
“The ring is the same everywhere”, he said. “I plan to show who I am to Canadian boxing fans, and I aim to do the things they like to see in a ring.” Pascal also promised this will be a fight not to be missed. “If you're a boxing fan, this is the perfect Christmas gift to give to someone you love, because it will be one of the greatest fights ever – and the greatest ever held in Canada.”
“This is not my first time in Canada, but each time I come here I'm greatly impressed to see to what extent boxing is a major sport in the Quebec province,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, Kovalev's promoter. “This will be a high-quality event, and I'm delighted to be working with a first-rate promoter in InterBox and a great network in HBO for this fight that will bring together two great boxers.”
“What a great way to end 2014 with this announcement of a such a great fight for the New Year,” said InterBox President Jean Bédard. “Sergey Kovalev is the holder of three world titles, but he is first and foremost the boxer that no one wants to face. But it is with great enthusiasm that Jean Pascal has accepted this challenge.”
“Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal are first-rate competitors who always look to fight against the best and, on March 14, that's exactly what they will do against one another in a World Championship bout,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports. “Following a key win for his career against Bernard Hopkins, Kovalev will put his three unified titles on the line, which Jean Pascal will try to take away. And let's not forget that the winner will be able to proclaim himself king of the light heavyweight division. This event is absolutely not to be missed!”
Kovalev back in North America
The unified WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight champion is back from a small vacation in Russia and spending quality time with his wife and infant son, who was born right in the middle of his last training camp. After a short rest, Sergey is now ready to start training for his fight against Jean Pascal. Kovalev is anxious to defend his WBO title for the fifth time, as well as the IBF and WBA titles he wrestled from Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs) in a wide unanimous decision win on November 8th.
Pascal's sole objective: To become World Champ again
Following the unfortunate turn of events during his December 6th fight, Jean Pascal is hungrier than ever to attain his ultimate objective of becoming world champion again. Marc Ramsey, who accompanied David Lemieux to Brooklyn last December 6th for his bout against Gabriel Rosado will be back in Pascal's corner for the March 14th bout. Roy Jones Jr. and Russ Anber will be assisting Pascal during camp and during the bout.
Tickets on sale
Tickets for the unified Light Heavyweight World Championship fight between Kovalev and Pascal are on sale at the Bell Centre ticket office, at www.evenko.ca, by telephone at 1-855-310-2525 or through Club de Boxe Champion (514-376-0980).