Respect In the Air At Kovalev-Pascal Presser

promotions

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).

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Comment on this article

COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

I never really thought of Pascal as the type of fighter who would ever agree to accept a challenge of this magnitude. I'm impressed with his willingness to tread into the valley of Doom. Not that I ever thought of Pascal as a coward. Its just very unexpected in light of his inactivity. Pascal is guaranteed to keep thing interesting for awhile ... He obviously sees something he believes he can exploit.


-oubobcat :

Lets give credit to both for taking this fight. Kovalev is a true champion and does not hide behind promoters/managers like another Light Heavyweight does in seeking out the best fights. Kovalev says he wants the best in an interview and then actually signs on the dotted line as soon as the best available contender steps to the plate. And Pascal could have sat back and waited for a big money rematch with Bute or a big money fight in Canada against another Light Heavyweight. But he stepped to the plate and accepted the biggest challenge possible though it might not be for as much money as some other fights. These two are what is good about the sport. I can't wait to see this fight in March.


-stormcentre :

I'm not knocking Kovalev, as I really like him. But some of the reasons that Sergey is seeking out and getting the decent fights has to come down to; Kathy Duva, Main Events, and their reasonably unique position in the marketplace. As a result, due to Sergey's promoter (Kathy Duva; Lou Duva's son's widow) Kovalev has more opportunity to step outside of the comfort zone that most fighters may find themselves comfortably inhabiting; Adonis Stevenson. Main Events was formed in the late 70s or early 80s by Lou's son Dan, a lawyer; whom married the Kathy Duva that now is the CEO of Main Events. Kathy, a former women's sports reporter, came to be at the helm of Main Events because her husband Dan passed away in about 1997. Whether you talk about it when Dan, big Lou or even Kathy was/is in the wheelhouse of Main Events; Main Events have almost always been associated with a lot of champions and great fights, and as such most of the other big time promoters are both willing to and have; worked with, Co-Promoted with, and have a lot of respect for Kathy. She's seen as the only top level female boxing promoter in the business that has earned her stripes, and as such all the other tier 1 promotional players have time for and respect her. In turn that creates a lot of unique opportunities for Kathy and her fighters. As most promotional outfits like to keep everything (about advancing their fighters and securing titles) under their own umbrella, within their own control, and within their own stables. Not Kathy. She knows boxing, fighters, and she's not only a wonderful lady, widely respected and trusted - but she's also someone not to be messed with, including at the negotiation or any other table; as shown by her clever use of litigation threats and/or filed/dropped actions early this year - to both show she won't be bullied around, and also achieve her interests and what she believed was right for both her and her boxing fighter/stable. The above-mentioned action - or the threat of it - had the effect of making some of the, perhaps heavier hitting advisors/promoters and players, step back and consider where weight is thrown; finally replacing it with sensible discussion and action. That doesn't happen very often in boxing's promotional and big-dick swinging wonderland. Don't believe me? Try pushing Bob Arum around on date, figures and negotiation and see how you go. Alternatively just search his history of disputes - the guy knows how to formulate a winning (and painful) strategy; regardless of whether he is technically right or wrong. Look at what happened to Gamboa. In summary Main Event and Kathy's experience and Main Event's market position, places Main Events in a unique position for fighters; as the fighters can usually - with greater ease than what may otherwise be the case - fight within their own stable (typically a Top Rank and/or Al Haymon business model) and/or outside of it (GBP new business model). This is not an insignificant aspect of why some of Kathy's fighters, including Kovalev, can move into a meaningful contention position reasonably fast, and continue to move into other coveted or highly desired fights - as he has done. Part of Kathy's promotional acumen can be observed (if you look carefully) in how she maneuvers her rising stars (as happened with Sergey) so that other promotional outfits will not necessarily see them as a risk (as they come through the ranks); as such they - before they explode onto the scene with a breakout fight - are often seen (by other promoters) as good "opponents" with a reasonable but marketable record to stack a card with. Main Events also has a pretty healthy and longstanding relationship with most of the more credible sanctions. Not in the least as Lou Duva (Kathy's late father in law) was a previous boxing instructor, in the 1940's he was also a paid fighter of some success. In the 1950's Lou also frequented the Stillmans boxing gym quite a lot; which was a gym that was noted for its hard edge as well as being very well known by many global and Hollywood celebrities. As a result of these circumstances Lou started to rub shoulders and commence friendships with people like; Sammy Davis Jr. Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli. As result of these powerful experiences Lou became transfixed with the boxing world and developed a great interest for the sport, those that resided within it at all levels, and also Stillmans gym. In turn Lou got to know people not just within the boxing industry as seen through the immediate eyes of a gym - but also those that both ran/managed the sanctions and also the powerful networks that wrote the big cheques that bankrolled the big fights. Lou Duva was also great pals with former world Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. So as you can see, from the 1960's onwards right up until the late 70's when Main Events was first formed (which was just after Dan Duva graduated from law and saw an opportunity to form the company, largely as a result of Leon Spink's management needing assistance) everything was there for Lou, Dan and Main Events to flourish and become a significantly greater financial proposition than, say, truck driving, military service and being a restauranteur - all of which Lou dabbled with prior to Main Events. The commercial and other benefits of the above-mentioned approach (that doesn't necessarily constrain/contain fighters to competing within their promoter's stables) are more than three fold, including the consideration that Main Events don't necessarily need to invest in, groom and/or promote "fall guys" or "opponents" in the same way as Top Rank (Algieri) and other promoters/fighters. The result of this is that opportunities can come for Main Events fighters (that have good experience, potential and skills) sooner - as opposed to them sitting in a crowded stable and endlessly waiting for your promoter's marquee fighter to look like he's about to be cashed out on. Notice how Tomasz Adamek (spelling?) - like Kovalev - had little problems making the fights of interest, and that he rarely shied away from the tough fights and/or rematches, and as a result was basically a star after fighting Stevie Cunningham and/or Paul Briggs twice. Not bad for a Polish never say die (in his prime) slugger. Due to the above and Main Event/Kathy's; keen eye when it comes to spotting talent, marketing, boxing, connections, and managerial savvy; Kathy can pretty much assure that most of her top level fighters travel along a reasonably fast tracked path to success. What ensures this is not just the connections - but also the experience. Main Events have been and/or are involved with the following fights, fighters, and promotions; A) Mayweather V Gatti fight. B) Vargas V Trinidad. C) Foreman V Moorer. D) Leonard V Hearns. E) Vargas V Mosley. F) Vargas V DeLaHoya. G) Whitaker V Chavez. H) Evander Holyfield. I) Lennox Lewis. J) Meldrick Taylor. K) Mark Breland. L) Vinny Pazienza. M) Livingstone Bramble. N) Mike McCallum. O) Zab Judah. P) Vivian Harris. Q) Vernon Forrest. R) Juan Diaz. S) Kermit Cintron. T) Pinklon Thomas. U) Ike Quartey. V) Bobby Czyz. W) John-John Molina. X) Jesse James Leija. Y) Champion Rocky Lockridge. Z) David Tua. A1) Andrew Golota. B1) Rocky Juarez. C1) B.J. Flores. D1) Malik Scott I'm not one to usually sing the praises of promoters, and it's not because I have a dislike for them. But you have to give credit where it's due. In this case it is both Kathy Duva and Sergey Kovalev that are responsible for the success and respect we are discussing in this thread. Merry Xmas TSS team.


-stormcentre :

I'm not knocking Kovalev, as I really like him. But some of the reasons that Sergey is seeking out and getting the decent fights has to come down to; Kathy Duva, Main Events, and their reasonably unique position in the marketplace. As a result, due to Sergey's promoter (Kathy Duva; Lou Duva's son's widow) Kovalev has more opportunity to step outside of the comfort zone that most fighters may find themselves comfortably inhabiting; Adonis Stevenson. Main Events was formed in the late 70s or early 80s by Lou's son Dan, a lawyer; whom married the Kathy Duva that now is the CEO of Main Events. Kathy, a former women's sports reporter, came to be at the helm of Main Events because her husband Dan passed away in about 1997. Whether you talk about it when Dan, big Lou or even Kathy was/is in the wheelhouse of Main Events; Main Events have almost always been associated with a lot of champions and great fights, and as such most of the other big time promoters are both willing to and have; worked with, Co-Promoted with, and have a lot of respect for Kathy. She's seen as the only top level female boxing promoter in the business that has earned her stripes, and as such all the other tier 1 promotional players have time for and respect her. In turn that creates a lot of unique opportunities for Kathy and her fighters. As most promotional outfits like to keep everything (about advancing their fighters and securing titles) under their own umbrella, within their own control, and within their own stables. Not Kathy. She knows boxing, fighters, and she's not only a wonderful lady, widely respected and trusted - but she's also someone not to be messed with, including at the negotiation or any other table; as shown by her clever use of litigation threats and/or filed/dropped actions early this year - to both show she won't be bullied around, and also achieve her interests and what she believed was right for both her and her boxing fighter/stable. The above-mentioned action - or the threat of it - had the effect of making some of the, perhaps heavier hitting advisors/promoters and players, step back and consider where weight is thrown; finally replacing it with sensible discussion and action. That doesn't happen very often in boxing's promotional and big-dick swinging wonderland. Don't believe me? Try pushing Bob Arum around on date, figures and negotiation and see how you go. Alternatively just search his history of disputes - the guy knows how to formulate a winning (and painful) strategy; regardless of whether he is technically right or wrong. Look at what happened to Gamboa. In summary Main Event and Kathy's experience and Main Event's market position, places Main Events in a unique position for fighters; as the fighters can usually - with greater ease than what may otherwise be the case - fight within their own stable (typically a Top Rank and/or Al Haymon business model) and/or outside of it (GBP new business model). This is not an insignificant aspect of why some of Kathy's fighters, including Kovalev, can move into a meaningful contention position reasonably fast, and continue to move into other coveted or highly desired fights - as he has done. Part of Kathy's promotional acumen can be observed (if you look carefully) in how she maneuvers her rising stars (as happened with Sergey) so that other promotional outfits will not necessarily see them as a risk (as they come through the ranks); as such they - before they explode onto the scene with a breakout fight - are often seen (by other promoters) as good "opponents" with a reasonable but marketable record to stack a card with. Main Events also has a pretty healthy and longstanding relationship with most of the more credible sanctions. Not in the least as Lou Duva (Kathy's father in law, and also her late husband, Dan Duva's, father) was a previous boxing instructor, in the 1940's he was also a paid fighter of some success. In the 1950's Lou also frequented the Stillmans boxing gym quite a lot; which was a gym that was noted for its hard edge as well as being very well known by many global and Hollywood celebrities. As a result of these circumstances Lou started to rub shoulders and commence friendships with people like; Sammy Davis Jr. Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli. As result of these powerful experiences Lou became transfixed with the boxing world and developed a great interest for the sport, those that resided within it at all levels, and also Stillmans gym. In turn Lou got to know people not just within the boxing industry as seen through the immediate eyes of a gym - but also those that both ran/managed the sanctions and also the powerful networks that wrote the big cheques that bankrolled the big fights. Lou Duva was also great pals with former world Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. So as you can see, from the 1960's onwards right up until the late 70's when Main Events was first formed (which was just after Dan Duva graduated from law and saw an opportunity to form the company, largely as a result of Leon Spink's management needing assistance) everything was there for Lou, Dan and Main Events to flourish and become a significantly greater financial proposition than, say, truck driving, military service and being a restauranteur - all of which Lou dabbled with prior to Main Events. The commercial and other benefits of the above-mentioned approach (that doesn't necessarily constrain/contain fighters to competing within their promoter's stables) are more than three fold, including the consideration that Main Events don't necessarily need to invest in, groom and/or promote "fall guys" or "opponents" in the same way as Top Rank (Algieri) and other promoters/fighters. The result of this is that opportunities can come for Main Events fighters (that have good experience, potential and skills) sooner - as opposed to them sitting in a crowded stable and endlessly waiting for your promoter's marquee fighter to look like he's about to be cashed out on. Notice how Tomasz Adamek (spelling?) - like Kovalev - had little problems making the fights of interest, and that he rarely shied away from the tough fights and/or rematches, and as a result was basically a star after fighting Stevie Cunningham and/or Paul Briggs twice. Not bad for a Polish never say die (in his prime) slugger. Due to the above and Main Event/Kathy's; keen eye when it comes to spotting talent, marketing, boxing, connections, and managerial savvy; Kathy can pretty much assure that most of her top level fighters travel along a reasonably fast tracked path to success. What ensures this is not just the connections - but also the experience. Main Events have been and/or are involved with the following fights, fighters, and promotions; A) Mayweather V Gatti fight. B) Vargas V Trinidad. C) Foreman V Moorer. D) Leonard V Hearns. E) Vargas V Mosley. F) Vargas V DeLaHoya. G) Whitaker V Chavez. H) Evander Holyfield. I) Lennox Lewis. J) Meldrick Taylor. K) Mark Breland. L) Vinny Pazienza. M) Livingstone Bramble. N) Mike McCallum. O) Zab Judah. P) Vivian Harris. Q) Vernon Forrest. R) Juan Diaz. S) Kermit Cintron. T) Pinklon Thomas. U) Ike Quartey. V) Bobby Czyz. W) John-John Molina. X) Jesse James Leija. Y) Champion Rocky Lockridge. Z) David Tua. A1) Andrew Golota. B1) Rocky Juarez. C1) B.J. Flores. D1) Malik Scott I'm not one to usually sing the praises of promoters, and it's not because I have a dislike for them. But you have to give credit where it's due. In this case it is both Kathy Duva and Sergey Kovalev that are responsible for the success and respect we are discussing in this thread. Merry Xmas TSS team.