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Sergey Kovalev granted exception, will face Jean Pascal for all three titles

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Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal are set for March 14, with all three of Kovalev's belts on the line.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Sergey Kovalev has been granted an exception by the IBF to put his title on the line against Jean Pascal on March 14, making that fight official, and meaning that all three of the belts held by Kovalev will be on the line. HBO will be televising the fight, with the venue to be announced for either Montreal or Quebec City, where Pascal will have home field advantage, as he is a solid draw in Quebec.

Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KO) gained the WBA and IBF belts on November 8, adding them to the WBO title he won in 2013, by dominating Bernard Hopkins at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO) is coming off of a no-contest on December 6, when his fight with Roberto Bolonti was thrown out in the second round.

Pascal's last actual fight came in January of this year, when he rather handily beat former super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute.

Kovalev and Main Events had to seek an exception from the IBF because the sanctioning body has a mandatory challenger in Nadjib Mohammedi. But Mohammedi is also promoted by Main Events, meaning that a deal for an exception was easier to work out.