Sergey Kovalev will face Jean Pascal for the WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles on March 14, 2015, if Pascal wins as expected on Saturday night against Roberto Bolonti. The fight will be televised by HBO, and Pascal will have home field advantage in either Montreal or Quebec City.
Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KO) shut out Bernard Hopkins on November 8 in an incredibly impressive win, which most likely leapfrogged him ahead of Adonis Stevenson in the minds of most, making Kovalev the best light heavyweight in the world. Stevenson holds the WBC and lineal championships, but in a strange turn of events, it's Kovalev landing the biggest fights out there.
The opposite was expected to be true earlier this year, when Stevenson abandoned negotiations for a fight with Kovalev and inked a deal with Al Haymon and Showtime Sports. Since then, Stevenson fought once, beating Andrzej Fonfara in May, and now has a December 19 fight with Dmitry Sukhotsky lined up.
On the flip side, Kovalev fought Hopkins, which figured to be Stevenson's marquee opponent at Showtime, and now has "stolen" the Pascal fight, too. Stevenson-Pascal, which would have been a big fight in Quebec, was being discussed for next spring, and now that's off the table.
"Sergey has made it very clear since the moment we signed him that he only wants to fight the best fighters," promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events said in a statement. "I promised after his demolition of Bernard Hopkins that the next one would be for the money. I'm thrilled to work with Interbox to bring boxing fans 'The Krusher' versus Jean Pascal, which delivers on both fronts. The truth is that these fights are easy to make when both fighters want to be in the big fights and the promoters and managers are willing to be reasonable and work together."
Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO) just has to get past Bolonti (35-3, 24 KO), whose record makes him appear a lot better than he is. Perhaps bigger than that, Pascal has to get through the fight injury-free, which has been an issue for him in the past.