It's not everyday that a reigning champion has to go into the challengers backyard to defend his crown, but that's exactly what Sergey Kovalev will be doing when he fights Jean Pascal on March 14th in Montreal. But enemy territory or not, Sergey isn't concerned with the location of the bout. During a press conference yesterday afternoon promoting the upcoming fight, Kathy Duva made a rather smug remark about how "everyone was invited" to attend the presser (a not-so-subtle dig at the NBC/Haymon press conference where only selected media members were allowed to be in attendance). But after that, it was pretty much just down to business.
"For me it doesn't matter where I fight," said Kovalev, who stopped Ismayl Sillakh in two rounds in Quebec City, Quebec in November 2013. "A true champion will fight anywhere against anyone."
"I'm ready to start camp in L.A. and train for a difficult fight," said Kovalev.
Jean Pascal seems to be confident in his chances against the Russian seek-and-destroy puncher (though Kovalev surprisingly employed a much more measured approach against the wily Bernard Hopkins, showcasing his boxing ability). Pascal expects this fight to unfold much differently than the Hopkins fight however, because he believes he'll be a much more active fighter.
"I'm not taking anything away from Kovalev, but Hopkins threw less than 200 punches," said Pascal.
"He showed us he can box (against Hopkins) so let's see him box against me," added Pascal.
I suppose the prospect of getting out-boxed by Kovalev is much more welcoming than the prospect of being decapitated by him. So, part of me is wondering if Pascal is really just trying to goad Kovalev into a chess match in hopes of circumventing a punch-fest.
How many of you out there are actually giving Pascal a good chance at an upset?