I don't know how many of you wanted a sequel, but it looks like we're on the verge of getting a second installment of Kovalev-Pascal for the top of 2016. ESPN reports that though the deal has not yet been finalized, it is likely to go through and will take place on January 30th on HBO, with the site yet to be determined. Kovalev last met Pascal back in March where he TKO'd him in the eighth round -- a stoppage that Pascal hotly debated although he was on very shaky legs at the time.
This proposed January fight would be Kovalev's first outing on a schedule which is being set up to have him take a summer fight before facing Andre Ward in a compelling match-up next fall. This, of course, is dependent on both men winning their next two fights. And by the looks of the competition that's being set up, there is an extremely high likelihood that'll happen.
To credit Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva did attempt to arrange a more intriguing schedule that would've put Jean Pascal up against Adonis Stevenson in either December or January, with the winner to face Kovalev in the Spring, but Stevenson's people seemed to stall out on that deal. Duva and HBO were even willing to let the Stevenson-Pascal fight take place on Al Haymon's PBC series.
"We tried very hard, through [Pascal promoters] Jean Bedard and Pierre Duc of InterBox during recent weeks, to come to an agreement for [champion Adonis] Stevenson to fight Pascal in December or January, and for the winner to fight Sergey in the spring of 2016," Duva said.
Yvon Michel, responded on behalf of Stevenson and told ESPN:
"We have been approached for a potential fight [for Stevenson] against Pascal in January with a deadline last weekend. My understanding is the fight would have been on a PBC platform. Unfortunately, we were not in position to give an answer before the deadline.
"The plan is to keep Stevenson active against the best opponent available as he hopes to face the winner of Kovalev-Pascal next."
I take that to mean they didn't get Al Haymon's blessing in time. So that leaves us here, with a rematch that maybe isn't horrific, but probably not much justified seeing how Kovalev was cruising in the first go 'round. If I had it my way, we'd skip straight to Kovalev-Ward.