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Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal presser gets ugly

Yesterday's final presser for Kovalev-Pascal II got a little uncomfortable when Jean Pascal brought a bunch of bananas to the podium, and it only got worse from there.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

The final presser for Kovalev-Pascal II wasn't quite like anything I've seen before. Pacing back and forth with a microphone, Jean Pascal pretty much made his whole speech about calling Sergey Kovalev a racist - even bringing bananas to the podium to hand out to the blacks in attendance, including Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson.

"Do you want to keep it for your black coach?" Pascal said to Kovalev, holding up the banana. "Black people, do you want some?"

After continuing his speech for some time, John David Jackson got his turn at the podium, and that's when things got even more tense.

"It's not about race," Jackson said on stage. "Sergey may say things where at the time when he says them, they may come out wrong, but if he was racist, I wouldn't be in his corner."

Pascal would then interrupt Jackson which would kicked off a heated exchange.

"He came to you for three weeks before the fight," Pascal screamed at Jackson. "He don't trust you because you're black. He doesn't respect you."

"Is that all? Why is [former trainer] Marc [Ramsey] not here?" Jackson said. "Because he knows you're getting knocked out in this fight. That's why he's not here. No other reason. He told you you're gonna get knocked out this fight. Yeah, put the mic away now, because that's true. You know that's true. That's why you're stuck right here."

Things would only escalate from there, with Pascal standing up to confront Jackson at the podium while Kovalev sat quietly in his seat. Security personnel at the presser had to immediately intervene.

"Stand up for black people," Pascal screamed at Jackson. "He has no respect. He don't trust you because you're black."

At this point Kovalev would get up from his seat to call Pascal a "piece of sh*t" with Jackson challenging Pascal to step outside with him.

Some semblance of order would finally be restored and Kovalev and Pascal held the traditional face-off, which happened to take place without further incident.

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