Tonight at 9:45 pm EST on HBO, Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal will lock horns once again, 10 months after their first fight. The rematch emanates from the same venue, the Bell Centre in Montreal, and will be for Kovalev's WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight titles.
Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KO) stopped Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KO) in the eighth round of their first encounter, but not without a spirited effort from the Haitian-Canadian and former lineal champion of the division. This fight has been made mostly because it's the biggest money fight that was available for Kovalev, but even still, the bout figures to be entertaining once again. Kovalev is looking to protect not just his titles and undefeated record, but a big fight later this year with Andre Ward, and possibly one for the summer against Adonis Stevenson, too.
In the co-feature, welterweight prospect Dmitry Mikhaylenko (20-0, 9 KO) will face Karim Mayfield (19-2-1, 11 KO) in a 10-round bout. Mikhaylenko, 29, is coming off of an eighth round stoppage of Johan Perez, which aired on HBO Latino, while Mayfield last fought in November, winning a bounce-back matchup after losses to Thomas Dulorme and Emmanuel Taylor.
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Sergey Kovalev def. Jean Pascal by TKO (fight stopped after round 7)
Dmitry Mikhaylenko def. Karim Mayfield by unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 99-91)
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ROUND BY ROUND
SERGEY KOVALEV vs JEAN PASCAL
Round 1: Crowd is heavily behind Pascal, very much not into Kovalev. Kovalev jabbing to the body to start. Much discussion of Pascal's beard. Pascal down but ruled a slip about two minutes into the round. Pascal with a hook late in the round, everyone is thrilled by that. Kovalev 10-9
Round 2: Pascal eats a straight right. Kovalev seems in total control here, at least mentally. And there's a clubbing right that lands on the back of Pascal's head as he dips down. Pascal with a hook again. That punch has been there. Kovalev with a little right hand in return. Chopping right from Kovalev, Pascal ties him up. Kovalev working the jab a little. Kovalev 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Kovalev slips on a logo. Moments later, Pascal grabs a double leg and takes him down. Pascal with a right, then he gets out. He's clinching up as soon as he can now, too. So he's trying some different stuff. Kovalev with a chopping right, and now throwing, Pascal ties up again. Left hook from Pascal lands again. Hook to the body from Kovalev, Pascal backs down. Pascal throwing some bombs, and Pascal lands another left hook and lands to the body. Kovalev 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Kovalev doing more good work this round. This is a lot like the first fight, Pascal does land good shots sometimes but he's got no consistency. Pascal's legs are going on him in round four, too. He's getting hit a lot. And he's not throwing back this round. Kovalev 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Kovalev battering Pascal to start round five. Pascal is basically done here. And it just continues on. Referee Michael Griffin just looking at it happen. Pascal's doing nothing, his legs are gone, his energy is sapped. Kovalev slamming him to the body. Landing rights upstairs. Yeah, this is getting really ugly. Kovalev 10-8, 50-44
Round 6: CompuBox punch stats for the last round were Kovalev 31, Pascal 1. This is more of the same, not as bad as the last two rounds, Kovalev stepping off the gas a bit. Kovalev 10-9, 60-53
Round 7: Roach wants to stop the fight between rounds, but doesn't. Pascal wants to fight on. Roach tells referee to "please keep a close eye on him." Pascal is throwing a bit more this round. I mean, that's not hard to do after the last few. But he's showing some life. He's still getting smashed up though. Referee just staring at the carnage. 25-2 punch advantage. Referee is awful here. This is brutality. Kovalev 10-8, 70-61 -- fight stopped after seventh round, Kovalev TKO-7
DMITRY MIKHAYLENKO vs KARIM MAYFIELD
Round 1: Mayfield STORMS out of the corner throwing bombs and falls over. Mayfield is really putting the rush on Mikhaylenko here to start. Remember he came in on short notice, he could be concerned about his own stamina. But either way he's throwing hands. Mayfield's pace slows considerably and he's doing a lot of clinching, which is a trademark of his, for better or worse. Mihaylenko landing the cleaner shots and more of them. Mayfield's little surge might have fooled a judge or two but he was not the winner of this round. Mikhaylenko 10-9
Round 2: Mikhaylenko pretty much on his game now, doing what he likes, pressuring, pressuring, pressuring. Landing a few shots. Mayfield already looking a bit desperate, eats a right and a left and he's been tagged to the body this round, too. This was a pretty dominant round. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Mayfield with a good left hook that pushes Mikhaylenko back momentarily, but he comes right back forward and throws. And he's landing consistently again. Mayfield trying to struggle inside with his clinches, wear on Mikhaylenko, but Dmitry's not letting him do it. Mikhaylenko with a small cut near the left eye. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Mayfield is landing a decent shot now and again but the pressure and consistent attack of Mikhaylenko is what's owning this fight. Mayfield trying to stand his ground, trying to find some openings when he moves backwards instead, and it's good but not working. Mayfield lands a couple of clean shots late. But it's another round for Mikhaylenko. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Mikhaylenko continues to dominate the pace. Mayfield does land a few good shots a round. But it's just not enough. He's staying sort of in the fight, but not really. I think he was a bit better this round, but I can't give it to him. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: More of the same this round, Mikhaylenko landing at a 2-to-1 advantage or so, and he hurts Mayfield late in the round when he clips him with a right. Mayfield might be lucky the round ended just as that shot landed. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 60-54
Round 7: More of the same, you know, again. Mayfield still having the occasional moment but nothing consistent. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 70-63
Round 8: Mikhaylenko starting the round with some body work. It's not that this is unwatchable or anything but there's no drama anymore. The pattern has been set for a while and nothing is changing. No ebb, no flow, just a fight. Mikhaylenko, 10-9, 80-72
Round 9: Mayfield continues taking a beating in this round. "It is what it is." Mikhaylenko 10-9, 90-81
Round 10: Mayfield taking more punishment in this round but you have to give him this: clearly not in peak condition, he worked hard through this entire fight. He's still throwing shots here in the final round. Mikhaylenko 10-9, 100-90