Sergey Kovalev by his own admission punished Jean Pascal last night in Montreal, gradually laying a sadistic beating on his opponent before the fight was stopped by Pascal's trainer Freddie Roach after the seventh round.
Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KO) retained his WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles with the win, and now hopes to add two more big fights to 2016. We know that a fight with Andre Ward is on the docket for late in the year, but Kovalev is also hoping to face WBC titleholder Adonis Stevenson in the summer. Stevenson was in attendance last night, and jumped into the ring to do an in-ring bit with Kovalev after the fight was over.
Last night was just about domination. Kovalev-Pascal II only happened because it was the available fight worth the most money, and there was a grudge match element to the whole thing that helped to market it somewhat, too. But the first fight, while entertaining, hardly demanded a rematch, and Pascal (30-4-1, 17 KO) wasn't nearly as eager to engage Kovalev this time around, which resulted in a steady, consistent beatdown, one where Kovalev says he extended the beating to make Pascal pay for his attacks on Kovalev's character in the pre-fight hype.