Kovalev Punishes Pascal to 7th round TKO

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Kovalev (right) lands a jab on Pascal (left) in their rematch

Sergey Kovalev may have won the rematch against rival Jean Pascal last night, but the real hero is Pascal’s trainer, Freddie Roach, for stopping the fight at the end of the 7th round to save his fighter from further punishment.

Kovalev (29-0-1, 26KO) started the fight same way he began the first fight last March by unleashing jabs to the body to set-up devastating combinations. Pascal (30-4, 17KO) began more cautiously, but after a few rounds it became clear he was largely resorting to looking for one big punch to change the tide.

Pascal managed to land some hard left hooks on Kovalev, but the champion took them well and landed just enough shots to punish Pascal for daring to attack him. Kovalev lived up to his promise to punish Pascal when he landed a thunderous right hand which nearly knocked the challenger down. Kovalev calculated how hurt Pascal was and backed off just enough to let Pascal recover from the shot.

Following the end of the 6th round, Roach was moments away from stopping the fight to protect his fighter, but Pascal persuaded him to let him have one more round. In the 7th, Pascal did little more than throw an occasional jab while taking more punishment from Kovalev. Roach did the humane thing and stopped the fight at the end of the round.

Immediately after the bout, Kovalev told HBO’s Max Kellerman he would face super middleweight champion Andre Ward and even called out lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. Referring to Stevenson as “Adonis Chickenson” and proceeding to make chicken sounds, Stevenson rushed the ring and attempted to altercate Kovalev, but the two were separated by security.

Given the absurd politics which exist in boxing at the moment, a bout between the two best light heavyweights is extremely unlikely. For now, I’ll look forward to the eventual matchup between Kovalev and Ward.

On a final note, more trainers should treat their fighters like Roach did with Pascal. One fight is simply not worth a man’s entire life.

Garcia Outpoints Guerrero, Wins Title

Boxing: Garcia vs Guerrero

Danny Garcia (pink shorts) battles Robert Guerrero (red shorts) during their WBC welterweight boxing title fight at Staples Center. Garcia won by decision. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In a fight for the WBC welterweight title (for some reason…) Danny Garcia put on a solid performance of counter-punching and outboxed veteran Robert Guerrero over 12 rounds to win a unanimous decision.

Garcia, the favorite, started the fight on his toes with Guerrero chasing him. Guerrero (33-4-1, 18KO) did well at times by keeping busy and landing solid right hooks and straight lefts to the head and body of Garcia (32-0, 18KO), but even at the early stages Garcia was able to land flush left hooks on Guerrero at will.

Guerrero managed to win the early rounds by being busier than Garcia, but by rounds 5 and 6 Garcia started to make Guerrero miss and mix up his attack with looping right hands to go along with his left hook. Although Garcia never picked up the pace in terms of punch output, his harder shots and ability to make Guerrero miss helped him pile up points and take the lead in the second half of the fight.

The two fighters settled down in the final round and engaged in furious exchanges, to the delight of the crowd.

Garcia won the fight by scores of 116-112 across the board. I scored the bout the same. Garcia’s career has been mostly lackluster since his victory over Lucas Matthysse in 2013. However, if he can build off this victory, he can get back into the level of prestige fans and experts held him after the Matthysse win. A match-up against the winner of the Shawn Porter – Keith Thurman fight, a rematch against Amir Khan, or even Tim Bradley assuming Bradley beats Pacquiao are all excellent bouts which can put Garcia back on the map towards potential P4P status. No more Rod Salka fights, okay Danny? Okay Haymon?

As for Guerrero, I thought he was all but finished after the ‘’win’’ over Aron Martinez. He showed more life in this bout so I believe he can still be a solid gatekeeper for the welterweight division and give the best in the division a run for their money. But, I think his days of actually beating these guys are over.