Last week saw the light heavyweight division take the spotlight when two of its big names were in action on the same day, the same night and in the same venue against quality opposition. The main event saw current WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev take on Frenchman Najib Mohammedi while the co-main event saw former champion Jean Pascal against Cuban Yunieski Gonzalez. The Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas was the venue and neither Kovalev nor Pascal had fought there before which made it more interesting.
The match-up was a bit of downsizing in terms of quality for Kovalev as the opponents he faced before were superior in terms of quality as well as experience when compared to Mohammedi, fans and critics alike were expecting a quick knockout for the champ but Mohammedi was counting on his momentum and counter approach to get the upset win.
The bout however turned out to be doomsday for the Frenchman as he was in the firing range right from the very start with Kovalev coming in with all guns blazing and in the second round, dropped Mohammedi with a good right hand. The onslaught continued into the third when a good 1-2 put the Frenchman down for the second time and the match ended in favour of the Krusher. Kovalev moves to 28-0 with the win and has almost cleaned out the division, a unification bout with Adonis Stevenson is heavily favoured to be the priority for the Krusher.
The co-main event saw former champ Jean Pascal take on undefeated Cuban Yunieski Gonzalez in a matchup which was of much importance to the former as Pascal was trying to build his way into title contention possibly a rematch with Kovalev. The bout turned out to be a slugfest right from the start with both men trading heavy shots, Gonzalez landed a clean right to Pascal’s chin in the third which seemed to shake up the Frenchman.
More onslaught continued further and it was Pascal’s turn to hurt Gonzalez as he did so with a combination in the seventh, Gonzalez was chasing Pascal around the ring and it seemed more clear as a case of Pascal’s experience against Gonzalez’s youthful exuberance. The slugfest took a toll on both fighters as they seemed to be tired going into the later rounds with the penultimate and last rounds bearing testament to it.
The fight ended with compubox stats showing the Cuban landing 163 out of 632 thrown while Pascal landed 154 out of 397, Gonzalez was tipped to win as far as the crowd and critics were concerned but the judges proved otherwise with Pascal getting the decision (all 3 scoring it 96-94), the result was met with boos from the crowd but it seemed not to disturb Pascal as he looks positively forward for a rematch with Sergey Kovalev.
In other news Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin announced whom he would be fighting next, the opponent being current IBF middleweight champ David Lemieux who has a record of 34 wins and 2 losses with 31 wins coming by way of knockouts. Fans and critics should be excited for this as it a case of two heavy hitters going at it right from the start. Golovkin who was eyeing Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto as his future opponents would be a bit sad in not getting them but nonetheless has a chance of adding the IBF title to his name when he meets Lemieux on Oct 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York.