Three Things Learned During #KovalevPascal on HBO

1. Pascal loves Roy.

The main event kicked off with Pascal entering the ring first, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a challenger. When Pascal appeared he was on a stage flooded with LED monitors elevated several feet above the Bell Centre crowd, which added production value to the event, entertained the crowd, and heightened the anticipation. Nice touch. He was accompanied by a live drummer and a DJ that performed the Rocky theme song, which is synonymous with boxing and while the choice lacked originality, it didn’t come as a surprise. The surprising part came in the form of Roy Jones Jr. with a microphone. On stage. With Pascal. Not next to Lampley and Kellerman. The only guess is Roy told Pascal it would be a good idea if he performed during his ring walk and Pascal didn’t have the balls to say no to the man he idolizes. It was almost impossible to make out any of the words Roy was saying, but one has to assume ya’ll and forgot found their way into his lyrics. By the look on Pascal’s face, he didn’t seem to be overly excited or familiar with any of the words. In Pascal’s defense, it’s hard to tell a mentor/idol/legend no, even when you know you should.

In case you were wondering, Kovalev entered to this track. You can decide who won that competition.

2. Pascal has no luck.

Pascal looked unsure of himself from the opening round. Occasionally he would use his jab to back Kovalev up but for the most part he was walked down and tormented with stiff head shots. By the third round Pascal’s legs were gone and he was in survival mode. He never stood his ground and spent the greater part of the fight on the ropes making himself target practice for Krusher’s straight lefts and rights. Bernard, who was providing analysis in Roy’s absence, suggested Pascal change his strategy in order to not get hit as much, which was easier said than done. Pascal’s legs were shot and he was merely trying try to survive. If Pascal didn’t change his strategy, Bernard thought he would need a miracle to win. “Maybe you get lucky…maybe Kovalev hurts his hand hitting your head so much,” said Bernard. This wasn’t Bernard’s suggestion to Pascal, it was simply Pascal’s only chance if he didn’t do something different. Allowing a man who goes by Krusher to punch you repeatedly in hopes of him breaking his hand in the process doesn’t sound like a tactic anyone would implement, but when you watched the fight it almost seemed as if that was Pascal’s plan. Unfortunately for Pascal luck wasn’t on his side. He only landed 30 punches through seven rounds to Kovalev’s 165 and the fight was stopped by Freddie Roach after he saw enough from Pascal, or nothing at all, depending on how he was looking at it.

3. Kovalev has a knack for nicknames.

The fight itself was void of any drama but Kovalev’s post-fight interview was almost as good as #WilderSzpilka. It was here Kovalev gave birth to the new moniker of WBC light heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson. When Max Kellerman asked Kovalev if there was anyone he would like to face before Andre Ward, Kovalev replied, “I would like to fight Adonis Chickenson.” Yes, Chickenson! Strangely, he went on to mimic a chicken by making a noise with his mouth that resembled a duck with a broken bill rather than a chicken. Does Kovalev know what sound a chicken makes? Is it possible he thinks ducks are chickens? Maybe he intentionally made a duck sound because he thinks Stevenson is ducking him? Either way it doesn’t matter. Stevenson, who was ringside, wasn’t having it and when he and his entourage bum rushed the ring, chaos ensued. Stevenson snatched the microphone from Kellerman’s hands to declare himself the true king of 175, while Kovalev calmly flipped him the bird. This was textbook WWE stuff you only see on Monday Night Raw, only this was Saturday on HBO. If that fight happens you can expect fireworks inside and outside the ring.