According to most boxing bookmakers, Sergey Kovalez (26-0-1, 23 KO's) is a solid favorite to defeat Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KO's) when they face off on March 14.
And I tend to agree with them.
In Kovalev, the light heavyweight division hasn't seen this type of frightening punching power in a champion since the great Bob Foster terrorized the division in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He has a long way to go before being in the conversation with Foster, as an all-time great, but his punching power is undeniable.
Speaking of Hopkins, he plays a key role in this top-flight matchup between Kovalev and Pascal. He's a common opponent for both boxers.
Pascal drew in his first bout with the Executioner-a fight that most ringside observers (myself included) felt that Pascal had lost. In their rematch, he fought better but still came up short via a narrow points loss.
There is no shame to be had by Pascal in his two highly-competitive, yet unsuccessful attempts against the great Hopkins. But when you compare Pascal's struggles against him while looking at Kovalev's dominance against B-Hop, it does stand out.
But styles make fights. Pascal's awkward style will be like nothing that Kovalez has ever seen. And Kovalev's rare combination of height, reach and power will be unlike anything that Pascal has faced in the ring.
However, when it is all said and done, Kovalev's punching power and "smart" pressure will be too much for Pascal to overcome.
Look for Sergey Kovalev to be the first man to stop Jean Pascal-via a technical knockout, sometime after round eight.