Unified world light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is planning two big bouts with Adonis Stevenson and Andre Ward for 2016. But before those two, he will be facing Canadian Jean Pascal a second time on January 30th, 2016 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

The two fighters met at the fight venue last week for the  kick-off press conference announcing the rematch.

Same Venue, Same Outcome?

The Bell Center is the same venue where Kovalev knocked out Pascal in the 8th round of a one-sided but very exciting bout which featured fierce exchanges between the two world champions. Canada is home to Pascal but Kovalev, according to his promoter Kathy Duva, loves to fight in his opponent’s backyard because he loves to disappoint the crowd.

Pascal though, promised the outcome of the rematch will be different. He believes he knocked down Kovalev in the first fight but the referee called it a slip. Pascal’s promoter also said that his fighter put Kovalev in trouble several times during the first bout and with the addition of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach to their team, Jean Bedard of Interbox believes Pascal can turn the tables on his unbeaten opponent.

About Redemption

Kovalev refused to engage in a trash talk, preferring to let his punches do the talking. Along with Gennady Golovkin, the Krusher  is one of the most feared punchers in the sport with 25 of his 28 wins coming by knockout. In his most recent bout, Kovalev disposed of challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in three rounds. On the other hand, Pascal’s last bout was a controversial unanimous decision win over Yunieski Gonzalez in a fight where he struggled to find his rhythm.

Pascal though said that the rematch isn’t about their most recent bouts or the first fight between him and Kovalev. It’s about redemption. While he agrees that Kovalev was the better man last March 14th, he said he knew where he went wrong and he knows how to fix it, especially with Freddie Roach in his corner this time around.

Big Plans

Kovalev isn’t looking past Pascal but has tasked Main Events to plot his entire 2016 fight plan. Should he beat Pascal, his team is looking at a June 2016 bout against Adonis Stevenson. And should the Krusher get past Superman, a big money fight with American Andre Ward looms in the fall.

The Stevenson bout is one that has been talked many times but has not happened because of Stevenson’s adviser Al Haymon, whose fighters are banned from HBO and because of Stevenson’s reluctance himself. But Duva says a framework has been agreed upon as long as Kovalev beats Pascal next month.

Who Takes This?

While the first bout was exciting and Pascal had Kovalev in “trouble” during some moments in the fight, it was a pretty much one-sided affair in favor of Kovalev. Pascal doesn’t have the same arsenal that Kovalev possesses and he gets in trouble when his opponent puts pressure on him. Yunieski Gonzalez showed that in Pascal’s last fight. Kovalev isn’t just a knockout artist, he’s also an excellent boxer who comes forward and throws a lot of punches. He knocked out Pascal in their first bout and he’ll knock him out again in the rematch.

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