SAN DIEGO, July 25, 2015 – French light heavyweight Nadjib Mohammedi made his ring walk to music from the original “Terminator” movie. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev told Mohammedi “Hasta la vista, baby” as he demolished Mohammedi in short order.
Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) scored a third round knockout with ease against the overwhelmed Mohammedi (37-4-0, 23 KOs), setting up with a left jab followed by a straight right. The punch appeared to hurt Mohammedi, perhaps breaking his nose or orbital bone on his face. Referee Kenny Bayliss took no chances and stopped the fight at 2:38 of the round. No one was arguing.
What must be frightening to any potential opponent including the lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev’s punches didn’t appear to be thrown all that hard. That’s real power.
After the bout, Mohammedi’s trainer Abel Sanchez said, “We had to pitch a perfect game. Kovalev can hurt you with a jab.”
Kovalev’s trainer John David Jackson said “Sergey is bringing life back to boxing,” and that he would fight one more time in 2015. Who will it be? Stevenson? Or perhaps super middle Andre Ward, moving up in weight class. Kovalev told HBO’s Max Kellerman “If people are interested, any fight, it’s boxing … First of all, for me it’s sport. If fans want to see this fight and promoter make this fight, I’m happy.” Make it so, Main Events.
The undercard fight featured a barn burner of a matchup. Canadian Jean Pascal won on the scorecards with a three way unanimous decision scored 96-94 over Cuban Yurieski Gonzalez.
The bout became a firefight from the first bell, to the delight of the fans. Pascal has proven he has a tough chin and did again Saturday, withstanding several wicked shots from Gonzalez. The taller Cuban fighter employs an odd way of punching with his right hand as if he clubbing down on his opponent, which proved very effective. Pascal stayed on his feet, but got wobbled several times. Pascal fired back with his own hard shots, doing good bodywork and landing with his trademark looping punches. Gonzalez showed he’s just as tough as Pascal.
Gonzalez appeared to be directing the action most of the rounds, and hurt Pascal on more occasions than Pascal hurt him. Observers believed a major upset was in the making, but the judges disagreed, scoring an unanimous decision in favor of Pascal with identical 96-94 scores.
CompuBox stats were close. Pascal and Gonzalez landed about the same number of punches total, but Gonzalez threw more (154 of 397 total for Pascal; 163 of 632 total for Gonzalez). The pair were virtual event in power shots as well, 105 for Gonzales and 103 for Pascal.
It was Gonzalez’s (16-1-0, 12 KOs) first loss as a professional. He was devastated, breaking down in tears. He and his managers invested everything they had in the bout.
Pascal (30-4-1, 17 KOs) is lucky to escape with the win. After the fight. He went to a local Las Vegas hospital to have his hand checked for possible damage. Pascal would love a rematch with Sergey Kovalev, but he will have to wait for space on Kovalev’s dance card after opportunities with Stevenson, Ward, and perhaps even Artur Beterbiev are floated first.
Gonzalez is a fighter fans will welcome seeing again. Discussion on social media showed nothing but respect for his effort and he should read through the remarks; he may not feel so discouraged as a result of the poor decision. It should not work against him in the long run.
In the Premier Boxing cruiserweight match-up between boxer and part-time TV analyst B.J. Flores (31-2-1, 20 KOs) and former light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs) of Kazakhstan, Shumenov prevailed in a unanimous decision. It was a yawner of a fight, made interesting momentarily when Flores’ trainer/ father Roger Flores said that Shumenov “fights like a girl.” Olympic Games and new Pan American Games gold medalist in boxing Claressa Shields and her fans would beg to differ with the ignorant Flores. Shields scored her victory at the games Friday night in a dominating performance
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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