Sergey Kovalev,

Sergey Kovalev,from Russia, holds up his belts after defeating Jean Pascal, from Montreal, with an 8th round TKO Saturday, March 14, 2015 in Montreal. Kovalev defends his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization light-heavyweight titles.  Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS –

Jean Pascal showed plenty of heart, plenty of guts — just as advertised. But he also appeared to be overmatched against Sergey Kovalev.

Kovalev retained his three light-heavyweight titles — the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization — with an eighth-round technical knockout against Laval’s Pascal Saturday night before approximately 12,000 Bell Centre spectators.

The end came at 1:03 of the round. Kovalev scored with a left against the ropes, then quickly landed an overhand right, prompting Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon to stop the bout. Moments earlier, Kovalev was dropped, but Pabon ruled it a slip.

Pascal looked on in disbelief, as though he was shocked, when the fight was stopped.

Kovalev remains undefeated and improved to 27-0-1 with 24 knockouts. Pascal slipped to 29-3-1.

Sergey Kovalev v Jean Pascal

Sergey Kovalev (right) lands a punch to the head of Jean Pascal during their unified light heavyweight championship bout at the Bell Centre on March 14, 2015 in Montreal.  Photo:  Richard Wolowicz /  Getty Images

Kovalev looked like he had Pascal finished in the third round, when he scored with a right hand. Pascal slipped slightly through the ropes and appeared in serious trouble.

But he survived and came on in rounds five and six, swinging from the fences and scoring with overhand rights. Pascal was wild and unorthodox, throwing punches from angles and landing as often as he could. But he also missed as frequently.

It was clear and obvious Kovalev was the more polished and accomplished boxer. Indeed, the Russian-born Kovalev had Pascal hurt with a left hook near the end of the seventh round. Pascal stumbled back to his corner.

Sergey Kovalev v Jean Pascal

Jean Pascal (right) lands a punch to the head of Sergey Kovalev during their unified light heavyweight championship bout at the Bell Centre on March 14, 2015 in Montreal.  Photo by Richard Wolowicz /  Getty Images


Kovalev was making the fifth defence of the WBO title he captured in 2013 against Nathan Cleverly, stopping him in the fourth round.

Kovalev has dismantled all opponents who have gotten in his way since then, although many have lacked star power. Those included Ismayl Sillakh, Cedric Agnew and Blake Caparello. The latter caught Kovalev off-balance, knocking him down in the opening round, before Kovalev roared back to stop him in the second. He defeated Sillakh in November 2013 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City.

Kovalev had hoped for a unification bout against Blainville’s Adonis Stevenson, the World Boxing Council 175-pound champ. Indeed, a deal had been agreed upon according to Main Events and HBO. But things changed after Stevenson signed with Showtime.

Stevenson said he wanted a fight against veteran Bernard Hopkins. But Hopkins eventually pulled an about-face, signing to put his version of the light-heavyweight titles up against Kovalev last November in Atlantic City. The winner would control three of the division’s four titles.

Kovalev dropped Hopkins in the first round, scoring with the first decent punch of the bout, but never could provide the finishing salvo. Hopkins appeared to be in survival mode and lost a unanimous decision. It marked the first time Kovalev fought beyond the eighth round.

Pascal, meanwhile, lost his first title opportunity back in 2008, vanquished by Carl Froch when they met for Froch’s super-middleweight belt.

Undaunted, Pascal moved up to the light-heavyweight division, capturing the WBC title against Adrian Diaconu. Pascal beat him again in their rematch, then handed Chad Dawson the first defeat of his career before fighting Hopkins to a majority draw. When they met in the rematch five months later, Pascal lost a decision in May 2011.

Pascal scored a unanimous decision against Lucian Bute in January 2014, but had fought only once since then, capturing a two-round no-contest against Roberto Bolonti last December.

It was hardly the ideal way to tune-up for Kovalev.

El inglés Nathan Cleverly defendió con éxito su corona semipesada de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), al derrotar por nocaut técnico en el octavo round al estadounidense Shawn Hawk, este sábado por la noche en el combate estelar de una cartelera que fue organizada por la empresa Golden Boy Promotions en el Staples Center de Los Ángeles, California.

Cleverly, quien cumplió esta noche con la cuarta defensa de su corona de la OMB, se tomó su tiempo para acabar con Hawk, a quien envió dos veces a la lona en el séptimo round y dos más en el octavo, para imponerse por la vía rápida a los 1:53 minutos de ese round.

El referee Tony Crebs intervino después de esta cuarta caída, en vista de la superioridad mostrada por Cleverly a lo largo de este combate pactado a 12 rounds.

Luego de este triunfo, Cleverly mejoró su record a 25-0, con 12 nocauts, mientras que Hawk desmejoró a 22-3-1, con 16 nocauts.


Nathan Cleverly successfully defended his light heavyweight title of the World Boxing Organization (WBO), defeating by TKO in the eighth round to American Shawn Hawk, this Saturday night in the main event of a card that was organized by Golden Boy Promotions company at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Cleverly, who met tonight with the fourth defense of his WBO crown, took time to stop Hawk, whom he sent to the canvas twice in the seventh and two more in the eighth, to be imposed by way quick to 1:53 of that round.

The referee Tony Crebs intervened after this fall quarter, given the superiority shown by Cleverly along this bout scheduled 12 rounds.

After this triumph, Cleverly improved to 25-0, with 12 knockouts, while Hawk deteriorated to 22-3-1, with 16 knockouts.

Date: November 10, 2012

WBO Lt. Heavyweight Championship Title Bout

Location: Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, USA

Promoter: Promotion Zanfer

Supervisor: Richard De Cuir

Referee: Tony Crebs

Judge: Raul Caiz Sr, Patricia Morse Jarman, Pat Russell

Result: Cleverly won by TKO. Hawk down twice in rd 7 and once in rd 8.

WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KO’s) will be defending his title on October 27th against Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Uzelkov (27-2, 16 KO’s) at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, UK. This should be one of Cleverly’s easier fights, as 33-year-old Uzelkov has already exposed in losses to Beibut Shumenov and Eduard Gutknecht in the past two years.

#9 WBO, Uzelkov basically has little more than a puncher’s chance of winning this fight at beat. He’s got decent power, but he doesn’t throw too many combinations. It’s either a big right hand or nothing from Uzelkov. His stamina is also a problem area for him, as we saw in his fights agaisnt Gutknecht and Shumenov where he gassed out after six rounds and was pretty much working on fumes the rest of the fight.

I see this fight a step down from Tony Bellew for Cleverly, because Bellew is a better puncher than Uzelkov with better stamina and workrate. I’m not excited about this fight at all. I’d much rather see Cleverly fight someone like Jurgen Brahmer, Cornelius White, Isaac Chilemba, or Gutknecht. To be honest, there’s not a lot to choose from in the top 15 for the WBO. The competition is god awful and at this rate, Cleverly could hold onto his World Boxing Organization 175 pound title for many years without ever facing anyone that is a real threat to him.

Cleverly is incredibly beatable, but the competition is so awful. There’s only like four or five halfway decent fighters in the entire division, and that makes it easy for a flawed guy like Cleverly to hold down one of the world title straps in this watered down and weak division.

As far as the fight goes, Uzelkov has a puncher’s chance just like Bellew did. If he can land one of his big right hands right on Cleverly’s grill, he could knock him out. Most of Uzelkov’s knockouts have come early on, so if he’s going to get to Cleverly it will have to be early before he gasses out.

By Scott Gilfoid

Nathan Cleverly will make the fourth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight championship against Vyacheslav Uzelkov at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on October 27.

Uzelkov, the 33-year-old Ukrainian, has a 27-2 professional record, with 16 knockout victories. He lost a wide points decision to Beibut Shumenov, the WBA king, in 2010 on the only other occasion he has attempted to win a world title.

He was also unsuccessful during a shot at the European crown earlier this year, but is ranked ninth by the WBO, fourth by the WBA and seventh by the IBF. As an amateur, he faced David Haye at the 2001 World Championships in Belfast, losing on points in the semi-final.

“Uzelkov’s ranked in the top ten of three of the major governing bodies and has already mixed it with Shumenov for the world title so I know he’ll be a hard defence for me,” Cleverly said.

“I’ve seen some of his fights already and he looks strong and [likes to] come forward which will be perfect for me.”

Cleverly has made three defences of the WBO strap so far, against Aleksy Kuziemski, Tony Bellew and Tommy Karpency.

Frank Warren, Cleverly’s promoter, has vowed to put the Welshman in against a few more recognisable names post-Uzelkov. “It’s proved frustrating as we had [Bernard] Hopkins lined up and then he pulled out, and Shumenov didn’t want to come over here to fight Cleverly, plus [Carl] Froch and Bellew didn’t want to know,” he said.

“While we look to make these fights Cleverly has got to keep busy as he hasn’t fought since February – and Uzelkov is a tough title defence for him.”