Canadian Corner: Pascal-Kovalev II heats up, Toney cancelled
The biggest fight coming up in Canada is the Jean Pascal-Sergey Kovalev rematch of their 2015 ‘fight of the year’ candidate, which also took place in Montreal. In their first meeting, Pascal was stopped inside eight rounds. What could make this fight more interesting is that Pascal is now training full-time with master trainer Freddie Roach, something he believes will help him defeat the ominous Russian.
Much like he did the first time around, Pascal is doing everything in his power to get inside Kovalev’s head, labelling him as someone who “doesn’t have respect and education,” at their recent press conference.
Pascal went on to say: “He called me a piece of shit, another example that he has no respect. Why does he call me a piece of shit? And right now, he’s still laughing about it because he doesn’t care about you guys. He doesn’t care. He just cares about his pocket, like [Adonis] Stevenson.”
HBO recently announced that the co-main event for the evening will be Russian welterweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko (20-0-0) taking on “Don’t call me Sugar” Ray Robinson (20-2-0).
There are still plenty of fights still to be announced for this card, but prospects Joel Diaz Jr. (20-0-0), Steven Butler (13-0-1) and Renan St. Juste (26-4-1) are still expected to feature.
There were originally rumours that David Lemieux would face Curtis Stevens on the undercard of Pascal-Kovalev, but Lemieux is instead expected to headline his own event in the spring. Lemieux’s style has led to him becoming a big enough star in Montreal to headline his own events.
While Stevens is still in the running for a potential bout with Lemieux in the spring, some are suggesting that Willie Monroe Jr. is also petitioning for the fight.
The 29 January card scheduled for Ottawa that was to be headlined by James Toney, (yes, that James Toney) has been cancelled again and it appears that the fighters are beginning to become frustrated.
Tony Luis, who was scheduled to fight on the card, took to Facebook to spill his frustrations.
“I regret to inform everybody that my fight on 29 January has been cancelled a second time. I am disgusted with the unprofessionalism on the promoter's part. No fighter enjoys training for months and have nothing to show for it. Those who have bought tickets, please call your credit card companies to get reimbursed. I was so looking forward to performing close to home again. Not a good start to the new year, better days ahead.”
On 21 January, heavyweight prospect Custio Clayton (5-0-0) will headline a card at the Montreal Casino against Stanislas Salmon (25-3-2) in what can only be described as a significant step-up in competition.
Also expected for that card is super-middleweight prospect Erik Bazinyan (10-0-0), Canadian heavyweight champion Dillon Carman (9-2-0) and super-middleweight Dario Bredicean (6-0-0).