Former two-division champ Bernard Hopkins will serve as the expert commentator on the "HBO World Championship Boxing" telecast on Saturday. Hopkins, having faced both fighters, provides his thoughts on the light heavyweight championship fight in Montreal between champion Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal .
"March 14 is going to be a great night for the light heavyweight division and boxing in general with a strong overall fighter in Jean Pascal taking on the light heavyweight champion, in my opinion, Sergey Kovalev. Both guys are going to lay it all on the line, but only one is going to walk away with a victory. Having fought both, I know how tough they both are ... in their own ways.
“Jean Pascal is a tricky guy to fight because he’s going to throw punches from unorthodox angles and in nontraditional ways. You can get hit all over with shots because he delivers them in very deceiving ways. He’s not a guy who’s going to sit in the pocket. You have to be careful because he can sneak up on you and put you on the canvas. You have to outthink him and outwork him. That’s the only way to beat him. Not everyone is going to have the IQ to beat him, but you need to have a solid game plan to have a chance.
“Sergey Kovalev’s biggest strength is his size, but he’s also capable of moving quickly, and it’s unexpected. His talent is tremendous, but he also has the accuracy and foot movement to subsidize the talent. He has a great coach in John David Jackson, a former world champion who’s seen every style you can mention. You have to give some credit to the teacher who’s giving him a big edge outside of the ring through the way he coaches. Now that Kovalev has that experience on the championship level, he’s going to take that and improve on all the aspects of his game.
“This is going to be a great light heavyweight battle, with two guys who are going to have to dig deep into their arsenals to come out victorious. Make sure you’re watching HBO on Saturday, March 14, for a great night of boxing and some special insight from yours truly commentating ringside. I look forward to returning to Canada and breaking it down for the fans watching at home. I know these guys are going to fight with everything they've got and I'm excited to see the outcome.”