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Kovalev SEEMS Unfazed Still



By Michael Woods

If the desire is to get under the skin of Sergey Kovalev, insert a bug into his brain, then I can’t say I see that it’s working.

I bet it helps tix sales at Bell Center Saturday and it has helped make the buildup to the rematch with Kovalev more interesting, but no, I don’t see the campaign by Jean Pascal to label Kovalev as racist as taking the Russian off his game.

See here how Krusher maintains his composure when talking to Keiran Mulvaney of HBO after the Wednesday presser in Montreal which saw Pascal playing a prop comic, with bite.

Mulvaney asked if the personal animosity that has bubbled up makes it easier to get the job done.

“I feel much better for this fight, more motivated….But I should be very careful..because he’s very dangerous, he’s punching good and also his head very hard. Maybe because he doesn’t have a brain,” Kovalev said, with a slight grin. “I don’t know,” he said, laughing.

Pascal keeps on referencing his charge; he informed Mulvaney about his banana schtick and called trainer Freddie Roach his “white trainer.”

Maybe underneath, Krusher seethes..and this will have him fighting Saturday on HBO with less focus, with too much heart rather than head…

But I sense not. On Wednesday night, I asked Kovalev if the Pascal needling is getting to him.

“He is trash talker, and he let all word know today who is who,” the light heavyweight boss told me.

Did his accusations anger Krusher?

“Not at all,” said the 28-0-1 hitter, who hopes to down the Montrealer and then serve a nasty welcome to Andre Ward to the 75 hood, maybe in November.

So, how does he stay seemingly composed after hearing such public accusations, meant to embarrass, I assume?

“Pascal is just playing stupid,” Kovalev told me.

You think he’s just trying to hype the fight, more than unnerve you?

“Maybe? You need to ask him what he is trying to do. In my opinion he is stupid.”

Readers, do YOU think Pascal has planted an unnerving bug in Krusher’s brain?

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.