Jean Pascal Q and A ahead of Sergey Kovalev rematch
Q: How is everything going in preparation for your upcoming bout with Sergey Kovalev What’s it like working with Freddie Roach for the first time?
JP: It’s been fantastic. Freddie is somebody that I’ve greatly admired from a distance for a very long time now. I’ve been following his work since the James Toney days, so I’m well aware of the difference he can make for boxers who buy into his way of doing things. Right now I’m all in and ready to once again become the light heavyweight champion of the world on January 30.
Q: What would you say to the critics who feel that you don’t deserve this fight based on your showing against Yunieski Gonzalez?
JP: I would say that it was a very good fight that was a lot closer than it had to be, but I won the fight.
Q: Why was it a lot closer than it had to be?
JP: I’m don’t make excuses, I make big fights. In boxing things happen during a fight and you just have to bite down and keep going despite the pain. Sometimes things become more difficult than they have to be as a result of this, but when the options are quitting or keep fighting, I only see one option.
Q: Do you feel you’ve gotten the credit you deserved for taking on a hungry undefeated guy like Gonzalez instead of taking an easier preliminary bout?
JP: Not really. And what’s crazy is I didn’t have to fight him. The deal for the Kovalev rematch was done in July, so the only reason I fought him was to prove to myself that even after suffering a TKO loss I can come right back four months later and hand a tough undefeated fighter his first loss. I think that fight took a lot out of Yunieski and that showed in his last fight with Slava Shabransky.
Q: You’ve said on several occasions that you know what has to be corrected in order to defeat Kovalev. Can you elaborate on that at all?
JP: You’ll have to buy your ticket to attend at the Bell Centre or tune in on HBO to find out. I can’t give out my secrets now.
Q: Can you tell us some of the guys you’ve been sparring with?
JP: I can but then I’d have to kill you. (laughs)
Q: You took it upon yourself to voice your opinion of Kovalev. You basically said he’s not a star and that he’s a racist. Do you regret saying any of those things?
JP: Regret? I don’t regret anything I said that day. All I did was tell the truth. There is only one star in this fight and it isn’t Sergey Kovalev. When he and I fought on the same show in Vegas on July 25 it became obvious that Kovalev sells like sand in the desert. He didn’t even sell 1,000 tickets, so we all know the reason he’s coming back to Montreal is because I’m the only way he can make money. He likes to say that he likes to go to other peoples hometown and ruin them in front of their fans, but that’s a lie. He likes to go to other people’s backyard because he has no hometown of his own and couldn’t sell 2,000 tickets to save his life. And when he makes his first million dollar purse because of my great fans in Montreal, how does he thank them? He gives them the finger. Talk about classless.
Q: And as far as the racist remarks?
JP: Like I said, I don’t regret anything. It was the truth. Ismayl Sillakh told me some of the deplorable things Kovalev told him before they fought and the monkey shirt with Adonis spoke for itself. And it’s a fact that he only calls black fighters pieces of shit. The funny thing is when it comes to selling tickets, speaking in complete sentences or generating big ratings, the only piece of shit is him.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
JP: Victory. I will be prepared to go a hard twelve rounds, but if he gives me a chance to end the fight, I will take full advantage of it.