SPORTS

Unbeaten Sergey Kovalev retains light heavyweight titles

Sergey Kovalev knocks down Nadjib Mohammedi to win their light heavyweight title boxing bout Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Sergey Kovalev knocks down Nadjib Mohammedi to win their light heavyweight title boxing bout Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS

Sergey Kovalev had little trouble retaining his light heavyweight titles Saturday night, stopping Nadjib Mohammedi in the third round in a fight that was a mismatch from the start.

The unbeaten Russian dropped Mohammedi in the second round with a series of right hands, then put him down for good with a combination in the third round. Mohammedi got to his knees but was holding his nose as if it was broken and referee Kenny Bayless called a halt to the bout at 2:38 of the third.

More from FoxSports

Kovalev, who stopped Jean Pascal in his last fight in March in Montreal, was defending his 175-pound crown against the mandatory challenger from France. Mohammedi was so little thought of that oddsmakers would not even accept bets on the fight.

Kovalev improved to 28-0-1 with 25 knockouts.

Earlier, former light heavyweight champion Pascal overcame a slow start to beat Yuniesky Gonzalez by unanimous decision to set up a possible rematch with Kovalev.

Pascal (30-3-1) won by a 96-94 margin in the 10-round bout on all three scorecards to hand Gonzalez (16-1) his first loss. The decision was loudly booed by the crowd at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino, and met with disbelief by Gonzalez himself.