Preview: Bivol vs. Pascal

By Robert Ecksel on October 24, 2018
Preview: Bivol vs. Pascal
“I'm known as a champion who never turned down any challenges.” (Dmitry Yuryevich)

A stylish boxer-puncher who flirted with greatness in his prime, Pascal only came up short against the crème de la crème…

On Saturday, November 24, in a fight televised live on HBO Championship Boxing from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs), the 27-year-old assassin from St. Petersburg, Russia, will defend his title against former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KOs), the 35-year-old veteran from Laval, Quebec, Canada, by way of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Pascal was slated to fight Gary Kopas (10-11-2, 5 KOs), a 39-year-old journeyman from Saskatchewan, on November 9 in Sydney, Australia. But Lady Luck intervened and Pascal’s farewell tour has taken a turn for the better. A stylish boxer-puncher who flirted with greatness in his prime, Pascal only came up short against the crème de la crème. He lost to Carl Froch in 2008, Bernard Hopkins in 2011, Sergey Kovalev in 2015 and 2016, and a majority decision loss to Eleider Alvarez last year.

Pascal has lost three of his last seven fights going back to 2015, but comes into the bout with Bivol having stopped his last two opponents, both of whom were undefeated. Pascal has had a distinguished career and is on the downside, but he is still a dangerous fighter.

“It’s very important for me,” said Bivol about fighting Pacal. “It’s every boxer’s dream to be the champion, the unified champion. It’s a big step to dream about.

“I view Pascal as a dangerous opponent,” Bivol told Vasily Konov. “Yes, he’s probably not the strongest in our division, but this is a person with a good name. And let’s not forget that it was very difficult to find an opponent, we were even nervous that nobody would take the fight.

“For example, there was Joe Smith, who first at first agreed, and then went the other way. And Pascal accepted this fight…

“I wouldn’t say that he is weaker than Chilemba or Barrera. This is a slightly different boxer. The most important thing is that people know Pascal. He’s someone who believes in his power, and for me that’s good. A lot of people will see this fight. In general, Pascal cannot be dismissed. This is a former world champion. Accordingly, this is a boxer of a certain level with a certain level of experience. And, we must not forget that this is boxing, and anything can happen.”

Another title shot for Pascal, should he lose to Bivol, is unlikely. Simply put, it’s now or never.

“This is the most important fight of my life and I could not be more motivated,” he said. “I’m making boxing history on November 24th. I’m known as a champion who never turned down any challenges, but I want to be two-time champion and I want to be immortalized in the Hall of Fame when my career is over. To fully cement my status as a Hall of Famer, I must win this fight and I will win this fight.”

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  1. nonprophet 12:27pm, 10/26/2018

    @Your Name….”just opponents bitching”....Interesting anthro-geopolitical point of view embedded in a comment about boxing.  I’m confused by it though ..Is Sergey Kovalev an “opponent Russian” or a Russian opponent?

  2. Your Name 01:00pm, 10/25/2018

    Bivol will be undisputed champ. No politics when it comes to the Russians, Ukrainians or any of the ‘Stans. Just their opponents bitching. Good on Pascal for stepping up.

  3. Kid Blast 06:45am, 10/25/2018

    Easy work here. Pascal is way past his best. Bivol has bricks in his gloves.