Dmitry Bivol is looking to close out his banner year with perhaps his toughest test to date on HBO.
Bivol will defend his WBA light heavyweight title for the third time in 2018 on the network in the United States when he faces off against former world champion Jean Pascal. The fight will headline a card at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on November 24.
The 27-year-old world champion is looking to further get experience as a world champion and there is perhaps no opponent that has more experience in big light heavyweight title fights than Pascal. Bivol will be headlining his first boxing show in the United States and he spoke to Fightful on what it means to him getting the opportunity.
This will be Bivol's second straight fight in Atlantic City after successfully retaining his title against Isaac Chilemba on an HBO card in August. The fight was supposed to help bridge together a potential unification bout between Bivol and Sergey Kovalev, who lost his WBO title on that same card. With the fight no longer happening, Bivol will have to continue his reign as champion and await a big fight in 2019, when he becomes a television free agent after HBO shuts down its boxing broadcasts starting in 2019.
But on the other side, Pascal has had a lengthy and successful career that saw him win a world title at 175 pounds and fight future Hall of Famers such as Bernard Hopkins and Kovalev as well as other top names like Carl Froch, Chad Dawdon and Lucian Bute. In a recent media call, Pascal told Fightful he feels good at 36 years old and ready to win another title.
Pascal actually retired a year ago, but came out of retirement earlier this year in an effort to win another world title and potentially cement his status as a Hall of Famer in his own right. Pascal believes that a victory against the hottest light heavyweight star in boxing in his prime would be the signature moment that would turn him into a Hall of Famer.
Below is the full card with the top two fights being aired on HBO:
- Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal: WBA Light Heavyweight World Title
- Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Isaac Zarate: WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Title
- Sergey Kuzmin vs. LaRon Mitchell: WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
- Israil Madrimov vs. Vladimir Hernandez
- Shakhram Giyasov vs. Miguel Zamudio
- Karl Dargan vs. Moises Delgadillo
- Evgeny Tishchenko vs. Christian Mariscal
- Logan Yoon vs. Hamza Sempewo
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 14-0 (11 KO)
Titles Won: Interim WBA Light Heavyweight, WBA Light Heavyweight World Titles
Notable Fights: Isaac Chilemba, Sullivan Barrera
Record: 33-5-1 (20 KO)
Titles Won: IBO Light Heavyweight, WBC Light Heavyweight World Titles
Notable Fights: Eleider Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev, Lucian Bute, Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Carl Froch
Betting Odds (Provided by PaddyPower.com):
Dmitry Bivol Win: 1/25 (Betting Favorite)
Jean Pascal Win: 10/1 (Betting Underdog)
Fight Ends In A Draw: 33/1