By Xavier Porter | November 25, 2018 | Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City
As mentioned before, HBO has decided to not go forward with producing fight cards. The network’s last broadcast of impactful championship fights is scheduled to take place on December 8.
On that night, the world will get to see the top of the top in females boxing as current undisputed welterweight champion Cecelia Braekhus defends her titles and current IBF, WBA, WBC Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields seeks to grab the final piece to middleweight supremacy in fighting for the vacant WBO Middleweight Title.
However, last night’s broadcast of the Main Events Championship match between current WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol vs former World Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal has left many fight fans wanting to see more.
Reason being: there are many questions still unanswered by the talent and boxing skill that Bivol showcased. Although he won the fight in unanimous form, it wasn’t an easy win as the former champion Pascal used his guile and veteran experience to offset the power punching Bivol who has been known to breakdown and knock out his opponents.
With a heavy line-up of power-punching European fighters, one begs the question: what will come next? Is Main Events the lead promoter for showcasing fighters’ skills from abroad? Can the Russian champion Bivol become a dominant champion, in a division that his predecessor (Sergey Kovalev) was once considered the terror?
12 Rounds – WBA Light Heavyweight Title
Dmitry Bivol, St. Petersburg, RUS (13-0, 11 KOs) vs Jean Pascal, Montreal, CAN (33-5-1, 20 KOs)
Making the third defense of his light heavyweight title, Bivol stalked the former world champion during the early parts of the first. It appeared that he had stunned Pascal with a straight hand, but Pascal returned fire, along with words in between. In the second round, Bivol opened up with two solid right hands but it was Pascal who kept the opponent fighting off of his back foot. Pascal used his veteran experience to offset Bivol strong punches. Pascal landed an overhand right that stunned his opponent, causing him to ease his foot off the pedal of his offensive attack.
During the third round, Pascal’s body began to fail him. It was evident that “Father Time” had caught up to the former world champion. Bivol’s punch out began to pick up and Pascal became a standing target. During the fourth round, it appeared that Bivol scored a knock down. With Pascal throwing a punch at the same time, his fall to the canvas was ruled a slip. Bivol then began to land his patented one-two combination, occasionally throwing shots to the body.
In the fifth and sixth rounds, Bivol showed that he was in full control of the fight. In the eighth round, Pascal gave a last ditch, valiant effort to fight off the young champion. Unfortunately it was all but too late. By the ninth round and with his face swollen due to the continued punishment he had taken, Pascal tried and succeeded in landing a double punch to the head of Bivol. Although the punch shocked the crowd, Bivol maintained his focused and proceeded to pinpoint accurate punches on the former champion.
In round ten, both men stood toe-to-toe, trading punches in the middle of the ring. With tons of fans cheering him on, Pascal continued to go for broke, giving it his all, swinging wildly, hoping to land a punch of significance. Bivol again controlled round eleven and in the twelfth round, the current champion simply kept the pace of his punch output to go on to win a unanimous decision (117-111, 119-109, 2x).
Bivol retains his portion of the light heavyweight throne. The question is: Who’s next?
Bivol said after the fight:
“Of course, every time we shoot for the knockout but sometimes you can’t [get it].”
“I can show my boxing skills. I hope people are glad after my fight. I think [Pascal] put all of his experience and power into this fight. I believe in my skills. If I take a fight I believe I can win.”
“I am ready to fight everyone in the light heavyweight division and champions from [the] super middleweight [division]. I can make [the weight].”
So who does he want?
“It doesn’t matter to me. It’s up to my team. I’ll fight anybody. I am ready to fight against Alvarez or Kovalev or Badou Jack. I’m ready. Let’s make the fight.”
Pascal shared his thoughts on the fight, Bivol’s skills, and his own future (career wise):
All photos courtesy of :
- William Thomas Photography
- Matt Heasley Photography
- Marilyn Paulino (MVPBoxPics)