Undefeated Champion Bivol to Defend WBA Light Heavyweight Title Against Pascal

WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will defend his belt against veteran Jean Pascal in Atlantic City, N.J. this weekend.

Updated: Nov. 21, 2018 • 3:35 PM ET

Jean Pascal is looking to win another title this weekend.

The WBA light heavyweight title will be on the line this Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J., as undefeated champion Dmitry Bivol will defend his belt against hard-working former champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round fight.

Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) is coming off two of the biggest wins in his young career against Sullivan Barrera by 12th round TKO, and a decision victory against Isaac Chilemba in August. The 27-year-old Russian was originally scheduled to fight hard-hitting Long Island product Joe Smith Jr., but complications getting the fight signed forced the matchup to fall through. Pascal willingly stepped in.

If he can get past Pascal on Saturday, Bivol plans to unify the light heavyweight division.

"It's very important for me," Bivol said via ESPN. "It's every boxer's dream to be the champion, the unified champion. It's a big step to dream about -- like (undisputed cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk."

Bivol has key victories over Trent Broadhurst, Cedric Agnew and Samuel Clarkson, while he also won gold at the 2013 World Combat Games in his home of Saint Petersburg, Russia. He won’t have an easy task defeating Pascal and cannot overlook a fighter who has been a champion and recently challenged for a title.

Pascal is the former WBC and IBO light heavyweight champion, having successfully defended the WBC belt three times. He also won gold as a middleweight boxer at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. The Quebec resident is 33-5 with 20 knockouts in his professional career, having fought some of the best in boxing. He’ll ride two straight wins into Saturday, but is only 3-3 in his last six fights. One of the losses, though, came to champion Eleider Alvarez, while the others came to former champion Sergey Kovalev, which is nothing to scoff at.

The 36-year-old Haitian has fought the toughest fighters in the light heavyweight division. Aside from Alvarez and Kovalev, he has fought future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins (twice), Chad Dawson and Carl Froch. Pascal, though, believes the biggest fight of his career will be on Saturday.

“This is the most important fight of my life and I could not be more motivated,” Pascal said Bad Left Hook. “I’m making boxing history on November 24. 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.

“Bivol is a very good fighter and a difficult challenge, but greatness has never been achieved without overcoming difficult challenges. My Canadian fans should be very excited because all of the light heavyweight belts will be in our house for Christmas this year.”


• The main card can be seen this Saturday on HBO at 10 p.m. ET.

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