A cold snap is about to find its way to Atlantic City this coming weekend which will see the beast from the east follow the heavy-handed WBA Light Heavyweight king Dmitry Bivol in his pursuit to be universally known as the divisions best.
Standing In his way of proving this point is former world champion Jean Pascal who will look to upset the odds in the familiar role as the underdog, a role which he accepts readily, recently telling the Ring Magazine
“It’s the story of my life to be the underdog, In school I was the underdog; against Chad Dawson I was, against Bernard Hopkins the first fight. I never consider myself the underdog. I know I’m the man!”
“I have gas in the tank. I saw myself I had gas in the tank. And I don’t want to leave with any regrets. If I leave now, I will have regrets. With an empty tank, no regrets.”
Pascal was originally scheduled to face Gary Kopas (10-11-2, 5 KOs), a journeyman from Saskatchewan, on November 9 in Sydney, Australia but was given the chance to throw the dice one more time in a bid capture another title.
The sticky point is that it comes draped across the waist of one of the divisions best in Dmitry Bivol, 27, a fighter with the highest of expectations set of himself, intentions on unifying a division in need of a new overall ruler with a lot of great fighters jostling for position, to do so Bivol looks towards one of his neighbouring countries best in Oleksandr Usyk for inspiration.
“It’s very important for me. It’s every boxer’s dream to be the champion, the unified champion. It’s a big step to dream about. Like (unified cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk.”
Bivol is in the fourth year of a professional career which holds fourteen wins without loss, another from the conveyor belt of talent that the Eastern European continent that continues to churn out some of the sports best, already holding wins over the likes of Cedric Agnew, Sullivan Barrera and the always tricky Isaac Chilemba his career is matching the lofty ambitions as has of himself.
He is expecting a different fight from Pascal than he did from his last (Chilemba) which took the shape of a more technical showing and not the explosive ones we have come to expect from the Russian.
“Pascal is a different fighter than I had before. He is a former champion. I know he’s a strong guy. He has a good counter attack. He has good experience.”
It is all set up for a good action packed fight, one of the last from the HBO Boxing era, a contest which Bivol will try hardest to live up to the fighters who have showcased their skills on the platform throughout the years.
“I’m really grateful to HBO for this opportunity. When I was young, I watched famous boxers like Mike Tyson, Roy Jones, Manny Pacquiao, fight on HBO. I wanted to be famous like these guys, a champion fighting on HBO. And now I’m fighting in an HBO main event. It’s an honor for me.”
Make sure you tune in where between your ample givings from the Thanksgiving weekend, should see two men put everything on the line, one in an attempt to take the next step on his road to unification whilst the other comes to a crossroads, a win will put him back amongst the best the weight class as to offer, a loss will surely result in its screeching halt.