On Saturday, November 24, 2018, WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) will be taking on his toughest opponent to date as he takes on former champion Jean Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KOs).
With only 14 fights under his belt, Bivol has had his career fast tracked. In only his seventh fight as a pro he captured the WBA interim title. He snagged the full version of the belt in just his 12th.
In short Bivol is the real deal.
It can take several years before a prospect can become a contender. It took Bivol only three years to become a world champion.
Pascal is the complete opposite. This will be his 40th fight. He has held numerous titles and has shared the ring with a who’s who of names such as Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Lucian Bute and Sergey Kovalev–to name a few.
Read on for a full preview and prediction for the Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal championship bout.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Jean Pascal and Dmitry Bivol have their advantages and disadvantages in the measurable’s category.
Bivol edges Pascal in height, 6’0″ even compared to 5’10”. Physically however Bivol does not have the most intimidating physique. It is well known that Pascal is known to resemble something of a bodybuilder. That could possibly help him in turning this matchup into more of a physical one.
The weights from the weigh in yesterday were extremely close with Pascal checking in slightly heavier at 174.6 pounds, compared to Bivol’s 174.4 pounds.
The biggest difference between these two men in terms of measurable’s lies in the punching power.
Pascal is a respectable puncher, but doesn’t seem to have the pop to stop the elite fighters. Bivol on the other hand has stopped all but three opponents he has stepped into the ring with.
Both men bring different storylines to the table. For Dmitry Bivol he wants to improve his resume, while increasing his exposure to a much bigger audience. Although he won his last fight against Isaac Chilemba, it was a lackluster performance.
Many expected him to get the knockout. He did manage to knock Chilemba down, but was never able to close the show. Presently the toughest opponent on the resume of Bivol is Sullivan Barrera. Bivol is lacking the more bigger names.
Sure, Jean Pascal is not what he once was, but he is still a respectable fighter that should cause a few problems for Bivol. A win over Pascal will give the champion’s resume a much needed boost.
As for Pascal, he is not only looking to once again be called a world champion, but he also wants to show that he is not on his last legs.
Back-to-back defeats to former unified Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev gave many the impression that Pascal was done at the world level. Pascal did manage to knockout his previous two opponents in Ahmed Elbiali and Steve Bosse.
This will be his opportunity to show that he still has plenty left in the tank.
STRENGTHS FOR EACH FIGHTER
Dmitry Bivol is an excellent fighter with the ability to stop his man at any time during a fight. His 12th-round knockout of Sullivan Barrera proved that he is dangerous no matter what point of the match.
He is a very good boxer who is more than capable of outboxing his opponent. His biggest strength however is undoubtedly his power.
It’s scary to be frank.
The few opponents that have actually managed to go the full distance with him have felt his power early on in a contest and refused to engage for much of the bout.
Jean Pascal has been stopped before and Bivol has the power to make this a short night.
Jean Pascal is a well-round fighter. He has the ability to outbox you or put your lights out if given the opportunity. In his matchup against Bivol, his biggest advantage will be in his experience.
Pascal has been in the ring with some of the very best to put on a pair of gloves in Bernard Hopkins and to a lesser extent, Carl Froch.
Pascal is a crafty fighter and that experience edge he has over Bivol could lead him to a major upset victory on Saturday night.
WEAKNESSES FOR EACH FIGHTER
It is truly hard to find the weaknesses in Dmitry Bivol’s game as he is proficient in just about all areas. He does have a tendency to only head hunt during his fights.
He has stopped almost everyone he has fought but against a fighter with the experience of Jean Pascal, Bivol may need to focus on the body as well.
The experience factor is also a weakness for Bivol. He has not been in the ring with world beaters as of yet and this will be his first main event on HBO. This is uncharted territory for the champion.
Jean Pascal is just a solid all around fighter, but one issue he does have is that he is a bit chinny. He has been on the canvas several times in his career. Now there is nothing wrong with that necessarily.
The problem is that Pascal was stopped in both of his meetings with Sergey Kovalev.
Bivol is almost like a younger version of Kovalev, which is something Pascal does not want to see tonight.
THE WINNER AND WHY
Former Light Heavyweight champion Jean Pascal is warrior. He has never ducked a fighter and has taken on all comers. Few can match his resume and credentials.
Unfortunately for Pascal he just is not what he quite used to be. Dmitry Bivol is a devastating puncher, but it’s not just his ability to punch, but it is also his accuracy.
Don’t expect Pascal to give his younger opponent any breaks in there. He will push Bivol and give him everything he has. It just won’t be enough in this fight.
Expect Bivol to punish Pascal. Also expect this fight to not make it to the final bell either.