WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) dominated former champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs) in what was an utter mismatch this past Saturday night in Atlantic City, NJ.
Pascal proved that he is still a warrior and still possesses an iron chin. He also proved that he is just not an elite fighter any longer.
This win, no matter how dominant, does nothing for Bivol. He was expected to defeat Pascal, but he once again failed to step on the gas and end the show early.
Is Bivol a real future pound-for-pound level fighter? Or is he all smoke and mirrors?
It is hard to answer this question based on the level of opposition he has faced. They have been respectable, but not elite. Bivol needs a dance partner that can test him to see what he is truly made of.
Let’s talk about a few of those men that can do exactly that.
Light Heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) was on the cusp of his biggest opportunity until legal troubles scratched a showdown with then WBO champ, Sergey Kovalev.
If Browne can just put the legal issues behind him then he should be next in line for Dmitry Bivol. Browne is a talented fighter and witnessing Edieler Alvarez replace him in the Kovalev fight and then go on to win must be eating away at him.
Let’s give him another shot at the gold and see if he really has what it takes to beat possibly the best current champion in the Light Heavyweight division.
Dmitry Bivol is viewed by many as the best at 175. That’s saying a lot when you consider that division has other great champions such as WBC champ Adonis Stevenson and IBF titlist Artur Beterbiev.
The problem with Bivol is that his resume lacks the big names to consider him the best. A matchup with former Super Middleweight champion and current Light Heavyweight contender Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) would present him with not just someone that can just test him, but someone that could actually beat him as well.
In Jack’s last fight he fought Stevenson to a draw in an outstanding fight. If Bivol manages to defeat someone the caliber of Jack that would be quite the statement.
Winner of Adonis Stevenson vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk
Long-time reigning WBC champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) has long been known for ducking the best competition.
This year however he has shut down that notion. In May, he took on former champ Badou Jack and fought him to a draw. On December 1 he will take on his second straight tough opponent in the undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs).
Gvozdyk may not be known to the casual fan, but he’s a real fighter.
Stevenson is rightfully favored, but an upset is not out of the realm of possibility. Bivol should be hoping that the winner will be next in line for him.
It will present him with the opportunity to not only face stiff competition but it will also provide him the chance to have a big unification fight. Here’s hoping that Bivol gets the winner of this fight next.