ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Light heavyweight world titleholder Dmitry Bivol put on a boxing clinic on Saturday and outpointed a game Jean Pascal to retain his WBA "Regular" world title in the final main event of HBO World Championship Boxing at Mark G. Etess Arena in Atlantic City.
Two judges scored the fight 119-109, and a third judge was apparently generous enough to give Pascal three rounds with a 117-111 card. FightNights.com had it like the majority, 119-109 for Bivol.
Pascal, though clearly out of his prime, landed a hard counter right hand in the eighth round and followed it up with a short combination, but that was his best moment of the fight. For the most part, Bivol (15-0, 11 KO's), 27, a Kyrgyzstan native training out of Russia, was giving the former world champion a boxing lesson.
Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KO's), 36, a Haiti native training out of Montreal, has lost four of his last eight fights, but in bouts where he faced top opposition, he has gone winless.
Bivol, who accumulated an amateur record of 268-15 before turning professional in 2014, has been on a tremendous roll since winning the WBA title with a first-round knockout of Trent Broadhurst in 2017.
This fight represented Bivol's third of 2018, which also featured a 12th-round stoppage of ex-champion Sullivan Barrera in March to kick off the year and a unanimous decision over former world title challenger Isaac Chilemba in August.
Although Bivol's power has been highly touted, he has gone the distance in his last two fights, which has led some to challenge his boxing skill, which is simply ludicrous, but that is how some boxing fans are.
Bivol said after the fight that he’s ready to fight anyone at 175-pounds or he will move down to 168-pounds to face the champions in that weight division, as he feels confident that he can make the weight.
“Every time we shoot for a KO. I try to show my boxing skills,” Bivol said. “He used his experience, and he was powerful in this fight. I used all of my skills in this fight, and I believe that, yes, I can beat [Eleider] Alvarez. And I am ready to fight anyone and everyone in the division. Whoever they want me to fight, I will fight.”
Bivol landed 217 of 678 (32 percent) of his total punches, including 127 of 287 (44 percent) of his power shots. By comparison, Pascal landed a derisory total of 60 of 357 (17 percent) of his total punches, and 54 of 239 (23 percent) of power shots. Pascal failed to land a single jab during the fight.
Bivol controlled the first three rounds by using his jab and going downstairs with the body. Pascal swung like a wild man, and as the punch stats show, he was not very successful. With approximately 90 seconds remaining the fourth round, Bivol connected on straight shots to the body.
The fifth round was more of the same. Bivol was picking apart Pascal, but it was not deterring him from going on his wild swings. His unorthodox style worked well for him when he was younger, but Bivol saw it coming, and continued to box well.
In the sixth, Bivol started to back Pascal up more as he began to run out of gas. It was more of the same in the seventh as Bivol outworked him.
Pascal gave it one last try in the 10th, but the fight was well over by that point. Bivol withstood the attempted mauling, and cruised to another victory.