Bivol Keeps Title in One-Sided Affair
It wasn’t even close.
Dmitry Bivol successfully retained his WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Jean Pascal in the main event of a Nov. 24 card from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Bivol took control of the fight from the opening bell and didn’t look back. In fact, the first three rounds made it look like Bivol was in the gym with a punching bag, as Pascal seemed to barely fight back and ate what Bivol dished out.
Bivol continued to dominate, focusing on the body. Pascal’s only memorable shot of the middle rounds was a left hand laned during a rush. Pascal at one point seemed to rock Bivol a little with a straight followed by a wild flurry, but he quickly tired out, despite taunting Bivol at several points throughout the fight.
Bivol was the more dominating fighter outright, but he was unable to get the finish. Bivol took the judges’ scorecards 117-111, 119-109, 119-109.
Following the fight, Bivol would tell reporters that he stayed at bay on purpose. “I was not aggressive because I knew he has this counter-punching technique,” Bivol said. “And I said this before the fight, he tries to counter-punch with the right. He tries to hide the punch behind his shoulder and sometimes he tries to counter-punch with the left, wide. I knew that, so my goal was to not to let him do that. A lot of times when people are aggressive with him, you’ve seen him land big shots on other fighters. … I had to do the work of moving on my feet and not let him do that to me. That was more important.”
“Yes, there were moments when I could’ve tried to stop him, I could’ve tried to take advantage of it… But to be honest with you, he’s sturdier than I thought he is. I already knew he’s durable, but he’s very tough. He’s tougher than I thought, because even at those moments he was still dangerous.”