Bivol: I Felt Pascal's Power; Dangerous Even When He Was Hurt

By Keith Idec

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Dmitry Bivol was wary of Jean Pascal’s power right up until the final bell Saturday night.

The unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion admitted after his unanimous-decision win that he felt the impact of Pascal’s punches early in their 12-round, 175-pound title bout and realized he had to careful against the former champion.

The 36-year-old Pascal also out-weighed Bivol by seven pounds on Saturday night, according to HBO’s unofficial scale.

bivol-pascal-fight (4)

Bivol beat Pascal by big margins on all three scorecards – 119-109, 119-109, 117-111. He still has drawn some criticism for not knocking out a faded former champion who appeared exhausted at times in their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Etess Arena.

“When I sparred with Jean Pascal, it was two years ago,” Bivol said during the post-fight press conference. “I felt his power. He’s a really strong guy. He looks like a cross-fit man and he is really strong. [With] these small gloves, of course I felt his power. And he punched with [a wild] swing, this strong punch. Of course I felt a couple punches.”

His sparring experience, as well as Pascal’s two fights against Sergey Kovalev, also made Bivol aware that he couldn’t afford to get reckless versus the former WBC light heavyweight champion. Even though Kovalev stopped Pascal twice, Bivol noticed there were instances when Pascal caught Kovalev with hard right hands and occasionally left hooks.

“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.”

The 27-year-old Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) feels he hurt Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs, 1 NC), but he remained mindful of Pascal’s power even when his challenger appeared vulnerable.

“Yes, there were moments when I could’ve tried to stop him, I could’ve tried to take advantage of it,” Bivol said. “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.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Nomar on 11-26-2018

Well, at least he's honest about it. But, I'm puzzled about the 6lb rehydration. This is not an IBF sanctioned bout where rehydration is limited to 10lbs. Why put himself at a disadvantage?

Comment by dannnnn on 11-26-2018

Pascal was juiced to the gills like he always is, it's no wonder he's strong. Sporting those Holyfield traps lol.

Comment by kingmaker on 11-26-2018

Pascal has never knocked out anyone worth mentioning. This is either a ploy by Bivol to get one of the other champions interested in fighting him or he is in trouble. Lots of real heavy punchers in the top 10…

Comment by Squ□redCircle34 on 11-26-2018

If Pascal had more stamina like say Chocolatito he would be champ again, his power is legit and he’s very unorthodox as well as explosive too! He should’ve kept on making it a phone booth fight cuz he was banging…

Comment by Superbee on 11-25-2018

[QUOTE=Santa_;19296405]Pascal knocked out a Cruiserwight 4 moths ago his power is legit. Bivol showed a helluva beard. [/QUOTE] Please stop embarrassing yourself bringing Steve Bossé everywhere... That was just a…

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