By Steve Kim
Kathy Duva, the head of Main Events, has confirmed that Dmitry Bivol will be returning to the ring in late November.
"Dmitry is going to fight Jean Pascal, a former world champion and spectacular personality and he's going to be doing that at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City on Thanksgiving weekend on November 24th," she told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday.
This bout will be broadcast on HBO, which announced that 2018 will be their last year televising the sport of boxing.
Originally, the opponent for Bivol (the reigning WBA 175-pound titlist) was Joe Smith and Main Events and HBO believed they had a deal for that fight. But Star Boxing at the end decided to face IBF belt-holder, Artur Beterbiev, in December on DAZN.
"We had to start over, that was just over a week ago and we fortunately were able to make deal with Jean and (adviser) Greg Leon. That was much quicker," said Duva, who says various opponents in the WBA rankings were contacted but turned down the opportunity to face Bivol on this date.
"When people want to make a deal, it gets done a lot better, much more efficiently."
The 27-year old Bivol (14-0, 11 KO's) last fought on August 4th where he out-pointed Isaac Chilemba over 12 rounds. Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KO's) stopped Steve Bosse in eight back on July 20th.
The venue was very pleased to secure another world title fight for Atlantic City, which is trying to rebuild it's foothold as a prime location for boxing.
“Following up on the success of last August’s fight between Alvarez and Kovalev, this will just be another step forward in Atlantic City’s return to professional boxing,” says Bernie Dillon, Vice President of Entertainment for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, “I’m thrilled that Hard Rock can be a big part of that.”
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com