Light-heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol will return to Atlantic City next month.
Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) will defend his World Boxing Association title against former champion Jean Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KOs) on Nov. 24 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
“You’ve got one of boxing’s top young champions (Bivol) against the wily veteran (Pascal),” Hard Rock Vice President of Entertainment Bernie Dillon said Tuesday. “It’s got the makings of a great fight, and we’re very excited to have it here.”
The fight will be the second one held at the 6,000-seat Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena since the property opened June 27. The 12-round bout will be one of the final boxing events televised on HBO Championship Boxing. The network is ending its 45-year relationship with the sport at the end of the year.
On Aug. 4, Bivol gained a 12-round unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba as a co-feature to the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez light-heavyweight fight. Alvarez gained the World Boxing Organization version of the 175-pound title with a seventh-round knockout.
Bivol, 27, hopes to parlay a victory over Pascal into a fight against Alvarez in his bid to unify the division. Artur Beterbiev (International Boxing Federation), Adonis Stevenson (World Boxing Council co-champ) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (WBC co-champ) hold the other belts.
“It’s very important to me,” Bivol said in a statement. “It’s every boxer’s dream to be the unified champion.”
Pascal, a 35-year-old Canadian resident, once held the WBC belt before losing it to Bernard Hopkins in 2011. He’s 4-3 in last seven bouts but has won two straight since suffering a 12-round majority decision loss to Alvarez.
In his last fight, he scored an eighth-round TKO over former UFC competitor Steve Bosse in Quebec on July 20.
“This is the most important fight of my life, and I could not be more motivated,” Pascal said in a statement Tuesday.
“I’m known as a champion who never turned down any challenges, but I want to be two-time champion, and I want to be immortalized in the (International Boxing) Hall of Fame when my career is over. To fully cement my status as a Hall of Famer, I must win this fight and I will win this fight.”
Notes: The fight is being promoted by Totowa-based Main Events, World of Boxing and Jean Pascal Promotions. ... Tickets range $30 to $150 for ringside and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 through HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com and Ticketmaster.com.
In other local boxing news, Atlantic City super-middleweight Isiah Seldon (12-1-1, 4 KOs) will return to action against unbeaten Tyler Howard (15-0, 10 KOs) on Nov. 16 in Oklahoma City. It’s on the undercard of the Top Rank-promoted WBO super-lightweight title fight between champ Maurice Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs and Alex Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) on ESPN.