With previous opponent Joe Smith Jr. jumping ship to fight Artur Beterbiev, WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol and his team were forced to look elsewhere for his next title defense. According to TVA Sports, they’ve settled on former champion Jean Pascal, whom Bivol will fight on November 24th.
The card will air on HBO.
Pascal (33-5-1, 20 KO) originally retired last year after an upset thrashing of Ahmed Elbiali, then returned in July to knock out UFC veteran Steve Bosse. He’s 35 years old and, though a legit former champion, looked to have little left in the tank after brutal losses to Sergey Kovalev. There’s no clear avenue of victory for him against Bivol (14-0, 11 KO), who handily defeated Isaac Chilemba two months ago and looks poised to take over the division if given the opportunity.
Team Bivol didn’t have much time to find a replacement, so this isn’t the worst. Still disappointing, though.