DMITRY BIVOL, the latest light-heavyweight destroyer to emerge from Russia, told Boxing News only a few weeks ago how he intended to one day unify the titles at 175 pounds and revealed he was even open to doing something similar down at super-middleweight if the opportunity presented itself.
The next immediate move, however, appears to be a November 24 fight against Jean Pascal, a former world light-heavyweight champion, in Atlantic City. That WBA title defence is good to go, according to TVA Sports and The Montreal Journal, and would, on the face of it, represent the logical next step for Bivol in his quest to add more world titles to the belt he currently holds.
Pascal, the one-time WBC light-heavyweight champion, was scheduled to box on November 9 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, but a fight with Gary Kopas was cancelled to allow the French-Canadian to attend the funeral of his father, Sainvoyis, who died of a heart attack in Haiti.
Before that, Pascal, 33-5-1 (20), took eight rounds to stop Steve Bosse, a mixed martial artist with only one pro boxing match to his name, on July 20.
Bivol, meanwhile, struggled getting to grips with the slippery Isaac Chilemba in August, but still won handily, and has been keen to get out again before the end of the year. The plan, BN were led to believe, was for Bivol to face Joe Smith Jr, the American best-known for ending the career of Bernard Hopkins, but Smith Jr decided to take up the opportunity to fight IBF champion Artur Beterbiev, Bivol’s countryman, instead.
This left Bivol, 14-0 (11), without an opponent for a proposed November date and is what presumably motivated the call to Pascal and his team.
Now, if reports are to be believed, Bivol vs. Pascal will land on HBO and should make for an interesting clash between light-heavyweight champions young and old.
David Price vs. Lucas Browne sounds like one of those fights that is surely one day destined to happen. Can’t explain why, nor give much of a reason why it should, but it simply has an air of inevitability about it.
This morning, it seemed to have moved a step closer to becoming a reality after Price, looking for an opponent for a December 22 fight, instigated some back-and-forth on social media.
I believe @lucasBrowne is offended that some fans want to see him fight me… @EddieHearn I’ll be ready for Dec 22 and you owe me a fight. Please let it be this. I’ll do this fella right in
— David Price (@DavidPrice_1) October 16, 2018
However, Browne, responding via video was just as quick to shoot down any rumours and said it wouldn’t be him lining up against Price just before Christmas. In fact, with a fight made for November 24 in New Zealand (against journeyman Junior Pati), and sights set on a better fight against Adam Kownacki, the heavy-handed Australian all but ruled himself out of a scrap against the former British heavyweight champion.
It’s a bit of a shame. Price, after all, could do with a decent win this year – any old win, actually – following tough losses to first Alexander Povetkin and then Sergey Kuzmin. He has been matched tough, no question, but it’s high time the likeable Liverpudlian was involved in the kind of fight that would see him backed, with confidence, to win.
That’s not to say Browne is a pushover, nor, stylistically, someone you’d consider tailor-made for Price. Certainly, though, the Australian, last seen on British shores being knocked out in round six by Dillian Whyte, represents the right sort of test for Price at this stage of his career. Win and he’d put himself back in the mix. Lose, however, and he’d no longer have the excuse of having been overmatched or thrown in the deep end. Lose, unfortunately, and it could spell the end.
With plenty at stake, therefore, and with both men in need of a big fight, Price vs. Browne makes sense for a whole host of reasons – just, I guess, not this year.