While the HBO World Championship Boxing era ended, the Dmitry Bivol era continued on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs), from St. Petersburg, Russia, headlining his first HBO telecast, extended his reign as World Boxing Association (WBA) light heavyweight world champion with a blitzing of former world champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs),who hails from the Montréal suburb Laval, Québec, Canada.
Ringside judges Lynn carter and Carlos Ortiz scored the fight 119-109 and Henry Grant 117-111, all in favor of the defending champion.
Managed by Vadim Kornilov and promoted by World of Boxing, it is onward and upward for Bivol, arguably the best light heavyweight in the world, who eschewed more lucrative offers from other networks for the honor of headlining the finale of HBO’s 45-year flagship boxing series. The telecast will be replayed for the final time Tonight! at Midnight ET/PT, exclusively on HBO.
“This is my time. I would like to fight the other champions in my division and unify the light heavyweight titles,” said Bivol. “I could even move down to 168 pounds and fight Canelo if he beats Rocky Fielding to win the WBA super middleweight title. That way we could each put our titles on the line. I just want to fight the best. That is what I want and that is what the fans want.”
It was a perfect night for Bivol’s World of Boxing stablemates who fought on the undercard as well. In the co-main event, which opened the HBO telecast, Murodjon Akhamdaliev (5-0, 4 KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who hails from Uzbekistan, retained his WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title by scoring a ninth-round TKO of veteran Isaac Zarate (16-4-3, 2 KOs).
In the best fight of the undercard, Israil Madrimov (1-0, 1 KO), from Uzbekistan, in his pro debut — a 10-round super welterweight bout — stopped battle-tested Vladimir Hernandez (10-3, 6 KOs), of Mexico, in the sixth-round of their gory slugfest.
Russian heavyweights Evegeny Tishchenko (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin (14-0, 11 KOs) were knockout winners over Mexico’s Christian Mariscal (11-2, 5 KOs) and Laron Mitchell (16-2, 14 KOs), from San Francisco, respectively. Welterweight Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5 KOs), of Uzbekistan, stopped Miguel Zamudio (41-12-1, 25 KOs), of Mexico, in the first round. .
“I am very proud of all of our guys! It was a pleasure working with HBO and Main Events on another great event,” said Andrey Ryabinskiy, CEO of World Of Boxing..