In “2 Days: Dmitry Bivol” takes on former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal in an excellent HBO reflection from Atlantic City (Saturday, Hard Rock Casino @Etess Arena 10PM/ET).
It captures a time of grace before fire; and for those with a practiced appreciation for the little things that guide us to thankful on this holiday, you are invited to witness the end of a new era in greatness.
Wednesday, 6:07 a.m.
Beset by distraction, the incongruity of an intuitive empath with a war past to out due is taking it's toll. Well before an international conference call with a PhD I'll botch later, colleague Mary Saparkina senses from Ukraine that sleep hasn't been much of a priority; when your sport is pugilistic communication at the highest level and your mind is running on empty, even the most basic forms of verbal sparring becomes a task.
I'm watching the “Network of Champions” bio-doc of Bivol (14-0, 11KOs) to examine the character that explains the savage athleticism of the WBA light heavyweight champion from Russia. As if determined to punch through a wall of teflon in the form of Isaac Chilemba, I'm concluding that there's no way Jean Pascal (33-5-1, 20KOs), a good man fighting on empty, isn't going to take a bad beating in the two rounds or so this fight should go.
A few days ago during a media call with Bivol and Pascal, I asked both men about what appears from these lenses to be no contest.
Dmitry, Jean Pascal's manager talks about how he wants to get to the Hall of Fame and be a champion once again. Are you really letting him use you as a stepping-stone?
I think the opportunity is already given in this fight being made. It excites me very much to know he's so motivated and he has such big goals for this fight. I'm also not coming to the fight to give up my title, and I going to do everything to defend the title. Every one of us has a big goal, and it will make this fight really great.
So that's a polite way of saying no?
That's a polite way to say I will fight for my title until the end and I will not give it up.
What make you thinks you're ready to get in the ring with a young lion like Dmitry Bivol?
It's because I've got my confidence back. When I fought Eleider Alvarez, I didn't have my confidence back it was a hard fight for me. Even though I did good it was a majority decision for him. It wasn't a walk in the park for Alvarez. In any losses that I had, I always did good, except my second fight with Kovalev. I know I'm a tough challenge. I know I'm a good man to be on the resume. That's why they picked me..
Dmitry, you were in “2 Days” with HBO, the documentary. It looked like a lot of fun, we saw you with your family. That was really the last of its kind for HBO. For you to be featured in that way, how was it?
It was very exciting. I wasn't used to having a camera around two days before the fight for that much time. It was a new experience. What was interesting, a lot of people got to know me more on the other side of boxing which was very exciting. I want more people to know more about me and understand what kind of person I am.
What was it like to watch Sergey Kovalev lose? What was it like for you for him not to be the victor that night?
It was a little unfortunate. We know each other and we have common friends. We've talked before. It's not pleasant to see someone you know, an acquaintance, go down like that. I thought he was going to win the fight. We also had some plans about possibly fighting next. A lot of that kind of fell apart. It was a little disappointing.
Any predictions on how this fight is going to end on November 24th?
I don't make predictions. it's very difficult. I will do everything I can to make sure this fight is exciting and it's over in an exciting fashion.
2 Rounds: Dmitry Bivol