(Atlantic City, NJ) – Dmitry Bivol of St. Petersburg, Russia (14-0, 11 KOs) defeated former champion Jean Pascal of Montreal, Canada (33-6-1, 20 KOs) in a hard fought unanimous decision to retain his WBA Light Heavyweight Title. Judges scored it 119-109 on two cards and 117-111 on the third.
Early in the fight, Bivol's powerful right hook found a home, repeatedly hitting Pascal and knocking him too off balance to counter punch. Once Bivol saw he could deliver, he became even more aggressive, delivering punches to the body and leaving Pascal will little to offer.
Pascal's devoted Canadian fans did their best to cheer on their champion. He found a little success in Round 4 landing a few solid punches, but Bivol remained in control of the fight, continue to win rounds.
Dmitry Bivol delivered impressive power combinations against Jean Pascal. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
The former champion decided to marshal all his energy for one final flurry to start the eighth round. Pascal successfully landed several solid punches including a terrific right counterpunch as Bivol responded. But the clock was ticking and Pascal's fatigue slowly began to build as Bivol wore him down, but he kept coming forward and trading punches with Bivol, thrilling fans at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Etess Arena in Atlantic City.
As Bivol and Pascal worked toward the final bell, Bivol unleashed one last effort, wobbling but not stopping Pascal. The contest went to the judges' scorecards, with Bivol winning by scores of 119-109 on two cards, and 117-111 on the third.
“I'm ready to fight Alvarez, Kovalev, or Jack,” says Dmitry Bivol.
Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
What does Bivol's future hold in one of boxing's most competitive divisions? He has made no secret of wanting to unify the division. “I'm ready to fight (Eleider) Alvarez, (Sergey) Kovalev, or (Badou) Jack. Let's make the fight,” said Bivol. But he didn't limit himself to the champions. “Now I'm ready to fight everyone. Either light heavyweight or super middleweight,” said Bivol, who says he can make the 168 pound limit for the right opponent
Murodjon Ahkmadaliev retained his WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Title by ninth round TKO over Isaac Zarate. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
In the co-main event, Murodjon “MJ” Ahkmadaliev of Uzbekistan (5-0, 4 KOs) defeated a determined Issac Zarate of San Pedro, California (16-4-3, 2 KOs) by ninth round TKO, retaining his WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Title.
A decorated amateur and Olympic bronze medal winners now being trained by Joel Diaz, Ahkmadaliev delivers impressive combinations of power punches. He made Zarate eat hard shots to the head and the body round after round from all directions. But Zarate didn't wobble and kept coming, forcing Ahkmadaliev to keep coming and work hard for the win.
The accumulated punishment from Ahkmadaliev finally convinced referee Eric Dali to step in and stop the fight at 1:17 of the ninth round. Zarate remained on his feet, but was in no position to win and didn't argue the good call.
“MJ” Ahkmadaliev celebrates his victory. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
|Israil “The Dream” Madrimov had a dream pro debut, beating Vladimir Hernandez by sixth round TKO. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Israil “The Dream” Madrimov of Uzbekistan (1-0, 1 KO) put on an impressive display of power punching against Vladimir Hernandez of Durango, Mexico (10-3, 6 KOs) to win his professional debut by sixth round TKO. He won many new fans with his flashy. performance.
Madrimov scored a knockdown in Round 3, but Hernandez survived the round. Bleeding from a cut over the right eye, referee Harvey Dock kept a close watch on Hernandez, who continued to hang tough as Madrimov delivered accurate power shots from both right and left. Fans in the Etess Arena crowd came to its feet several times for Madrimov during the exciting action.
Dock finally decided Hernandez was too brave for his own good, and stopped the bout at 1:24 of round six. Madrimov picks up the vacant WBA Regional Super Welterweight title for his efforts.
“It was a debut for the title. The only time it happened in boxing history (before this) was (Vasyl) Lomachenko who fought for a title in his first fight,” said Madrimov. “I'm very pleased. The game plan was to do exactly what I did. I want to make history in boxing, and today was my first step.” Of his opponent Hernandez, Madrimov said, “I wasn't surprised, we knew he is a very tough guy. When we kill the body, the head will fall.”
|Israil Madrimov celebrates his victory. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
A decorated amateur who won the best boxer of the World Series of Boxing in 2017, and a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Olympic Games at middleweight, the 23-year-old Madrimov fought an unusual 10-round bout against a seasoned opponent for his first fight as a pro. Madrimov showed off his gymnastic skills with a roundoff and back somersault to celebrate his win.
Shakhram Giyasov delivered a first round TKO of Miguel Zamudio on Saturday. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Shakhram Giyasov of Uzbekistan (6-0, 5 KOs) wasted no time introducing himself to his opponent, Miguel Zamudio of Sinaloa, Mexico (41-12-1, 25 KOs), scoring a first round stoppage after two vicious knockdowns to remain undefeated. Referee David Fields called a halt to the bout at 2:41 of the round. Giyasov celebrated with a leap in the ring, and stopped for a selfie with his many fans who came to support him on his way out of the ring. It was Giyasov's sixth fight of 2018.
“We watched the opponent a lot, we knew he was a serious opponent. He has almost 50 professional fights,” said Giyasov. “But we worked on certain things that worked in this fight. I was glad to defeat such a good and experienced opponent. I'm ready for any fight that is given to me, I'm ready for anything in the next fight.”
Sergiy “The Russian Bear” Kuzmin wins by sixth round TKO against LaRon Mitchell. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
|Logan Yoon of Honolulu scores a fifth round TKO over Hamzah Sempewo of Uganda to remain undefeated. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
|Karl Dargan scores a first round knockdown of Moises Delgadillo on the road to a unanimous decision win. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Events
|Evgeny Tischenko (right) scores a second round TKO to remain undefeated over Christian Mariscal. Photo: David Spagnolo/Main Event