Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal Media Conference Call Recap
 
KATHY DUVA, President and CEO, Main Events:
“Good morning and good afternoon everyone. Main Events could not be happier to be coming back to the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. Our first event in August was a sellout. It proved to us what we already knew: there is still a big appetite for boxing in Atlantic City.
With our second card at the Etess Arena we expect to build on our momentum by bringing Dmitry Bivol back to be in the main event this time on November 24 against one of our division’s most admired champions, Jean Pascal.
Dmitry Bivol is going to risk his perfect record against a tested tough opponent. Dmitry has made no secret about wanting to unify titles in the light heavyweight division. But the other titleholders for some reason just don’t seem to be ready for him right now.
Jean Pascal is always ready. He never turns down an opportunity. He is a warrior. He has fought for three world titles, and he’d like to take Dmitry’s title back home to Canada and confirmed his status as a Hall of Fame fighter when his career is finished. It would make a pretty nice Christmas present for him.
Neither man is taking the other lightly of course. It’s a dangerous fight with a lot at stake. This is the way we like to cook things up at Main Events!
In addition to our fighters, you will also hear from Vadim Kornilov, the manager of Dmitry Bivol; and Greg Leon, CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions.And we are delighted to have Tim Louie with us. He is the Public Relations Manager for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.
Why don’t we begin with Vadim today – can you make some opening remarks?
VADIM KORNILOV, Manager, Dmitry Bivol:
Thank you, Kathy. Pleasure to be back at the Hard Rock. It’s great to have another show with Dmitry Bivol on HBO. Now that he’s the main event, it’s something kind of like a dream come true for him. He’s talked about this for a long time He was hoping to be a main event at one point, and he’s got this shot on this last HBO World Championship Boxing event. Thank you all of the Main Events team and World of Boxing team working great together putting this main event together on November 24th.
KATHY DUVA:
Thank you, Vadim, it’s always a pleasure working with you.
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal has won titles and lost titles. But he has never lost anyone’s respect. He has faced every dangerous name in the division for a decade. Carl Froch. Bernard Hopkins. Kovalev. And now, Dmitry. Jean’s farewell tour is making a stop in Atlantic City. He doesn’t want it to be his last stop. We are glad to welcome him to this card and the main event.
Greg, why don’t you talk to us, give us your perspective on the fight, and introduce Jean?
GREG LEON, CEO, Jean Pascal Promotions:
Thank you, Kathy. I’d like to thank World of Boxing and Main Events for making this a very easy deal to finalize. I’d like to thank to the Hard Rock for hosting the event, HBO for broadcasting the event in its final World Championship Boxing. This is a sensational event. Like Vadim said, Bivol was looking to fight on a main event. Jean’s been looking to fight for a world title on his farewell tour. But like Kathy said, the farewell tour does not end in Atlantic City. That’s just the next stop. Both of these guys come to fight. They don’t shy away from challenges. We’re expecting nothing but action on November 24th.
Personally, it’s an honor to represent somebody like Jean, who as Kathy articulated, is a true warrior, doesn’t shy away from challenges, fights the best of the best. For this fight, our mission is to use it as a lens into how much boxing means to HBO. The nucleus of Jean Pascal’s aspirations consists of making history and punching his ticket to the Hall of Fame. So this event will be nothing short of sensational. Our hope is that this sensation will cross-pollinate through HBO’s offices in a way that allows them to re-contextualize their place in the world of boxing around them. This is the heart of what we strive to do. Without further ado, the former WBC and world light heavyweight champion and next WBA light heavyweight champion. Jean?
JEAN PASCAL:
Thank you very much. Hi everybody, I’m very pleased that you’re here. Pascal is back in action. I’ll be fighting on HBO on November 24th. I’m very happy. I want to thank Main Events; also I want to thank Dmitry Bivol and his people for this opportunity to show I’m an elite fighter. I know it’s OK, they think they can beat me. But like I said, It’s OK, it’s part of the sport. I’ve been training very hard for this opportunity. It’s showtime, it’s time to show up.
KATHY DUVA:
Thank you, Jean and thank you, Greg. I want to take a moment for the last time and thank HBO. This is going to be a very difficult event for us in a lot of ways. I hope Greg is right, I hope Jean and Dmitry can somehow, jolt them into reconsidering.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City has only been open for a few months. But as we all know, it has already established itself as Atlantic City’s go-to destination on the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk.
There are all the features that made the Hard Rock Hotel name famous including world class rooms, casino, lounges, restaurants, shopping, and service. What’s special to us about the Hard Rock Hotel Atlantic City is the Etess Arena, named after a dear friend of ours who passed away too soon. It’s always been one of the best venues to see boxing in the United States. Thanks to the Hard Rock it’s expanded and even better than before.
Let me bring in Tim Louie with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and he can to tell you a little more about this amazing fight venue.
TIM LOUIE, Public Relations Manager, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City:
We’re so excited to have boxing back here. This past August was so amazing for me to see, because I’m so new to the business. The arena fits about 7,000 people and it’s so exciting just to even boxing back in Atlantic City. Kathy, you and your team have been amazing to work with. I don’t expect anything to be different next Saturday.
KATHY DUVA:
Thank you, Tim, Nice to hear that. You guys are a pleasure to work with, too.
QUESTION:
Jean, you’re obviously viewed as the underdog in this fight. How much motivation has that provided for you, and how are you looking at this going into the fight?
JEAN PASCAL:
This is the story of my life, to be the underdog. I was the underdog when I faced Chad Dawson. At the time he was considered as the best pound for pound in the world. I was the underdog, fourth in the world and I won the fight. To me, maybe it’s a motivation. I know what to do, I know what I’m capable to do. I have a lot of experience, been there done that. I’m going to do my best to win this fight.
QUESTION:
What did you think of Bivol’s performance against Isaac Chilemba?
JEAN PASCAL:
Honestly, I think he did good. Chilemba used to be my sparring partner. It’s hard to look good against a guy like him. He’s very awkward. In this situation, I think Bivol showed his skill and he did pretty good against an elite fighter.
QUESTION:
Jean, you always come to fight, and make for good television in your career. How do you expect this fight will unfold differently, especially from the viewer’s perspective?
JEAN PASCAL:
It won’t be different, I’m going to be there to fight. I like to fight, I’m the underdog. I know Bivol likes to fight as well; he’s young, hungry. He cannot exactly remember me when I was champion. I was a pretty boy, lot of stamina, young, sexy, with a lot of power. I know that it is entertaining for him right now. I have something on my side, experience. That’s something you can’t buy, you cannot buy.
QUESTION:
Jean, do you think he’s overlooking you?
JEAN PASCAL:
Honestly, I think he’s got no bets, because I’m not in his mind. But like I said, I know Bivol will do very well. I know him as well. If he overlooks me, that would be a big mistake. But I know he has a strong team, he’s a young but I know he’s a smart fighter and a smart guy too. So I don’t think he takes me lightly.
QUESTION:
Greg, what would a win over Dmitry Bivol do for Jean’s career?
GREG LEON:
First of all, I think this win would put in in the Hall of Fame without any question. Right now, Jean is looked at as a guy has a hell of a resume, has fought the best of the best. For the harshest of critics, he might have lost too many big fights to be a lock. Jean’s fight would cement his legacy and his status as a Hall of Famer. A victory on November 24th would certainly do that. As far as what would be next, what’s next right now is November 24th. Obvious, if Jean he wins the title, he becomes the cash cow of the division. All of the other champions reside in Canada. By his own admission, Stevenson by his own choice hasn’t been making fights the public has been demanding. Jean is a star in Canada. With the belt around his waist, he becomes the guy of the division.
There’s also history too, Correct me if I’m wrong, Jean first because champion in 2009. I don’t think nine and a half years have passed from one title reign to the other in the history of the division.
KATHY DUVA:
Let’s move on with the most exciting young titleholder in the light heavyweight division. He’s featured in RING Magazine this month.
He is the undefeated WBA Light Heavyweight Champion. And he really wants to unify the division. From St. Petersburg, Russia — training now in Los Angeles, Dmitry Bivol. Dmitry, tell us about your view of this matchup.
DMITRY BIVOL:
I appreciate the introduction, Kathy.I respect Pascal because he took this fight. I hope we will show a good fight and action in the ring. I will do my best to make a good fight.
QUESTION:
For Kathy, for you is it a goal to turn Bivol into a big draw in the New York and New Jersey area?
KATHY DUVA:
That’s more of a question for Vadim in his capacity with World of Boxing. World of Boxing is our partner in this promotion. We’ve had a great run with Sergey Kovalev in Atlantic City, going up to the big sellout in August, and over a million dollar gate with Bernard Hopkins. He’s Russian, Dmitry’s Russian. It seems logical a charismatic young star like Dmitry, given a little time to develop, can develop a fan following there if that’s what World of Boxing wants him to do. We’d be happy to help them.
Sergey took three bouts, three appearances there to make it to that sold out arena. It does take time, it doesn’t happen overnight. This is a big step in my view in Dmitry’s career stepping up to the main event for the first time. Nobody ever became a star on the undercard. This is the beginning of a journey. We’re always happy to be going back to our home in Atlantic City.
QUESTION:
Dmitry, your last two fights were in the co-main event. Now that you’re in the main event on HBO, how does it feel to get the chance to be a headliner?
DMITRY BIVOL:
Of course I’m glad. It means I’m going the right way in my career. I’m glad that HBO and Kathy Duva and World of Boxing are giving me this opportunity to fight in the main event. It’s a big responsibility for me.
QUESTION:
Do you feel more pressure to go out and deliver a performance that tells people you are the best light heavyweight in the world?
DMITRY BIVOL:
You know, when I go into the ring, every time I feel that I should show all my skills, all my best. I should show to people all my best skills. It doesn’t matter now or my first fight. Every time, I feel the responsibility. I just want people to believe and I want to prove to everybody I’m the best in the division. These are the steps I want to take. There’s always responsibility I take on.
QUESTION:
Jean, you’re coming off back-to-back stoppage wins for the first time in a decade. How do you feel physically at 36 years old? How do you assess your own strength?
JEAN PASCAL:
Right now, I don’t know if I’m stronger than before, but I feel very strong. Of course I got two knockouts in my last fights. But I know they weren’t elite fighters like Dmitry Bivol. So I know I’m going to have to pick up my game but I’m ready for that. Been there, done that. It’s his first main event. Like I said, for me been there done that. I know what I have to do. I’m ready for this fight. I’m looking for this fight to be a great fight.




The fight is going to be in Atlantic City. Remember, we have a Canadian story in Atlantic City. Arturo Gatti is from my hometown and he used to fight over there. He moved when he was younger to fight. He became a legend. At the same time, I’m going to try to honor his spirit over there and win one more title.
QUESTION:
Dmitry, what do you know about Jean Pascal, and the main reason you respect him?
DMITRY BIVOL:
I saw his many fights when I was an amateur. His fight against Bernard Hopkins, fight against many other people. I know he is good in counter attack. He’s strong; he’s a really tough guy. He is a good fighter and I respect him. But when I go to the ring, he will be my enemy.
QUESTION:
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?
DMITRY BIVOL:
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.
QUESTION:
So that’s a polite way of saying no?
DMITRY BIVOL:
That’s a polite way to say I will fight for my title until the end and I will not give it up.
QUESTION:
What make you thinks you’re ready to get in the ring with a young lion like Dmitry Bivol?
JEAN PASCAL:
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 thought 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.
Honestly, like I said, I have a lot of respect for Dmitry Bivol. He’s a young lion. He thinks that has all the talent in the world like I thought when I was his age. Something he cannot have, he cannot buy, it’s experience. I have way more experience than him, even though he has a lot of amateur fights. I went to the Olympics in 2004 in Greece. I was a world-class amateur fighter also. But I have way more experience than him as a professional boxer. That will lead to a great fight at the Hard Rock Casino. People, tune in at 10 p.m. November 24, because it’s a must watch fight.
QUESTION:
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?
DMITRY BIVOL:
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.
QUESTION:
What was it like to watch Sergey Kovalev lose? What was it like for you for him not to be the victor that night?
DMITRY BIVOL:
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.
QUESTION:
Any predictions on how this fight is going to end on November 24th?
DMITRY BIVOL:
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.
QUESTION:
A fan question for Jean. Your Canadian fans have given you so much support over the years. How would you describe your relationship with your Canadian fans?
JEAN PASCAL:
My relationship with my fans back home in Canada is very, very great. I feel very, very lucky to have that kind of relationship with my fans because they support me a lot. There are not a lot of boxers in the United States who have a big fan base like I do. I’m very very fortunate. This is why I always take time to please my fans, to talk to them, to talk pictures with them. I’m here because of them as well.
QUESTION: A fan question for Dmitry. How do you see yourself improving you skills?
DMITRY BIVOL: There is never a limit to improvement. I would say that, speed is probably one thing that is with you and is hard to really change. But other things, other skills are definitely something you can improve. Especially agility, and with the distance of the fight being 12 rounds, you can improve on your conditioning. You can improve on your levels of fighting inside and outside, different combinations. There’s always something to add to your game.
QUESTION:
Jean, you retired and quickly came back. You’ve had a great career What can you take from your career into the Bivol fight?



JEAN PASCAL:

I’m going to take my experience. I’ve been there, done that so many times. I know what to do. So I’m going to carry with me in the ring all my experience I got with me from all these big fights: Kovalev, Froch, Hopkins, Dawson. I’m going to take those fights into the ring with me to show him what is the best in the boxing sport.
QUESTION:
Jean, is training camp any different knowing it is your last title shot?
JEAN PASCAL:
During training camp, it was a little bit different. The motivation was a little bit more there. I’ve got the eye of the tiger once again. I think that’s what was lacking from my last few fights, when I fought Kovalev and maybe Hopkins. I got my confidence back that you notice I didn’t have when I fought Kovalev. Right now, everything is in one piece. I’m very confident, very happy, very pleased to be back on HBO. I was the first Canadian boxer who fought in Canada on HBO, and I’m going to be the last Canadian to fight on HBO. So I’m making history once again. So I’m very, very happy.
QUESTION:
Dmitry, come November 24th and you take care of business with Pascal, do you still want the winner of Kovalev and Alvarez 2?
DMITRY BIVOL: As I always say, right now I’m focused on the fight with Jean Pascal on November 24th. I want to fight the best after that, if everything goes well. Whoever is wanting to fight, I want to unify titles and become the undisputed champion.
QUESTION:
Another fan question for Jean, you’ve talked about your experience. How might it give you an advantage against a younger fighter like Bivol?
JEAN PASCAL:
Honestly, if this is something you want to see, I urge you to tune in to HBO on November 24th at 10 p.m., and I will show you everything.




QUESTION:
A fan question for Dmitry, this is your first main event. Now that you have achieved this goal, how does it feel to you?
DMITRY BIVOL:
Of course, I’m very happy that such a legendary channel gave me this final chance to fight on the main event. To me, it just means I’m on the right way, on the right path in my career. I appreciate this opportunity, and I want to take everything I can from it. I want everybody to watch this fight, and I will make sure this fight is very memorable.
KATHY DUVA:
I want to thank Dmitry and Jean, thanks Vadim and Greg. Thank you also Tim Louie for welcoming us back to Atlantic City.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jean and with Dmitry now on more than one occasion. I’ve gotten to know both of them a little bit. One thing I can promise everybody, they will give 1000 percent and they will entertain. It will be worth watching and certainly worth coming out to Atlantic City.
We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. Although those of us who work for Main Events, we’ve spent our last three Thanksgivings together working.
When you get tired of the leftovers, join us for a fresh serving of World Championship Boxing on Saturday night live at the Etess Arena and live on HBO Boxing.
ANNOUNCER:
Bivol vs. Pascal is a 12 round fight for Dmitry Bivol’s WBA Light Heavyweight World Title taking place on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
The co-main event is a WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title fight between Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Isaac Zarate. The event is promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Tickets range between 30 dollars and 150 dollars, and are on sale now through HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com and Ticketmaster.com.
A transcript of this conference call will be made available to the boxing media. Thank you for joining us today and we hope to see you at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on November 24, or tuning in to watch on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.”
About Bivol-Pascal: Bivol vs. Pascal is a 12 round fight for Bivol’s WBA Light Heavyweight World Title taking place on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The co-main event is a WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title fight between Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Isaac Zarate. The event is promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Tickets range between $30 and $150 and are on sale now through HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com and Ticketmaster.com.




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