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Media Roundtable Quotes, Photos and Video


Bivol and Pascal
Photo Credits: Tom Briglia/Main Events


<a href=Dmitry Bivol Hard Rock AC Interview" width="300" height="225.00" border="0" hspace="0" vspace="0" />
Dmitry Bivol Interview
Credit: Main Events
<a href=Jean Pascal Hard Rock AC Interview" width="300" height="225.00" border="0" hspace="0" vspace="0" />
Jean Pascal Interview
Credit: Main Events
Dmitry Bivol, WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion
Question: “How does it feel to be back on the Boardwalk?”
Bivol: “Good. It is a lot colder than last time, but it feels good.”
Question: “What did you take from your fight with Isaac Chilemba, a crafty guy like that?”
Bivol: “I took a lot of experience against Chilemba. He has good defense, and he has speed, a quick fighter. Just good experience.”
Question: “What does Jean Pascal offer to you?”
Bivol: “Pascal is a different fighter than I had before. He is a former champion. I know he’s a strong guy. He has a good counter attack. He has good experience.”
Question: “It doesn’t seem like you’ve ever stepped away from a challenge.”
Bivol: “No, it doesn’t matter. Every fighter has good sides and bad sides. It gives me a chance to show my good skills to people, and I think it will make a good fight.”
Photo Credits: Tom Briglia/Main Events
Question: “What is your good side?”
Bivol: “I’m not the quickest, I’m not the strongest, I’m not the most dynamic. But I have all these qualities for a boxer. I have something inside of me which helps me to be a winner.”
Question: “What is that?”
Bivol: “I don’t know, some voice inside of me.”
Question: “And it always comes out when you are fighting someone?”
Bivol: “It’s always been with me, yes.”
Question: “I understand this is one of the final fights HBO is broadcasting. Is this meaningful to you?”
Bivol: “I’m really grateful to HBO for this opportunity. When I was young, I watched famous boxers like Mike Tyson, Roy Jones, Manny Pacquiao, fight on HBO. I wanted to be famous like these guys, a champion fighting on HBO. And now I’m fighting in an HBO main event. It’s an honor for me.”
Question: “One of your main goals is to unify titles. Is it hard to stay focused in the meantime?”
Bivol: “This is just a step for my main goal. I can’t describe my main goal, but I know I want to realize my potential to be the champion. This is one of the steps to my goal. Unification fight, this is a step to my goal.”
Question: “Has every step you’ve taken recently been leading to your goal?”
Bivol: “I don’t know exactly if this will be the toughest fight for me, but every fight for me is important and a big responsibility. Every fight is like that. If I lost my previous fight, I would not have the opportunity for this fight.”
Question: “What do you have to do to win this fight?”
Bivol: “I have to do what I can, what I’ve trained, relax and focus on the plan from my training camp.”
Question: “I guess you can’t tell me the plan?”
Bivol: “No (laughs).”
Question: “What’s it like to be back in Atlantic City fighting again?”
Bivol: “I’m glad, because I’ve gotten used to this.”
Question: “Do you feel like you are getting a fan base here in Atlantic City?”
Bivol: “I met a couple people who wished me luck. I hope there will be more and more and more people.”
Question: “Do you notice people coming down from New York, where most of the Russians live?”
Bivol: “Yes, some people are sending me messages that they are going to be at my fight. My friends from Miami will come. From Russia, of course some people will come support me.”
Question: “A Korean newspaper is coming, too.”
Bivol: “That’s good!”
Photo Credits: Tom Briglia/Main Events
Jean Pascal – Former WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion
Question: “Are you looking forward to Saturday night?”
Pascal: “Of course!”
Question: “Have you ever fought in Atlantic City before?”
Pascal: “Not yet. I’ve been here twice. The first time I came to see Arturo Gatti fight, a Danish guy [Thomas Damgaard], I don’t remember the name. The second time I came to see Carl Froch fight against Andre Ward in the Super Six.”
Question: “Atlantic City has a reputation as a big fight town. Is it a big deal to fight on the Boardwalk?”
Pascal: “I like it because Gatti used to fight here, he’s from my hometown. There is history here as well. I’ve been there, done that, I’ve fought in Vegas, England, Miami. it’s not my first world championship.”
Question: “How much do you think your experience will come into play?”
Pascal: “Definitely, I have a lot of experience. But I know he can beat me. I’m very glad to have this opportunity. I want to thank Dmitry Bivol for this opportunity. I respect Dmitry a lot. I think right now he’s the best fighter in the light heavyweight division. But I’m going to try and stop him Saturday night.”
Question: “Why did you pick him as an opponent?”
Pascal: “Because,I don’t back down from any challenges. When they call, I just say yes. When an opportunity comes, I just say yes. They call me up, I say yes, I take the challenge.”
Question: “What does he offer different from any other opponents you’ve fought?”
Pascal: “His nickname must be the problem, because I have a lot of problems to resolve Saturday night. He has good distance, he has good balance, he’s strong, he hits hard. It’s going to be a great fight on Saturday night.”
Question: “What do you present he hasn’t seen before?”
Pascal: “Like I said,you cannot buy experience. You need to live it. You need to experience it. I’ve been in there with Kovalev twice. I’ve been in there with Hopkins twice. I’ve been in there with Carl Froch, [Lucian] Bute, with [Adrian] Diaconu. Like I said, this is something you cannot buy. He might be young, fresh, but I’ve got experience on my side.”
Question: “What are your good sides?”
Pascal: “Come on Saturday night and you will see.”
Question: “I guess you can’t tell me your bad sides?”
Pascal: “Come Saturday, maybe you won’t see it though.”
Question: “Styles make fights. Is this one of the styles you think will make a good matchup?”
Pascal: “Dmitry’s not a chicken. He’s not going to run around, I know he likes to fight. He wants to put on a good show, he’s there to fight me and impress the public. I know it’s going to be a great battle on HBO. I think, seriously, I really think it’s going to be the best fight of this year on HBO.”
Question: “Is this fight important to your legacy?”
Pascal: “I’m making history again. I said before, I was the first Canadian boxer to be on HBO in Canada against Chad Dawson, so I was very proud. It was when I was world champion. I’m going to be the last Canadian boxer who fights on HBO World Championship Boxing. Once again, I’m making history. So, I’m very glad and happy and proud of myself.”
Question: “Do you study your opponent, or wait and see in the ring? Do you study someone’s style?”
Pascal: “I study my opponent, but not too much. Just because he’s fought like this the last time or the last three fights, it doesn’t mean he’s going to show up in the same way. So, I study my opponent, but not too much.”
Question: “You don’t know how he’s going to react to what you do, right?”
Pascal: “I know that he knows me really well. I know him too, really well. He knows what to expect from him. He’s got better and better. He’s a young champion. He’s getting better and better. So, I know it will be a great fight.”
Question: “Is there one fight out there you haven’t had you wish you had?”
Pascal: “I’m a veteran, I won’t be caught up on the speculation. I’m focused on Dmitry right now.”
Question: “How do you feel fighting in Atlantic City?”
Pascal: “It’s my first fight here, but it won’t be my last.”
Question: “Did you know this is a big vacation spot for Montreal?”
Pascal: “I didn’t know that. My main focus is to stay focused. After my victory. I’ll come down here.”
Murodjon Akhmadaliev
Photo Credits: Tom Briglia/Main Events


Question: “Your professional career has moved very quickly. Is that something you wanted when you turned pro?”
Akhmadaliev: “It is a big honor. And it is unexpected to be honest with you. I am thankful to my promoter and to my management that I am able to move that quickly. It is definitely a shock but is something that is making me happy. I am very pleased to be where I am.”
Question: “Do you ever worry about opponents that have more experience than you?”
Akhmadaliev: “Yeah definitely they have an experience advantage, but I have a lot of amateur experience and I feel that I am ready for this. I am ready for these fighters. I have fought a lot of top fighters in the amateurs and I feel like that experience is just as important. I feel good. I am happy to be fighting these top fighters right away.”
Question: “What is the biggest difference in the amateurs and the pros?”
Akhmadaliev: “I think the main difference is the number of rounds, the length of the fight, so the conditioning needs to be at a different level. We have been working on that a lot with my team and my trainers, Joel Diaz and Antonio Diaz. I have done a lot of sparring with Diego de la Hoya and JoJo Diaz. I have done a lot of work and I feel like I am ready, 100%. For me this is just a step forward.”
Question: “Were there any fighters that you idolized growing up that you try to pattern yourself after?”
Akhmadaliev: “Roy Jones Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko and GGG.”
Vadim Kornilov: “He has a lot of things that he takes from those fighters. You guys will see in the ring. A lot of people like where they are but not a lot of people are able to do what they do but M.J. does certain things in the ring that are taken from each of those fighters. He really enjoys performing. It is hard to describe but I think the best thing is to watch the co-main event on HBO and M.J. Akhmadaliev. People are going to see some of these things that are very interesting. He has a lot of combinations and a lot of punches that he uses that are very exciting. He takes the best from all these guys.”
Question: “Did you know all along that you were going to become a pro someday?”
Akhmadaliev: “Of course. It is my dream to become a pro. Right now, my career, is a dream come true. Those fighters that I watched, I wanted to be like them one day. I am taking steps forward to get to that level. My plan is for one day I will be like one of them.”
Question: “They say some amateurs have a style that is more suited for the pros. Is that the case with you?”
Akhmadaliev: “My style was already professional even when I was an amateur. But now I am doing a lot of work with my team, my trainers, to become more of a fitted pro. We are doing a lot of work on that. You will see in the ring on Saturday.”
Question: “What can the fans expect when they tune in on Saturday?”
Akhmadaliev: “I will perform at my best and it will be a very exciting fight. I can guarantee that. (laughs) It will be another ‘Big Drama Show.'”
Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Issac Zarate

Scouting Report


(Atlantic City, NJ) – The opening bout on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” this Saturday, November 24 between Morodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0, 3 KOs) and Isaac Zarate (16-3-3, 2 KOs) pits a young rising star against a determined opponent, both with plenty to prove. Below is the scouting report for this exciting match-up.

Murodjon Akhmadaliev
Isaac “Dinamita” Zarate
4-0-0 (3 KOs)
16-3-3 (2 KOs)
Akhmadalieiv is a busy fighter in the ring. He has a high punch output and is always looking to finish. He is light on his feet and consistently keeps it moving during his fights, making it difficult for his opponents to get going offensively.
Zarate has a stiff jab that he uses extremely well in setting up his shots. He has legitimate defense and is a solid counter-puncher. He has been in the ring with high-quality contenders throughout his career.
“MJ” lacks the experience at this level when compared to his opponent.
“Dinamita” comes into this fight lacking the punching power his opponent possesses.
Akhmadaliev lacks experience at the professional level. This will be his toughest test to date.
He has much more experience at this level than his opponent. He is also a very active fighter. This will be his fourth bout of 2018.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist is a great body puncher. He attacks from all angles, and has a vicious left hook.
Zarate is not known for being a knockout artist, or having much power. However, he is a technician in the ring, and makes his opponents work rigorously from start to finish.
Akhmadaliev has quick hands and even quicker feet, he is always on the move and keeps a rapid pace throughout the fight
He is very fast defensively, moves his head well and does a superb job of keeping out of harm’s way.
His endurance is still in question. The furthest he has gone in previous bouts is six rounds. This will be a giant step up for the young prospect.
Zarate will have the advantage. Seven of his last eight bouts have gone the distance.
Akhmadaliev is a very accurate body puncher and has a pinpoint accurate jab.
Similar to his opponent, Zarate is an accurate body puncher and picks his shots wisely.
Akhmadaliev is stronger on offense than he is on defense. He likes to drop his guard at timea in hopes of diverting his opponent’s attention. This tactic could backfire if he attempts it against his seasoned opponent.
Zarate has effective defense that has gotten him to this point in his career. He moves his head and slips punches well. He also has sharp body movement and a pinpoint accurate jab that has posed problems for his previous opponents
Akhmadaliev’s chin is still a question. If he decides to stand in front of Zarate, there is a good chance it will be tested
Zarate has a sturdy chin. He has never been stopped in his professional career.
Akhmadaliev is a highly regarded prospect who has an exciting style. He comes forward with fast combinations and delivers a high punch output each and every fight.
Zarate is a technician in the ring and a solid defensive fighter. He doesn’t carry big pop in either hand, but he does let his hands go and keep a consistent and entertaining pace throughout the fight.
Akhmadaliev has opted to take a challenging road to start his young career. With a professional record of just 4-0, he will take another huge step-up in competition when he takes on Zarate. This is his second consecutive bout scheduled for 10 rounds. He made a statement in his recent bout when he scored a first round knockout over Ramon Contreras.
His opponent this time around is a tremendous defensive fighter, and has yet to be stopped. A win this Saturday would be game-changing for his career, and would undoubtedly put the entire super bantamweight division on high Akhmadaliev alert.
Zarate has been taking on tough opposition throughout his entire career. He will fight anyone and everyone and has proved it throughout the years. He is coming fresh off a win two months ago over formerly ranked and always tough Horacio Garcia. Rather than take some time off and embrace other potential opportunities, Zarate will instead jump right back in the ring and put a stamp on what has been a successful year for him so far.
A win over the highly regarded prospect will cap off an outstanding year for the veteran, and will leave Zarate in a strong position to make the case for a shot at a title.
Crowd Support
Akhmadaliev has an exciting style that will inevitably earn him some fans by the time the fight is over.
Zarate has never competed in New Jersey, but if he can find a way to put an end to the hype behind his opponent, then he will be on the radar of fight fans for sure.
The Match-Up
  1. Will Zarate be able to handle the body punches and power from Akmadaliev?
  2. Will Akmadaliev be able to handle Zarate’s nonstop, come forward style?
Main Events matchmaker Jolene Mizzone says, “I like this match-up. You have a guy in Akmadaliev who is only 4-0, and not wasting any time in challenging himself against a tough opponent in Zarate.
“Zarate has been on the short end of the stick in many fights. Out of his three losses, only one was a unanimous decision. All the others were split decisions. Zarate is going into another tough fight with Akmadaliev, so kudos to him. Akmadaliev is taking his toughest fight to date in only his fifth fight.
“This says so much about him. These are the kind of guys I love as a matchmaker and as a fan!” said Mizzone.
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