Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) tipped by many as the next Light-Heavyweight superstar, is back on BoxNation this weekend when he defends his WBA Title against Jean Pascal.
Their Atlantic City showdown will give the Russian Champion the platform to show why he has the quality to unify the division.
If he beats Pascal, rival title holders Eleider Alvarez (WBO), Artur Beterbiev (IBF) and Adonis Stevenson (WBC) will all be on his 2019 hitlist.
Bivol, 27, won his world crown 12 months ago when he hammered Aussie Trent Broadhurst in the first round.
He has been on fire in both defences this year, stopping Sullivan Barrera back in March and then easily outpointing Issac Chilemba in his latest outing.
Bivol admitted: “It’s every boxer’s dream to be the Champion, the Unified Champion. It’s a big step to dream about. Like Oleksandr Usyk.”
Pascal (33-5-1 20 KOs) was once lineal Light-Heavyweight Champion, holding the WBC and Ring Magazine crowns between 2009 and 2011.
Among his great nights came a win against Chad Dawson, but his form started to dip after losing a rematch against Bernard Hopkins. Their first fight ended in a draw.
Pascal, 36, has launched himself back into contention after claiming back to back wins against undefeated opponents, and him being in the last chance saloon makes it a dangerous assignment for the emerging Bivol.
“Not too long ago, Pascal fought for three World Titles and I watched on TV,” said Bivol.
Canadian Pascal knows that this could be his last shot at glory: “This is the most important fight of my life and I could not be more motivated. I’m known as a champion who never turned down any challenges, but I want to be a two-time Champion.
“I want to be immortalised in the Hall-of-Fame when my career is over. To cement my status as a Hall-of-Famer, I must win this fight and I will win this fight.
“Bivol is a very good fighter and a difficult challenge but greatness has never been achieved without overcoming difficult challenges.”