Dmitry Bivol put together the perfect performance to beat the biggest name in boxing today.
The reigning WBA light heavyweight champion retained his title Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a clear-cut unanimous decision (115-113, 115-113, 115-113) win over Canelo Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), who was aiming to become a champion at 175 pounds again.
The moment Dmitry Bivol won the biggest fight of his career— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 8, 2022
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Canelo sees an eight-fight win streak snapped and he suffers just the second loss of his career, the first being to Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in September 2013.
The taller Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) controlled much of the action with a precise jab, deftly mixing in damaging combinations as his confidence (and Canelo’s frustration) grew. Afterwards, Bivol was asked about how validated he felt having toppled the man considered by many to be the best best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
“I proved myself today, I’m the best in my division and I keep this belt,” Bivol said. “Sorry I broke your plans with Gennady Golovkin, maybe. Thank you Canelo, he’s a great champion, I respect him.”
Bivol also exhibited outstanding defense throughout the fight. While Canelo did well closing the distance to get in range for his power punches, the majority of them were dulled by Bivol’s tight guard. Canelo had his best success going to the body, but even then his body shots were frequently answered by straight punches from Bivol that forced him to back off.
Regarding the toll that Canelo’s power took on him, Bivol said, “Yeah, he hurt my arm.”
Though the final scores had the judges giving Bivol the win by a differential of just two rounds, several more could arguably have gone in Bivol’s favor as Canelo just never seemed to be able to get his offense going. The outcome was a disappointing one for the majority of the crowd, who seemed desperate to ring in Cinco de Mayo with yet another win for the Mexican star.
Canelo was gracious in defeat.
“You have to accept it, it’s boxing,” Canelo said in Spanish via a translator. “He’s a great champion. You can’t make any excuses, today I lost and he won.”
The four-division champion then stated that he would exercise his rematch clause, a challenge that Bivol welcomed.