Undefeated Dmitry Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight world title with a unanimous points decision over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Undefeated Dmitry Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight world title with a unanimous points decision over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sunday (AEST), delivering the Mexican superstar the second defeat of his career.
Russian Bivol, 31, improved to 20-0 with 11 knockouts while multi-weight champion Alvarez, a heavy favorite, dropped to 57-2 with two draws. His only other defeat was against Floyd Mayweather at the light middleweight in 2013.
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Alvarez made boxing history in November when he stopped Caleb Plant to become the first man to join all four world super middleweight title belts.
He had fought in the light heavyweight before stopping Sergey Kovalev in the eleventh round to win the 175-pound WBO title in November 2019.
But there would be no late heroics against Bivol, who pressured Alvarez relentlessly during the bout and never seemed to be seriously injured by the Mexican, who struggled to get past Bivol’s guard.
“It hurt my arm,” Bivol said, showing a bruised upper arm that absorbed a series of punches.
“I felt his power, you can see it on my arm. He hit my arm, but not my head.
All three judges – Tim Cheatham, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld – scored the 115-113 bout for Bivol.
It was a big disappointment for the pro-Alvarez crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, who were pulling for a Mexican win over the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend.
Bivol said their partisan cheers every time Alvarez seemed to gain ground “gave me more energy”.
Bivol fought a disciplined fight, unleashing a constant attack with a piston-like jab that opened the door for powerful combinations.
Alvarez was put on the defensive and the naturally lighter fighter couldn’t find a way to respond.
By the seventh round his face was bruised, his feet felt slow and his punches lacked their usual power.
“He is a very good fighter,” said Alvarez. “Come in, go out. He handled his distance very well. This is boxing.
“He is a great champion. I lost. hey, they won.
While he didn’t complain about the decision, Alvarez said he wanted a rematch.
“Revenge? No problem, “Bivol said.” Let’s talk about that. “
Originally published as Boxing champion Canelo Alvarez dumbfounded by Dmitry Bivol in shocked 9 years