Dmitry Bivol made his debut at a select club on Saturday night. He became the second boxer to inflict a setback on Saul Canelo Alvarez after Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) defeated the Mexican by unanimous decision of the judges (115-113, 115-113, 115-113), a surprisingly close score, and retains his WBA light heavyweight title.
“I’m the best. I keep my belt. Canelo is a great champion; I respect him,” Bivol said.
Both boxers had a good first round. Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) hit Bivol several times in the body. Thanks to a good combination, Bivol offered his best reply with less than 30 seconds remaining in the round.
The Mexican continued his good work at the next assault with more powerful shots.
The two fighters exchanged several good combinations in the third round. Bivol first went for a good combination that sent Canelo into the cables, then the Mexican responded with some good attacks afterward. He also reached Bivol with a good uppercut on his chin at the end of the next round.
Bivol served quite a clash with Canelo in the following rounds. In the fifth assault, he sent the Mexican into the cables before hitting the target on numerous occasions.
The problem was that Canelo had seen many others before Bivol. After the multiple attacks conceded, the Mexican served a dose of arrogance by asking Bivol for even more shots.
Bivol recurred in the seventh round – obviously at Canelo’s request – with the best attacks, despite the pressure Canelo was trying to exert.
Bivol finished the round with a combination that sent Canelo into the corner. The story was no different in the eighth assault. Bivol continued to show his superiority over Canelo in the fight.
Bivol completely dominated Canelo at the 11the round thanks to several powerful moves.
Canelo attempted many attacks in the final round, but there was nothing to do in the face of power and bivol control.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t accomplish great things,” Bivol said after his victory.
Canelo’s only loss came on September 14, 2013, to Mayweather.
His sequence of fights without defeat stops at 16.
Bivol is still perfect for his part, with 20 wins in 20 career fights. He had beaten Caleb Plant, Billy Joe Saunders, and Avni Yildirim in 2021.
Supported by his supporters, Canelo had a good reaction of pride in the 9th round, hitting the body very hard and finally placing two big straights, including an uppercut.
However, the Russian also has a chin and has gone back to the charge, winning the last two times with panache, with the desire to finish with K.-O.
He did not succeed, but his victory did not suffer any dispute in doing so. Not even in Alvarez’s words at the microphone in the ring.
“He’s a great champion. In boxing, you win or lose; today, it was my turn to lose,” he admitted. “I felt the difference in weight, but it’s not an excuse,” added the Boxer from Guadalajara, who has climbed one category after having unified the titles in the super-means.
In 2019, he succeeded in this bet by seizing the WBO belt against another Russian, Sergey Kovalev. This time, the march was too high, and here he is, at 31, who concedes the second defeat (57 wins, 2 draws) of his career after the one against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
“I can’t stop there,” he said, calling for revenge. “No problem,” Bivol replied.