The Russian Bivol brings Canelo Álvarez down from the clouds and hands him his second defeat as a professional with a tremendous display
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS – Before walking into the ring, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez was lifted by a platform near the tunnel in the T-Mobile Arena, while the public shouted and was excited to see the Mexican superstar in all the high. By the time the fight against Russian Dmitry Bivol was over, the Mexican was literally blown out of the clouds as he was soundly beaten.
The three judges scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Bivol (20-0), who retained his WBA version light heavyweight world championship. The fight was more uneven than the judges’ ballots indicated (La Opinion scored 9 rounds for the Russian).
Canelo, who saw a string of 16 fights broken without knowing a defeat since his stumble against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, said he wants a rematch, noting: “This does not stay like this.” Judging by what was seen on Saturday night, that may be a bad idea from Guadalajara.
“In boxing you win and you lose. I had to lose, I’m not going to make excuses,” Álvarez said. (57-2-2) in the ring. “But that’s boxing.”
After four very good rounds that were close, Bivol exploded in the fifth, when he began to give the feeling that he could win and even knock out Álvarez by penetrating his defense with straight punches to both hands.
The Mexican, at one point overwhelmed against the ropes, lowered his hands and made a gesture to the Russian, as if asking for respect for being the biggest star and the wide favorite in the fight.
Canelo, who went to the canvas in round 8 for a struggle, went all out in the ninth as he realized the urgency to react, and although it started well, even lifting the fans from their seats, Álvarez lost gas as the assault progressed.
From then on it was never dangerous again for a bigger fighter, very fast and in tremendous physical condition.
Saúl Álvarez, who had already been a light heavyweight champion after knocking out fellow Russian Sergey Kovalev in 2019, expressed interest in trying to unify the division in previous months as he did between 2020 and 2021 in the super middleweights, something that had never been achieved in the era of the four world bodies. That intent may well have expired in the ring at the T-Mobile Arena.
News in development.