Disciplined Dmitry Bivol stuns Canelo Alvarez to keep the world title

Canelo Alvarez suffered a surprise defeat on Saturday when Russian Dmitry Bivol successfully defended his World Boxing Association light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

All three judges scored the 115-113 bout in Bivol’s favor at the end of the 12 rounds as the Mexican was only awarded the second defeat of his career, nine years after being beaten by Floyd Mayweather in November 2013.

Bivol silenced the sold-out crowd to bring his record to 20 wins out of 20 fights while Alvarez, widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world before the bout, slipped to 57-2-2.

“I’m happy to have proved myself today, I’m the best in my division and I keep this belt,” said Bivol. “He is a great champion, I respect him and his whole team.

“If you don’t believe in yourself what do you do? You get nothing. I believe and my team believed in me.

“I felt its power. You can see on my arm, he hit my arm but not my head. Goes better.”

Alvarez, the overwhelming pre-fight favorite, was rarely able to find a way through Bivol’s defensive guard as the 31-year-old performed in a disciplined fashion.

The Russian regularly used his jab to keep Alvarez on his heels, unloading volleys of punches to redden the smaller man’s face and persuade the judges to award him the fight.

Alvarez had previously won in the light heavyweight, defeating Sergey Kovalev by knockout to win the World Boxing Organization version of the title in November 2019, but Bivol proved too good to succumb.

“You have to accept it, its boxing,” Alvarez said of the loss. “He is a great champion. Sometimes in boxing he wins and loses and I’m not giving excuses. Today I lost and he won. “

Alvarez stressed that he wanted the pair to fight again.

“Yes, of course I know,” he said when asked about a rematch. “It doesn’t end like this.”

Bivol also wants to face each other once again.

“Let’s talk about a rematch,” he said. “I wanted this fight because I wanted to have the opportunity and I appreciate this opportunity.

“I’m ready for a rematch, I just want to be treated like the champion now.”

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