Dmitry Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight title on Saturday, beating Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by unanimous decision, who suffered just the second loss of his career.
Undefeated Bivol (20-0 with 11 KOs) has held this version of the light heavyweight title since May 2016, and dominated Alvarez (57-2-2, with 39 KOs).
“There is no excuse, he is a great fighter, a great champion,” said Álvarez, 31, who had only lost before before Floyd Mayweather, on September 14, 2013. “I had to lose and we have to accept it… This is not so”.
For the second time in his career, the Mexican fought as a light heavyweight, the highest category in which he has fought. By the end of 2019, he had defeated Sergey Kovalev at 175 pounds.
But after the first three rounds were very close, it became clear that the Russian could take advantage of his greater reach and height to punish “Canelo” and prevent the Mexican from doing the same.
Alvarez, known for his powerful punching power, tried at times to use intimidating tactics to challenge Bivol.
However, the three judges gave Bivol the victory by 115-113.
“Today I showed that I am the best,” said Bivol, also 31. “I managed to keep my belts, fighting against a great champion, whom I respect a lot. I think his mistake was throwing only power shots that he tried to take me down with.”
Since the contract included a rematch clause, Álvarez said in the ring that he wanted her.
“No problem,” replied the boxer of Russian nationality, born in Kyrgyzstan.
In the super lightweight category, Montana Love (18-0-1, with 10 knockouts), defeated Mexican Gabriel Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 knockouts) by unanimous decision. All three judges delivered identical scorecards 114-112.
With the victory, Love consolidates as a challenger in the division.