Dmitry Bivol pulled the upset over Canelo Alvarez tonight in Las Vegas, winning a clear decision — even if the judges had it much closer than most any observer did — to retain his WBA light heavyweight title and remain undefeated.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KO) was simply too good and too disciplined for Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KO) tonight, handing Alvarez his first loss since 2013, when Floyd Mayweather beat a 22-year-old Canelo at 154 lbs.
It was a fight that had some similarities to that one — a strong technician getting the better of an often over-eager Canelo — but this was a different Canelo. This was a prime Canelo, in his own belief and that of many others, not a young kid taking a huge step up against a legend.
Tonight, he was simply out-boxed by a true light heavyweight, a fighter who had and executed the right game plan, and was never in awe of “the moment,” or the opponent, or what was on the line.
Dmitry Bivol knew he could win. And then he did.
The praise for Bivol is unanimous, of course, and should be. Some reactions from those in the boxing world:
We know who #1 is now ♂️— Terence Crawford (@terencecrawford) May 8, 2022
SKILLS PAY THE BILLS U CAN BE THE STRONGEST FIGHTER ON THE PLANET BUT IF U GOT THE SKILLS AND U ARE THE BETTER FIGHTER IT WILL SHOW— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) May 8, 2022
A lot went into Canelo losing tonight, Bivol was great, tall, strategic, in shape, threw combinations and had a GREAT CHIN! We all know Canelo punches hard! But he couldn’t hurt Bivol well conditioned and just a bigger guy! Canelo also only had 4 games plans. But a rematch?…— Claressa Gwoat Shields (@Claressashields) May 8, 2022
The boxer always prevails… Canelo is also a boxer but banked on his power to much— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) May 8, 2022
Nobody is unbeatable if the right game-plan at the right moment in time is implemented. Congratulations Bivol.— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) May 8, 2022
Well done to Bivol!! All eyes on him now. impressive— Blonde Bomber ♀️ (@EbanieBridges) May 8, 2022
Felicidades @bivol_d por una gran velada de boxeo. Great fight!— Alfredo EL PERRO Angulo (@ElPERRO82) May 8, 2022
So glad judges did the right thing to close though— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) May 8, 2022
Very basic, very smart boxing from Bivol.— Alex Arthur AAA (@AlexArthur1) May 8, 2022