Dmitry Bivol (20-0) put on a career-defining performance against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-2-2) on Saturday night. With Vegas odds having Canelo as high as -600, Bivol was the underdog but dominated and earned a unanimous decision victory as all three judge’s scorecards read 115-113.
In round one, Bivol’s steady diet of jabs was making Canelo miss many of his shots within the round. Canelo was trying to gauge the distance and was cutting off the ring well, but Bivol was undoubtedly the busier, more effective fighter in the first.
The second round saw Bivol making the mistake of closing the distance and trying to fight on the inside. This was when Canelo started to tee off to the body with his left hooks. He also landed those right hooks on Bivol’s shoulders in an attempt to wear him down. Going into the third round, Bivol was smart by leading with the left jab, which was also used as a power punch when Canelo was backing up with his hands down. Canelo wanted Bivol to come inside so he could counter, but Bivol didn’t take the bait.
Bivol controlled the round with jabs and combinations down the middle, heading into round four. Early on, Bivol was in control of the fight. He was not falling for the traps and was sticking to his game plan. You can see that Canelo was trying to make the adjustments, but it just wasn’t working for him.
Round five was more of Bivol controlling the round with the left jab, and he seemed to frustrate Canelo. After getting hit with 2-3 punch combinations, Canelo put his hands down and invited Bivol to his kitchen, but he did not fall for it.
Rounds six and seven were more of Bivol touching Canelo with that left jab and disrupting his rhythm with 3-4 punch combinations. In the seventh, Bivol caught Canelo with a combination towards the end of the round that sent him stumbling back. Canelo was just off-balance, but it came after being hit, so one must assume he was buzzed a little by the punches.
Prior to approaching the championship rounds, Canelo came charging from his stool as if he knew the fight was slipping away. Even so, Bivol weathered the storm and went back to what was working for him during rounds ten through twelve. The fight went to the cards, and even though most in press row had the fight much wider than the judges did, they still got it right in giving Dmitry Bivol the nod as the victor.
What is Next For Canelo & Bivol?
The best-made plans sometimes do not work out, especially in the sport of boxing. Canelo had a fight with Gennadiy Golovkin being eyed for September, but in the ring, he sounded like he wanted to exercise his rematch clause. So, do we get Canelo vs. Bivol II in September instead? What happens with Golovkin now? All questions that should be answered soon enough.
What about Bivol? I think he will welcome the rematch but will have to be compensated a lot more as he said in the post-fight interview that if there is a rematch, he wants to be “treated like a champion.” In other words, he wants to get paid!
The event was filled with lackluster fights on the undercard, but in the end, we were treated with the result that most fans didn’t see coming.
You can Abe on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to “The Boxing Rush Hour Show” podcast on all streaming platforms.
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