That’s all for tonight. Thanks for following along and be sure to check out Donald McRae’s full report here.
“Unbelievable,” says Eddie Hearn, who promotes both men. “We talked going into this fight about how good Dmitry Bivol is, how tough this fight way is, and it was a punch-perfect performance. He had to box exactly the way he boxed to win that fight. The judges had it right for me. He won the fight. Did Canelo look a little bit flat? Did he look tired? I think it was the brilliance of Dmitry Bivol. You saw his arms after the fight. He caught almost everything on the glove. His defense was outstanding, his feet were great. He was aggressive enough in the fight to win the rounds. A big, big shock, but tonight belongs to Dmitry Bivol. ”
He adds: “Like [Bivol] said, it felt like he was there as a stepping stone to Gennady Golovkin. And he was! For the career plans of Canelo Álvarez. But right now, what a night for him. Dreamed of this night, got the opportunity and becomes a true great tonight beating the pound-or-pound number one. ”
“You have to accept it, it’s boxing,” Alvarez says through a translator. “He is a great champion. Sometimes in boxing, you win. Sometimes you lose. Not making excuses. I lost today and he won. ”
He adds: “He’s a really good fighter. He’s a fighter that comes in and comes out. I also felt his power. I think it was a good fight. I felt like I maybe did enough to win the fight but that’s boxing. ”
Before leaving the ring, Alvarez says he will exercise his rematch clause.
“Of course I [want a rematch], ”He said. “This doesn’t end like this.”
Bivol is then asked about the prospect of a rematch.
“No problem,” Bivol says, switching over to a translator. “I took this fight because I just wanted to get the opportunity and I appreciate this opportunity. I didn’t fight for anything except getting the fight. I’m ready for the rematch, I just want to make sure that I can be treated like the champion now. ”
“I proved myself today,” Bivol says during his in-ring interview. “I’m sorry I broke your plans with Gennady Golovkin, maybe. Thank you Canelo and his team. He’s a great champion and I respect him. I respect all his team. ”
Why did he believe that he could pull off this upset?
“If you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You’ll achieve nothing, ”says Bivol. “I believed. My team believed me. And you should all believe in yourself to achieve what you want. ”
Bivol said that he felt Canelo’s power from the first round … only pointing to his arms, which blocked so many of the Mexican’s power shots.
“He beat my arm up, but not my head, which is better. He has good speed, good power. ”
Dmitry Bivol has beaten Canelo Álvarez in a major upset to retain the WBA light heavyweight title. All three ringside judges handed down scores of 115-113. It’s the second defeat of Alvarez’s career and the first since 2013.
Another clear round for Bivol, who is landing the cleaner and harder shots. Alvarez never had an answer for Bivol’s jab. Canelo has faced 18 different world champions. The only person to officially beat him is Floyd Mayweather. That list is about to double.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 111-117 Bivol)
Buffalo is getting outboxed and outfought. Alvarez at one point lifts Bivol high into the air during a clinch. He’s clearly frustrated. Bivol is taking Canelo’s best offering and walking right through them. Bivol is landing the cleaner and harder shots like he’s done most of the night. Biggest round of the night for the champion.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 102-107 Bivol)
Another round for Bivol. He’s in complete control. Alvarez needs a knockout.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 93-97 Bivol)
A nice comeback round for Alvarez. He traps Bivol along the ropes and lets his hands go, landing a lot of shots. But he’s emptied a lot of the tank doing it while Bivol, who took all those shots well, was able to reserve a bit for the championship rounds.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 10-9 Bivol (Alvarez 84-87 Bivol)
Alvarez is in trouble. Bivol is bullying the smaller man around the ring and Álvarez is moving in reverse, missing lots of punches while he goes. Bivol lands a big right hand and Alvarez reels backwards into the ropes. Alvarez’s output is way down. Bivol is fighting the perfect fight, landing all of the clean punches. Alvarez looks frustrated and exhausted. An easy Bivol round.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Buffalo (Alvarez 74-78 Buffalo)
Bivol continues to stymie Canelo with his size, movement and rhythm. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Alvarez face this kind of adversity. Bivol is beating Alvarez to the punch using that ramrod jab as the foundation of everything and Alvarez appears to be out of ideas.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 10-9 Bivol (Alvarez 65-68 Bivol)
Bivol is fighting an excellent fight. He’s keeping Canelo at bay with deft footwork, ring intelligence and sheer size, not making the mistakes that Canelo lives to exploit. But his output has gone down in this round and Alvarez has done just enough to take the sixth, mostly with his defense. According to Compubox’s punch statisticshe’s landed 71 of 316 punches (24%), compared to 40 of 248 for Canelo (16%).
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 10-9 Bivol (Alvarez 56-58 Bivol)
Alvarez continues to press the action, but can’t sustain an attack. Bivol’s left eye starting to show a bit of damage. Bivol then catches Alvarez along the ropes and unloads seven or eight punches, landing about half of them. Alvarez lies against the ropes and waves his opponent back in telling him to throw more, but the emotionless Bivol does take the bait. A clear Bivol round.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 46-49 Bivol)
Bivol continues to find success jabbing from a distance. He’s using his length to his advantage but not afraid to step into the pocket and throw to the body to set up combinations upstairs. Canelo’s face has been reddened by Bivol’s steady output to the head. Alvarez has been ratcheting up the pressure but a lot of his blows have been blocked or parried by the bigger man. Canelo lands with a spicy right uppercut in the final seconds but it’s not enough to swing the round. Alvarez is in a fight tonight!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 37-39 Bivol)
Bivol lands a thudding right hand to the body, setting up a combination upstairs. Bivol is really letting his hands go and Canelo is responding in kind. Bivol is getting the better of the exchanges, for now. More jabs and straight rights in combination from Bivol, whose hand speed seems to be troubling Alvarez. Canelo is more than holding his own, doing good body work. Another close but clear round to Bivol.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 28-29 Bivol)
Alvarez lands a couple of powerful shots around Bivol’s tight guard. He catches Bivol’s chin with another hook. Bivol has picked up the pace now and he’s throwing more punches in combination but they’re not landing clean. Canelo lands a flush uppercut but Bivol takes it well. Easy round for Alvarez.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 10-9 Bivol (Alvarez 19-19 Bivol)
There’s the bell and the fighters meet in the center of the ring and start circling one another. Canelo in a tight guard but throwing more in the early going. But Bivol looks comfortable in there and is scoring quite a bit with his jab. Canelo lands a hook to the body but Bivol answers with a combination. Canelo misses with an uppercut near the end of the round but the crowd explodes as if it connected. Close but clear round for the champion.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Alvarez 9-10 Bivol (Alvarez 9-10 Bivol)
The fighters are in the ring. The introductions have been made. The fighters have been given their final instructions and the seconds are out. We’ll pick it up with round-by-round coverage from here!
The fighters are making their entrances to the ring. Bivol is first despite being the champion. Then it’s Álvarez, who is accompanied by a full mariachi band with dancers in traditional dress. They’re playing Europe’s The Final Countdown before segueing into México Lindo y Querido, the Vicente Fernández standard that’s become his calling card.
Hello and welcome to Las Vegas for tonight’s showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. Alvarez, the sport’s biggest star and the consensus pound-for-pound No. 1, is moving back up to the heaviest weight of his career to face the unbeaten Bivol, who holds the WBA’s version of the title at 175lbs.
“I like this kind of challenge, because I want to make history,” Alvarez said this week. “This kind of challenge is going to put me at the top in the history of boxing. I feel alive when I have this kind of challenge. I respect the boxing skill of Dmitry Bivol, but it is my time. I feel like I’m in my prime. I enjoy this kind of moment. ”
Cleveland’s Montana Love has just won a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Gabriel Valenzuela in their 12-round super lightweight bout, the final undercard fight of the night. Next up: the main event. Alvarez and Bivol are due to make their ringwalks in a little under half an hour. Plenty more to come between now and then.
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s Donald McRae’s lookahead to Saturday’s fight.