WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) won an embarrassingly easy 12 round unanimous decision over Canelo Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) on Saturday night in a fight that was a lot more one-sided than the scores handed down t the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Canelo looked tired & lethargic for most of the fight, throwing single shots and getting countered all night by the champion Bivol.
The scores were 115-113, 115-113, and 115-113. Canelo fought well enough to win two rounds at best, maybe three if you’re being generous. 118-110 or 119-109 would be scores that are more indicative of the type of one-sided fight that took place tonight.
Bivol had too much firepower with three & four punch combinations, and Canelo was completely outgunned.
Unbeaten light-welterweight contender Montana Love (18-0-1, 9 KOs) had a much harder time than he bargained for in defeating Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 KOs) by a close 12 round unanimous decision.
The scores were 114-112, 114-112, 114-112. You can argue the fight should have been scored as a 12-round draw, considering that neither guy did enough to earn the victory.
Valenzuela was down in the first round on what appeared to be a slip after Love threw a shot. In the second round, Valenzuela knocked Love down to even things out.
From there, both fighters became cautious, throwing jabs and not letting their hands go. Love looked like he was shaken from the knockdown and wasn’t going to take any chances from that point. All in all, it was a disappointing contest, as this could have been a war if Love & Valenzeulla had gone all out.
Welterweight prospect Shakhram Giyasov (13-0, 9 KOs) defeated Cristian Gomez (22-3-1, 20 KOs) by a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision. The hapless Gomez was down three times, hitting the deck in the 4th, 7th, and 10 round. The scores were 99-88, 98-89, and 98-89.
In the fourth, Gomez made the mistake of throwing a hook at the same time as Giyasov, and he paid for it by getting dropped by the 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Uzbekistan.
Giyasov once again took advantage of Gomez’s sloppy defense, knocking him down in the seventh.
In the tenth round, Gomez went for broke, leaving himself open for another big shot from Giyasov that deposited him onto the canvas for the third knockdown of the contest.
Despite the fight being a total mismatch, it was arguably more interesting to watch than the other fights on the card.
Lightweight Marc Castro (7-0, 5 KOs) put on a boxing clinic in defeating the tough but limited Pedro Vincente (7-5-1, 2 KOs), winning a lopsided six-round unanimous decision by the scores 60-54, 60-54, and 60-54. Vincente lacked the speed and skill to give Castro anything to think about.
Undefeated heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) looked devastatingly powerful in stopping Scott Alexander (16-5-2, 8 KOs) with a tremendous left hand thrown from a short distance. The shot knocked Alexander, resulting in the fight being halted right away. The time of the stoppage was 1:54 of the first round. The 39-year-old two-time Chinese Olympian Zhang appears to have been working on his punching power, as he’s made vast improvements in that area. Zhang looked dangerous tonight with the power that he was generating on his shots.
Flyweight Joselito Velasquez (15-0-1, 10 KOs) beat Marcos Sustaita (13-5-1, 11 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout. In the sixth, Velasquez knocked Sustaita down. The fight was halted by the referee after Sustaita got back up. The time of the referee stoppage was at 1:06 of the sixth.
In an impressive performance from unbeaten super middleweight Aaron Silva (10-0, 7 KOs), he wore down the tough previously unbeaten Alexis Espino (8-1, 5 KOs) by a fourth-round TKO in a scheduled eight-round bout. The 24-year-old Silva stunned Espino with a powerful hook to the head. Silva then unleashed a storm of shots that led to the referee waving it off. The time of the stoppage was 1:17 of the fourth round.
Hard-hitting lightweight Elnur Abduraimov (9-0, 8 KOs) was too much for Manuel Correa (11-1, 8 KOs), stopping him in the second round. In the second round, the Ukbekh Abduraimov knocked Correa down several times, making it necessary for the contest to be halted. The time of the stoppage was at 2:43 of the second.
Light welterweight Fernando Angel Molina (8-0, 3 KOs) had to battle harder than expected to defeat Ricardo Valdovinos (8-2, 5 KOs) by a six-round split decision. Things got a little shaky for Molina in the sixth, as he was knocked down by the energized Valdovinos. It was a great comeback by Valdovinos, but he came up a little short. The scores were 58-56, 57-56 for Molina, and 57-56 for Valdovinos.
“Throughout your career, you’ve not shied away from challenges,” said Max Kellerman to ESPN about Canelo Alvarez taking on Dmitry Bivol.
“You fought guys that the money-guy in the division is never supposed to fight, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara. Is this guy out of his mind? Why would he fight guys like that if he didn’t have to?” said Kellerman.
Canelo wants challenges
“Now, you’re getting in with Dmitry Bivol. If I were handling your career, that would be the last guy that I would tell you to get in with. He’s not a big name, but he’s an excellent technical boxer. Why are you fighting Bivol?”
“Because I like challenges, I like those types of challenges,” said Canelo. “He’s a champion at 175, which motivates me. It’s a challenge for my career and for my legacy, and I love boxing.”
“You’re a natural counter puncher, and earlier in your career, I thought a guy with Bivol’s style was very difficult for you because you didn’t like to chase guys around. You liked them to come to you so that you could use your skills,” Kellerman said to Canelo.
“At what point in your career did you get as good as you are now at cutting off the ring and going and getting the fighter that won’t stand still?” said Kellerman.
“I had a lot of fights and fought a lot of styles, so I learned from that,” said Canelo. “I’m always working in the gym for that kind of style. I walk forward with pressure, and I throw my combinations, so that’s why,” said Canelo about how he learned to fight movers like Bivol.
“So you’re going up to 175 again. You knocked out Kovalev,” said Kellerman. “He was a big name and could punch, but he was considered over-the-hill. Now you’re fighting the guy [Bivol] that might be the most difficult in the division.
“If you win this fight, the third fight with GGG looms. What’s your thought about the third fight with GGG?”
“I have a really good fighter in front of me on May 7th, but I’m ready for everything,” said Canelo. “I don’t care.”
“Canelo, I know you said you have Bivol in front of you, and I think he might be the most difficult fight for you at 175 and below because of his style and expertise,” said Kellerman.
“I have to ask you because we’ve not discussed this. Canelo Alvarez against Artur Beterbiev would be a war every second in the ring. It would be one of the best fights in boxing at 175 pounds.
Canelo targeting Undisputed championship at 175
“If you beat Bivol, he would be the guy left [Beterbiev]; it would be the winner of him and Joe Smith. Let’s assume it would be Beterbiev. The winner would be the guy. Would you fight him?”
“Maybe, why not?” said Canelo about him being interested in fighting Beterbiev. “Maybe, you never know.”
“Canelo, people ask me frequently, ‘Is Canelo the greatest Mexican fighter ever? What does he need to do if he’s not already to surpass Julio Cesar Chavez as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time?” said Kellerman. “Is that important to you? Do you think you’ve gotten there? If not, what do you have to do?”
“What’s important to me is to be one of the best fighters in boxing history,” said Canelo. “He [Chavez] made his own history, and I’m going to make my own history.
“So, at the end of my career, we’ll see, but what I want is to be one of the best fighters in the history of boxing,” said Canelo.
“Canelo, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Good luck against Bivol; he may be the best 175-pounder in the world, and if you beat him and GGG, I want to see the Beterbiev fight. Good luck, Canelo,” said Kellerman.
Canelo Alvarez will be looking to dethrone Dmitry Bivol of his WBA light heavyweight title tonight to become a two-time world champion at 175 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The action kicks off on DAZN PPV tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Although the oddsmakers have Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) as a 4:1 favorite, he may come up short tonight if he can’t solve the Bivol puzzle. This guy has outboxed everyone he’s faced, and quicker on his feet & throws more punches than the 5’7 1/2″ Canelo is capable of.