Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is one of the biggest stars in boxing. But during the night, nothing goes according to plan for the Mexican: On his big payday, he suffered a surprising and clear defeat against the Russian Dmitry Bivol.
Mexican boxing champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is considered one of the best boxers in the world, the Mexican is invincible in the super middleweight division. But in the light heavyweight division, Canelo experienced a bitter night where he eventually suffered the second defeat of his long career. Against the Russian Dmitry Bivol, he had to leave the ring beaten for the first time in almost nine years. The 31-year-old Bivol won unanimously on points and “shocked the world”, as the Spanish sports newspaper “AS” dramatically remarked. At least based on the expectations of fans and observers, the Russian’s victory is one of the biggest surprises in recent boxing history.
Alvarez is one of the biggest stars in boxing, the Mexican collects huge purses and mobilizes huge crowds of fans. The fight against Bivol should just be a stopover on his triumphant run through the weight classes. The fight in Las Vegas was to be the first of three matches that Canelo wants to fight in 2022 – and which should bring him an incredible $ 160 million. It’s the biggest deal made in professional boxing these days. Most recently with the win against the American Caleb Plant last November, Alvarez had made himself one of the biggest idols in his sport: Since then, he has held all four titles.
Klitschko called for cancellation
Now everything did not go according to plan. Not athletic, and there was a lot of trouble around the match: Ali cinema Thomas Hauser wrote in an essay that the match should not take place. “Canelo vs. Bivol is not just a match,” Hauser wrote. “Because of Canelo’s prestige, a victory for Bivol would be a strong symbol of Russian power and would be hailed as a great Russian victory.” The Ukrainian ex-world champion Wladimir Klitschko had in the newspaper “The Guardian” demanded that the match be canceled due to the Ukraine war.
The Mexican had announced the match a few days after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine. With the IBF, WBO and WBC introducing three of the four biggest boxing federations in the world sanctions against Russian athletes, the WBA did not join them – and waved the fight through. Bivol, the son of a Romanian father and a Kazakh mother, lives in Russia but feels at home in Kyrgyzstan. “I’m into sports, so I know nothing about politics or the corona virus,” he explained.
Bivol used their advantage to keep their opponent at bay and land the decisive hits. “Today I proved to myself that I am the best in my class,” said the Russian after his 20th victory in his 20th match. All three referees saw Canelo 113: 115 behind in what was meanwhile a high-class match. The close outcome on the scorecards was due to a bonus for the Mexican, the sporting reality was clearer.
Canelo “completely humiliated”
No later than the beginning of the fifth round, the Russian took command. His opponent seemed extremely tired in the final rounds, “he was completely humiliated today by a fighter who is in a completely different weight class,” wrote the Spanish “Marca”. “Today it became clear again why there are different weight classes in this beautiful sport. Canelo fans were sure he actually had a chance and even Alvarez got a little cocky at some point.” It punished Bivol mercilessly with hard blows.
Bivol steered the match with his long-range, Canelo, who has all four major world titles in middleweight, never really got close to the world champion belt a weight class up. Canelo did not disappoint in a good fight, but his first conclusion was surprising: “I felt I won, I did enough, but it’s boxing, you win and you lose. I had a great fight, and in in the end, it is the people who win. “
Bivol “used his range really well,” commented Canelo, who last lost to superstar Floyd Mayweather in 2013, and then disappointed but fair in his defeat. “No excuses I lost today. He’s a great boxer … I felt his power.” Canelo rarely found the way to close range, for often he was stuck in the defense of the world champion.
But: “It’s not over yet,” said the defeated challenger. “Of course I want the rematch,” announced Álvarez, who enters the ring under the match name “Canelo”, after the defeat. A similar option should also be included in the contract between the two parties. His opponent is open to revenge. “No problem, let’s talk about it,” Bivol replied – sending a greeting to Canelo’s powerful promoter Eddie Hearn: “Sorry I ruined your plans with Gennady Golovkin.”
Canelo were scheduled to face the Kazakhs for the third time in September as part of his powerful three-match contract with incredible volume. Both boxers had previously fought two spectacular fights: one ended in a very controversial draw flattering for Canelo, in the second edition inflicted on the Mexican the first defeat of his opponent in his 40th professional fight.
March declined to heavyweight
Before the clear defeat against the heavier and significantly larger old and new lightweight world champion, Canelo and his promoter Hearn had even flirted with a march through to heavyweights. “I like the idea,” Canelo said when asked about a possible match against Ukrainian heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk. The champion of the WBA, WBO and IBF associations will defend his titles against Anthony Joshua this summer.
Canelo’s promoter Hearn agrees that his husband would take the fight. “I believe ‘AJ’ will win the match, but if he does not, Canelo would fight with a million per cent of 201 lbs.” That’s the limit where heavyweight boxers go. The big payday in the weight class below was disappointing for Cancelo. Not financially, but athletically.
“This is definitely a setback for Alvarez, but losing to a fighter who is above his usual weight class just proves that he is definitely the best in his weight class,” almost appealed to the Mexican about plans outside the tournament’s super middleweight. bury. He will “fight everyone, I do not care at all,” Canelo said before the match. Now he must hope that things go much better in the rematch against Bivol.