Bivol Shocks Canelo on Points

Bivol Shocks Canelo on Points

There was a sense that even though Dmitry Bivol was winning, and winning well, he still wasn’t doing enough against a superstar who has been given the benefit of the doubt before. And boxing, very nearly did again.

Bivol retained his unbeaten record and his WBA light-heavyweight title by virtue of a too close, but unanimous scorecards of 115-113. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fought through frustration and fatigue as he found an opponent who was just too good for him. Some will say size decided it, but it was more than that. Much more.

Alvarez came within a round of leaving Las Vegas with a thoroughly undeserved draw, I had it 116-112 for the Russian, and in truth, it could have been wider. All three judges gave the first four rounds to Alvarez which is deeply concerning. A sign of a robbery in process.

Bivol controlled the Mexican and the fight with his jab and fought a disciplined fight landing with crisp combinations throughout against an opponent who threw heavy but in spurts, and with his back against the ropes far too often as the fight extended.

It was close in the early rounds before Bivol pulled away, at least on my scorecards, only in the 9th did Alvarez threaten any kind of a surge, but any momentum soon faded away and Bivol reasserted his control of the fight in the final three rounds.

Make no mistake, Bivol won beyond any doubt. The scores do not reflect what we saw, but sometimes you have to be grateful that the right fighter had his hand raised. But that is wrong. If Canelo had somehow won, this observer wouldn’t have been surprised. And I wouldn’t have been on my own. The sport shouldn’t be like this, and it has nothing to do with subjective.

Alvarez will activate the obligatory but now tiresome rematch clause, but for now, Bivol deserves his moment. On his biggest night Bivol produced the performance of his life, and even boxing couldn’t take it away from him. Even though it tried.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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