By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended his title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Canelo Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo mostly pressed the action, but Bivol, a good ring technician, often outboxed and frustrated Canelo. Scores were 115-113 3x.
Bivol out-landed Canelo 152-84, out-threw him 710-495, and had a higher comment percentage 21%-17%
The bout began with Bivol pumping the jab and Canelo throwing the chopping right hands, Alvarez stalked as Bivol kept busy in the opening round. Canelo stayed close in round two as Bivol fought off a compact defense throwing straight as Alvarez showed flash threw and connected from different angles. In round three, Canelo kept the pace and landed inside with combinations, Bivol continued to fight off the jab and finished the round with Canelo pinned up as the Mexican began to show some flash off the ropes. Canelo connected with a solid right hand early in the fourth, Bivol had Canelo on the ropes, but Alvarez managed his way out and later connected Bivol with a huge uppercut.
Bivol had his moment in the fifth as he had Canelo pinned up against the ropes and unleashed a combination, but Alvarez appeared to be doing the rope a dope. In the sixth, Bivol worked the jab and Canelo looked to counter off the ropes but was limited, later in the round Bivol backed Canelo. Past the halfway mark in the seventh, the jab was effective for Bivol as he continued to back Canelo but the Mexican kept working his way inside with power shots but the champ appeared to outwork Canelo. Coming out firing in the eighth, Bivol let his hands go as he had Canelo up against the ropes wailing away, the Mexican superstar appeared to have no answer for Bivol work output as the champ just worked and outhustled Canelo
The ninth round saw Bivol neutralize Canelo landing the jab and outworking him as Alvarez appeared limited and sluggish. Late in the fight in the tenth, Bivol kept coming as Canelo appeared to be frustrated as he was throwing everything at the champ. In the championship rounds, Bivol backed Canelo to the ropes in the eleventh as the Mexican superstar appeared to have now answer for Bivol’s will. The twelfth and final round saw Canelo sensing the urgency looking for the knockout as Bivol boxed and kept pumping the jab.
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