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Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight belt by unanimous decision after all three judges scored the bout at T-Mobile Arena 115-113 in his favor.
Bivol, Kyrgyzstan, remains unbeaten while Alvarez, Mexico, was handed just the second loss of his career. Alvarez previously lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.
Dmitry Bivol, left, of Kyrgyzstan, throws a punch against Canelo Alvarez of Mexico during a light heavyweight title fight Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
“I’m glad I proved myself today. I’m the best in my division, and I keep this belt,” Bivol said after the bout, via Sky Sports. “He’s a great champion. I respect him and all his team.”
Bivol, who received boos as he walked to the ring, came out victorious despite the crowd’s support of Alvarez, whose entrance included a mariachi band and fireworks.
“Doesn’t matter which one, first or second, doesn’t matter to me. I just wanted this fight,” Bivol said. “Doesn’t matter which sound he has, which sound I have, how he went in. … And when he was going to the ring and I heard the crowd, I really enjoyed how the crowd was yelling.”
Dmitry Bivol, left, of Kyrgyzstan, throws a punch against Canelo Alvarez of Mexico during a light heavyweight title fight, Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Bivol was dominant during the bout, connecting on 152 punches compared to 84 by Alvarez, the fewest landed in a 12-round fight.
Bivol used his long frame to keep Alvarez at bay during the match, which was close during the first few rounds.
Bivol apparently took control in the fifth as he got Alvarez on the ropes and landed several punches to his face.
“I knew that he has hard punches, and he will beat on my body or my arm,” Bivol said. “I think from the [start] of the fight, I see him; I see what he wants to do.”
Alvarez moved up in weight for the bout against Bivol after capturing the undisputed super middleweight championship. Alvarez fought at light heavyweight just one other time in his career, a victory over Sergey Kovalev in late 2019.
Bivol won seven of the final eight rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. After the bout, Alvarez argued he lost four or five rounds at the most.
“I definitely didn’t lose the fight,” Alvarez said through a translator. “I think I got a little bit tired toward the final rounds, but I felt good.”
Canelo Alvarez, left, of Mexico, throws a punch against Dmitry Bivol of Kyrgyzstan during a light heavyweight title fight, Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
There is a rematch clause in the contract. Alvarez said he wanted another go at Bivol after the match.
“No problem,” Bivol responded.
The Associated Press contributed to this report