Light-heavyweight Dmitry Bivol defeats Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. Canelo has already spoken of a rematch but the size difference means he will remain out of his depth, writes Declan Warrington from ringside
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had just had his most impressive round, one that suggested he was finally turning his fight with Dmitry Bivol into one that would suit him, when he emerged for the start of the 10th.
It had appeared he finally had a sense of momentum, but then the aggression and energy that defined how he’d fought throughout the ninth vanished, and it instead transpired he had nothing left to give.
What followed was an exchange that could have summed up what unfolded between him and Bivol, the latter the natural light-heavyweight overlooked to such an extent that an agreement already existed for Alvarez-Golovkin III. Canelo attempted to throw punches at the Russian while he remained by the ropes and then to retreat out of range, but where against so many previous proven opponents he would have succeeded, he was once again punished by Bivol’s accuracy and reach.
On numerous other occasions there were uppercuts and body punches from Canelo that have tested so many; but Bivol, like Alvarez aged 31 but significantly fresher in only his 20th professional fight, regularly absorbed his power and rarely showed signs of slowing, contributing to the Mexican ultimately running out of ideas.
At Friday’s weigh-in and again at the opening bell, the size disadvantage Alvarez was confronted with demonstrated the extent of the challenge that was considered his greatest since his two bruising fights with Gennadiy Golovkin in 2017 and 2018. The reality was the unanimous decision awarded to Bivol via three scores of 115-113 proved his most difficult since losing for the first time to Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2013, when by comparison he was not only young but naive.
This was Alvarez’s 61st fight – his experience has been instrumental in his cultured evolution into the world’s leading fighter. But it was coming at 175lbs, when Canelo had turned professional all the way down at 140lbs. Those around him may have been complacent in not recognising the extent of Bivol’s abilities but even when the time comes to reevaluate the Russian ahead of the potential rematch that Canelo has already spoken of, against the very best at light-heavyweight Alvarez’s size means he will remain out of his depth.