By: Sean Crose
It may not go down as an all time great light heavyweight battle. This wasn’t Spinks-Qawi, or Greb-Tunney. What it was however was a fight that sent the world of boxing reeling. For in Las Vegas on Saturday evening Dmitry Bivol held onto his WBA light heavyweight strap by besting the most dominant and popular boxer on the planet, Canelo Alvarez. Things were not supposed to work out this way of course. Canelo was expected to win a challenging yet manageable bout before moving on to face arch rival Gennady Golovkin in the fall. Expectations die in boxing, however. The entire sport can be an expectation graveyard.
Although it certainly won’t be a death knell for his career the loss is certainly a blow for Canelo, who seemed to be getting quite comfortable jumping up and down from one weight division to the next. Canelo’s previous fight for instance had been a super middleweight affair between himself and Caleb Plant. Canelo won that match of course just as he had won every match since losing as a young man to the great Floyd Mayweather almost a decade ago. This was certainly not Canelo’s night, though. This was an evening owned entirely by Bivol.
For here was a fighter Canelo couldn’t break down or effectively get the better of. Here was a fighter who slipped in between the ropes with a jab centered strategy that helped him maintain range and fire off impressive combinations. There were even a few times where Canelo looked to be truly hurt. He wasn’t, at least not really, but at the end of the battle Canelo’s face looked puffy and defeated regardless. The red haired star has had many great nights…this simply wasn’t one of them. The unanimous decision handed down to Bivol after the final bell was both fair and well deserved.
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