By: Hans Themistode
Despite reigning as light heavyweight champion for the better part of the past five years, Dmitry Bivol capitulated to many of the demands of Canelo Alvarez.
Although Alvarez came into their May 7th, showdown as the challenger, it was Alvarez who was allowed to walk second and introduced last prior to their bout. Bivol, while a proud champion, was willing to do essentially whatever it took to get boxing’s premier star into the ring.
After gnashing his teeth while saying yes to all of Alvarez’s requests, the 31-year-old Russian had officially landed the one bout he craved above all others.
Heading in, Bivol paid no attention to oddsmakers pegging him as a considerable underdog on the night. Also, the WBA light heavyweight titlist ignored Alvarez’s staunch supporters who predicted he would be violently stopped on the night.
A stone-faced Bivol calmly made his way through the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, first. He also stood patiently as Alvarez was given his grand entrance. Nevertheless, from the moment the opening bell rang, Bivol marched forward and took the fight to the former pound-for-pound king.
Although Alvarez as of late, has punished his foes, resulting in stoppage victories in four of his previous five bouts, Bivol showed his resolve. The normally offensive brilliance of Alvarez, by and large, was rendered useless as Bivol maintained his defensive principles while piling up the points.
With all three judges scoring the bout handing Bivol a 115-113 unanimous decision victory, the former pound-for-pound king revealed that he would pursue an immediate rematch, words that became music to the ears of Bivol.
Openly, the Russian native admits that while he fully intended on winning against Alvarez in their first bout, he more so wanted to use their initial bout as a way to be thrust into the limelight. In what now appears to be an upcoming sequel, Bivol has now shifted gears. With his star power receiving a considerable bump, Bivol wants to show the rest of the world that while Alvarez is a terrific fighter, he’s simply a cut above.
“First fight was important to me because I wanted to introduce myself to the boxing fans,” said Bivol during a recent interview with FightHype.com. “Second fight, I want to prove that I’m really better than him. He is the bigger name but I am better.”
In addition to allowing Alvarez to dictate both the ring walks and introduction, Bivol also reveals that he took a massive financial blow. According to multiple reports, Alvarez earned somewhere in the ballpark range of approximately $50 million, including roughly 70 percent of the pay-per-view revenue. Bivol, on the other hand, may have pocketed around $2 million plus a lower-end portion of the pay-per-view revenue.
Financial ramifications aside, Bivol has no qualms about the sacrifices that were made in order to secure the biggest victory in his career. This time around, however, with part two lurking, Bivol is more assertive in his monetary demands.
“I can earn more money for a rematch and get more attention.”
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