LAS VEGAS — Dmitry Bivol, in one of the biggest boxing upsets in recent memory, scored a unanimous decision over the sport’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
All three judges scored the fight 115-113, but the bout wasn’t nearly that close.
Bivol was in control from the opening bell as he used his superior size, range and jab to retain his light heavyweight title.
“I prove myself today, I’m the best [in my division],” said Bivol, who resides in Russia. “Eddie Hearn, sorry I broke your plans with Gennadiy Golovkin.”
Bivol was referring to the planned trilogy fight between Canelo and Golovkin slated for Sept. 17. Instead, Alvarez said he plans to exercise his contractual right to an immediate rematch.
“It doesn’t end like this,” said Alvarez, who entered the ring rated No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter by ESPN.
Ayyo @Canelo I got next
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) May 8, 2022
The boxer always prevails… Canelo is also a boxer but banked on his power to much
— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) May 8, 2022
Round 12: Bivol closes the show with another clear round to cement what should be a clear victory in a major upset. Alvarez wasn’t all that competitive with Bivol. Hopefully the judges get this right. 10-9, Bivol. 118-110, Bivol.
Round 11: Biggest round of the fight for Bivol, who blasts Alvarez with a bundle of power shots. Alvarez doesn’t have much on these punches anymore. One more round for the major upset … assuming judges agree. 10-9, Bivol. 108-101, Bivol.
Round 10: Canelo’s body language isn’t great, and his output is dipping. Bivol looks fresh and continues to use his legs and jab to outbox Canelo. Alvarez running out of time. 10-9, Bivol. 98-92, Bivol.
Round 9: Alvarez finally wins a round. He was able to press Bivol on the ropes and landed a couple of solid body shots as the crowd roared, seemingly trying to cheer him to victory. 10-9, Canelo. 88-83, Bivol.
Round 8: Bivol isn’t just outboxing Canelo — he’s outfighting him. Throwing his size around on the inside now, creating some space with pushes. Is the upset in the air? Wild scene in Las Vegas through eight. 10-9, Bivol. 79-73, Bivol.
Round 7: Bivol continues to be the ring general. He’s pushing Canelo backward and his movement is giving Alvarez fits. Alvarez needs to land something big to change this fight. 10-9, Bivol. 69-64, Bivol.
Round 6: Most uneventful round of the fight so far, but Bivol remains in control. Alvarez needs to find an answer soon. The boxing acumen, footwork and size of Bivol proving to be a formidable challenge. 10-9, Bivol. 59-55, Bivol.
Round 5: Clear Bivol round. He pinned Alvarez on the ropes around the midway point and unloaded with about six or seven shots, though Alvarez evaded many. Alvarez hasn’t faced adversity like this since the Gennadiy Golovkin rematch. 10-9, Bivol. 49-46, Bivol.
Round 4: Canelo pressing hard but Bivol catching most of the shots on the gloves. Finally, in the closing seconds of the frame, Alvarez broke through with a big right uppercut. Another close round. 10-9, Canelo. 39-37, Bivol.
Round 3: Bivol the far cleaner puncher. He continues to find success at range with the jab, and he’s reeling off combos that meet the mark. Alvarez doing great work on the inside but hasn’t been able to sustain. Close round. 10-9, Bivol. 30-27, Bivol.
Round 2: Big Bivol round! He scored with a bundle of three- and four-punch combinations. Haven’t seen Canelo this frustrated in a long time. Alvarez’s face already red from Bivol’s jab. He rebounded nicely down the stretch with powerful right hand followed by a left hook to the body. 10-9, Bivol. 20-18, Bivol.
Round 1: Bivol was incredibly active with the jab, his best weapon. He pumped the range-finder in Alvarez’s face over and over. Canelo unleashed a lot of right hands, but nothing impactful. 10-9, Bivol.
Ring announcer David Diamante is doing the intros. Russell Mora is the referee and Tim Cheatham and Dave Moretti from Las Vegas, and Steve Weisfeld from New Jersey are the judges.. The fight is next!
Bivol is already in the ring and Alvarez is making his way out. Cheers coming down from every corner of T-Mobile Arena. A Mariachis band is playing their version of Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Alvarez appears in the Arena from an elevated platform. And now is walking to the ring to the classic “Mexico Lindo y Querido.”
Love wins close decision to stay unbeaten
Montana Love, ESPN’s No. 10 junior welterweight, eked past Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela in the chief-support bout to remain undefeated.
Love (18-0-1, 9 KOs) floored Gollaz Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 KOs) in Round 1 before he was dropped himself in Round 2. The action didn’t sustain over the next 10 rounds, though, and Love won by the same score on all three cards: 114-112.
Love, a 27-year-old from Cleveland, has fought twice since a breakthrough performance in August, a seventh-round TKO of former champion Ivan Baranchyk. Gollaz Valenzuela, a 27-year-old from Mexico, was fighting on the world-class level for the first time.
Giyasov scores three knockdowns to win decision
Shakhram Giyasov, an Olympic silver medalist from Uzbekistan, scored three knockdowns en route to a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Christian Gomez.
The judges scored the bout 99-88, 99-88 and 98-89.
Giyasov (13-0, 9 KOs) floored Gomez in Round 4 with a right hand and then again in the seventh, but was forced to survive that same round after the Mexican buckled him with a series of shots.
Gomez (22-3-1, 20 KOs) couldn’t capitalize, and was dropped again in Round 10, this time by a right uppercut.
Castro goes the distance for unanimous decision victory
Marc Castro remained undefeated with a shutout decision over Pedro Vicente in a six-round lightweight fight.
All three judges scored the bout identically: 60-54.
The 22-year-old used nonstop pressure round after round to defeat Vicente (7-5-1, 2 KOs), a 33-year-old from Puerto Rico.
Castro (7-0, 5 KOs), of Fresno, California, was coming off a decision win in March; he suffered the first knockdown of his pro career in that bout.
Zhilei demolishes Alexander in first round
Zhang Zhilei made quick work of Scott Alexander in the PPV opener.
The 39-year-old from China drilled Alexander with a left hand in the opening round, and referee Robert Hoyle didn’t bother to count. Alexander lay on the canvas and the bout was waved off at 1:54 of Round 1.
Zhilei (23-0-1, 18 KOs) was slated to fight Filip Hrgovic in a title eliminator in the chief-support bout, but the Olympic bronze medalist withdrew after the death of his father.
Alexander (16-5-2, 8 KOs), 33, of Los Angeles, accepted the fight on short notice and suffered his second consecutive loss (the other to Carlos Negron in May).
Zhilei was fighting for the second time since a draw with Jerry Forrest in February 2021.
Velazquez stops Soto to stay unbeaten
Joselito Velazquez, an Olympic fighter from Mexico, continued his march toward a flyweight title shot.
The 28-year-old hammered Jose Soto with a left hook that floored the Colombian before referee Mike Ortega halted the bout at 1:06 of Round 6.
Velazquez (15-0-1, 10 KOs) won gold at the Pan American Games twice. Soto (15-2, 6 KOs) has now lost two fights in a row.
Silva upsets middleweight prospect Espino
In a battle of unbeaten middleweight prospects, Aaron Silva scored a fourth-round stoppage of Alexis Espino.
Silva, a slight underdog, buckled Espino with a left hook, before a flurry of punches led to referee Celestino Ruiz stopping the fight at 1:17 of Round 4.
Espino (9-1-1, 6 KOs), a 22-year-old from Las Vegas, is trained by Robert Garcia and promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Silva (10-0, 7 KOs) is a 24-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico.