In the best performance of his professional career to date, WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol retained his title with a masterful unanimous decision victory over Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas.
All three judges scored the bout in Bivol’s favour by score of 115-113.
Bivol found success with his jab in the opening stages, and despite Canelo finding home for his body attacks in round two, the defending champion responded well to any punches the Mexican landed.
After a close third and fourth round, Canelo tried to make a dent in Bivol in the fifth with heavy blows. Bivol, however, kept his defence tight and caught the Mexican star with a variety of punches against the ropes.
Round six saw both men land hard punches, though Bivol remained in control – outboxing the smaller Canelo through rounds seven and eight.
Canelo came out of the blocks flying in round nine, though not finding a home for many of his power punches. Bivol continued to outbox and ultimately outland his Mexican counterpart up until the final bell.
Plans for a September trilogy bout between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin have now been put on ice, with the undisputed super-middleweight champion confirming he would be activating his rematch clause for a shot at revenge against Dmitry Bivol next.