LAS VEGAS ( Associated Press) – Saúl lvarez turned to the ring to pose with his right fist and expected nothing more than another big win from one of Mexico’s great fighters in praise of hundreds of fervent fans . Cinco de Mayo time on weekends.
After 12 rounds, Canelo walked out of the ring with his first loss in nine years, as crowds stunned by the seemingly unexpected result packed the stage to watch their fight.
Dimitri Bivol not only defeated Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night, but also involved him in a light heavyweight bout that didn’t quite resemble the judges’ 115-113 scorecard.
And now the questions begin. Could it be that Alvarez has risked too much to face a tough champion like Bivole in the 175-pound (79-kg) category? Has the Russian boxer’s loss damaged Alvarez’s legacy over the past decade, as well as his status as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world?
And, perhaps most importantly, what will happen to the third fight with Gennady Golovkin? A long-awaited competition, which will certainly not take place in September as planned, if it happens.
No, one bad night doesn’t ruin Alvarez’s career. He has done a lot to make this happen.
But, after perhaps his worst performance as a professional, he has to work before speaking with praise again.
“You had to wait for it. It’s boxing, there’s no excuse,” said Alvarez, who had suffered no losses in his last 16 bouts since losing a decision in 2013 to Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I lost today and he won. He really is a great fighter.”
Bevole was more than last night. He was a big, smart fighter who did what Alvarez usually does to his opponents, imposing his will on the man on the other side of the ring.
Despite being the undefeated champion, going 5–1 down, Bivole consistently outboxed lvarez and was not afraid of a trade war. He was credited with hitting 152 punches from Alvarez and was given the best of every episode.
Alvarez admitted earlier this week that he was taking a risk against Bivole, but wanted fights that would challenge him.
“I’m sorry that I broke your plans with Gennady Golovkin,” said Bivol.
Now there will be new plans, including a possible rematch, which Alvarez was talking about even before he stepped into the ring.
Yes, he lost, but even in a bad defeat there is always a way forward.
“It doesn’t end like this,” Alvarez said.