Canelo Alvarez’s ring resume isn’t quite pristine. He has been a professional boxer for over half of his life. There have only been two losses in 61 fights.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., a future Hall of Famer, was the first to suffer a setback almost nine years ago. It is now largely forgiven as it was too much for a 22 year-old boy.
The second was Saturday night’s fight, in which he was outboxed and outslugged by Dmitry Bivol, a talented and determined light-heavyweight.
It was quite jarring considering the win percentage of the pound-for pound ace, but it was also easily forgiven given that a man who had debuted at 140 lbs was facing a man who’d never weighed less than 173.
Alvarez was a throwback to years gone by, when champions valued conquering new territory over protecting their turf.
He was already a rich man in middleweight jewelry and he beat three titleholders at 160 pounds and one at 175 to become Mexico’s first undisputed champion and undisputed sport kingpin.
He said that a win over Bivol would be the first step towards achieving undisputed status.
However, the scores of 115-113 in favor of his Russian foe suggest that something is more.
It is time to close old business before you start looking for new opportunities.
Alvarez’s 2-fight series with GennadyGolovkin cemented him as a pay per view star. It also kicked off the stretch in which he defeated myriad champions at multiple weights.
Officially, he is 1-0-1 against Triple G. He won a majority decision in his favor and the title of middleweight champion to Triple G in 2018. After fighting him to split draws a year prior, he was 2-0-1.
However, there are many people who disagree.
It’s easy to find media members and fans who would score him down 0-2.
“At best, 1-1, perhaps 0-1-1. “Very fortunate not to have 0-2,” Randy Gordon (ex-editor of The Ring, and currently host of At The Fights, SiriusXM Radio’s At The Fights) told Bleacher Report.
“I believed the draw belonged GGG. That should have been a win by GGG.
“The win for Canelo at fight number two was something I could accept, but I can also see how many people thought GGG had won it or should have drawn it out 114-114, as Glenn Feldman suggested.”
It doesn’t matter what your lean is, it was just as close.
Five out of six scorecards from two fights were either 6-6 or 7, excluding Adelaide Byrd’s ridiculous 10-2 in the opener. Neither man has been able control the other for any significant lengths.
They’ve boxed. They’ve brawled. They have been punished. They have been beaten.
They have thrown more than 2,700 punches each other and landed better than 800. Alvarez holds a statistical advantage, but only 32.9 percent to 28.6 over 72 minutes.
This is the stuff all-time rivalries are made from.
The best news of Saturday night was that it isn’t over yet.
It shouldn’t have been. He was a larger man with solid fundamentals and zero jitters. His style will haunt him wherever he sees it, whether it be in Las Vegas, Guadalajara, or Moscow.
They felt it when Alvarez struck Caleb Plant with his fist, according to Sergey Kovalev and Billy Joe Saunders.
Bivol was able to hit him twice when he struck Bivol.