Bivol beats Alvarez, retains WBA title

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WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol has retained his title by defeating Saul "Canelo" Alvarez by unanimous decision.

The unbeaten Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), who has held a version of his belt since May 2016, handed Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) just the second defeat of his career in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Alvarez moved back up to the heaviest weight of his career to contend for the 175-pound title, having fought at light heavyweight just one other time when beating Sergey Kovalev in late 2019.

After opening the fight with a trio of very close rounds, it was clear Bivol would be able to utilise his advantages with reach and height, to pepper Alvarez and keep him off when charging with his power punches.

Alvarez tried, at times, to use his intimidating tactics to taunt Bivol.

"I knew that he has hard punches and he will beat on my body or my arm," Bivol said. "I think from the (start) of the fight, I see him; I see what he wants to do."

Alvarez's only other loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013.

With a rematch clause in the contract, Alvarez said afterward in the ring he wanted a rematch with the Kyrgyzstan-born Russian champion.

Bivol responded: "No problem."

"I definitely didn't lose the fight," Alvarez said through a translator. "I think I got a little bit tired toward the final rounds, but I felt good."

Alvarez sunglasses to his post-fight press conference, but was clearly swollen around his eyes and forehead.

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