LAS VEGAS — WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol retained his title by defeating Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by unanimous decision Saturday night.
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.
Alvarez moved back up to the heaviest weight of his career to contend for the 175-pound title.
Alvarez fought at light heavyweight only one other time in his career, 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 utilize 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.
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.”
In the co-main event at 140 pounds, Montana Love (18-0-1, 10 KOs) beat Gabriel Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision with identical scores from all three judges (114-112). With the win, Love solidifies himself as a contender in the junior welterweight division.
Also from the main undercard, Shakhram Giyasov (13-0, 9 KOs) beat Christian Gomez (22-3-1, 20 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-89, 99-88, 99-88) in a 10-round welterweight bout.
Marc Castro (7-0, 5 KOs) won via unanimous decision (60-54) over Pedro Vicente (7-5-1, 2 KOs).
Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Scott Alexander just 1:54 in the first round in a heavyweight clash. Alexander was a replacement after Filip Hrgovic was forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Zhang.
Earlier Saturday, Joselito Velazquez (15-0-1, 10 KOs) won with a 6th-round TKO over Jose Soto (15-2, 6 KOs).
Aaron Silva (10-0, 7 KOs) won via fourth-round TKO over Alexis Espino (9-1-1, 6 KOs).
Elnur Abduraimov (9-0, 8 KOs) won by way of second-round TKO over Manny Correa (11-1, 7 KOs).
Fernando Molina (8-0, 3 KOs) won a split decision over Ricardo Valdovinos (8-2, 5 KOs) with scores of 58-56, 57-56 for Molina and 57-56 for Valdavinos.