Canelo Alvarez’s lofty ambition finally caught up to him on Saturday as he met Sterling King with his match in the form of undefeated Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitri Bevol.
Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), a four-team champion, landed a career low of 84 punches in a 12-round total as Bevol (20-0, 11 KOs) relied on his defense and precise punches to pull off the annoyance via a unanimous decision inside the T- Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges scored 115-113 for Bevol in a seemingly uncompetitive fight as CBS Sports scored 119-109 for Bevol.
“I’m sorry I messed up your plans [for a fall trilogy fight against] “Gennady Golovkin, perhaps,” said Bevol. Congratulations [Alvarez]He’s a great hero and I respect him. But if you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You will not check anything. I think and my team believes in him.”
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Six months after becoming the first undisputed middleweight champion of the four-belt era, Alvarez is back at 175 pounds for the first time since taking the WBC title via knockout from Sergei Kovalev in 2019. But during the same week he raised the prospect of Future transition to heavyweight, Alvarez was unable to break through the technical strength of Bevol, a former Russian amateur star whose strength lay in silencing his opponents’ attack.
Bevol’s punch was on standby the entire time and he consistently responded to any single punch that Alvarez landed with clean sets in return. Bevol allowed Alvarez to stand at close range in front of him but did not give him a clean enough strike zone to land on.
Most of the damage to Alvarez was to the left shoulder and arm of Bevol, who remained steady behind his high guard.
“I could feel his strength. As you can see from my arm, he hit my arm but not my head,” Bevol said. “He’s better. He had good speed and strength. Perhaps his mistake was that he only threw strong punches. After strong punches, he relaxed and tired.
“I was feeling great. This was the biggest fight of my career and I enjoyed that fight. When people booed me, it gave me more energy.”
Alvarez, whose only previous defeat came against Floyd Mayweather in 2013, tied with just 17% of his punches against Bevol and was defeated by 152 to 84, according to CompuBox. He also told reporters afterwards that he believed he was advancing on the scorecards heading into the final rounds.
“He’s a great champion,” Alvarez said. “Sometimes in boxing you win or you lose. I lost today and he won.” “He’s a really good fighter. He’s a fighter in and out. I also felt his strength. It was a good victory for him.”
After the fight, Alvarez shared hopes in a rematch, which Bevol seemed ready for.
“The rematch? No problem. Let’s talk about the rematch,” Bevol said. “I went into this fight because I just wanted the chance and I appreciate the chance. I’m ready for the match again, I just want to make sure I win and be treated like a champion now.”
At the moment, it is not clear what is coming next for Alvarez. The undisputed middleweight champion was expected to face Gennady Golovkin in September to complete a triplet, but another potential bout could be played with Bevol, as could another contender at either middleweight or middleweight. One thing is for sure, though, this was Bevol’s night and he would be able to celebrate likewise.
The bottom card saw some of the upside potential take the next step in their evolution. Montana Love scored and then knocked out Gabriel Golas on his way to winning a decision in the junior welterweight co-main event. 22-year-old Marc Castro blasted out over six rounds to outsmart Pedro Vicente as bantamweight slowly makes its way to higher levels of competition.
CBS Sports will be with you all night in Las Vegas, so be sure to catch up on live scores and highlights below.
Alvarez vs Bevol fight card, results
- Dmitriy Bevol (c) def. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez by unanimous decision (115-113, 115-113, 115-113)
- Montana love def. Gabriel Golas by unanimous decision (114-112, 114-112, 114-112)
- Shakhram Gyasov defeated. Christian Gomez by unanimous decision (99-88, 99-88, 98-89)
- Marc Castro def. Pedro Vicente by unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 60-54)
- Zhilei Chang def. Scott Alexander by first-round knockout
Scorecard for Alvarez vs. Bevol