Canelo Alvarez has issued a defiant response after falling short against Dmitry Bivol, insisting ‘we will fight again and we will win again’.
The pound-for-pound star was dominated largely from the opening bell to the last by a punch-perfect Bivol, who announced himself to the world with a scintillating performance as he retained his WBA (Super) light-heavyweight belt.
After becoming undisputed champion at super-middleweight last year, the jump in weight proved a step too far for Canelo, who lost 115-113 on all three judges’ scorecards on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Canelo Alvarez (left) suffered a brutal unanimous decision defeat to Dmitry Bivol (right)
A jubilant Bivol retained his WBA (Super) light-heavyweight belt with victory in Las Vegas
The defeat was Canelo’s first since 2013, when he was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather at just 23 years old, having won the WBO title at light-heavyweight less than three years ago against Sergey Kovalev.
Bivol proved too big, too fresh and, ultimately, too good on the night, however, though Canelo immediately outlined his intention to activate a contractually-agreed rematch clause.
Taking to social media for the first time since the defeat, Canelo – who has previously insisted he has another six or seven years in boxing – assured his fans more is to come.
‘Boxing is like that, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but always with your head held high,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘I stay with the great fight that we offered to the people.
‘We will fight again and we will win again.’
Canelo, 31, was visibly dejected after suffering just the second defeat of his 61-fight career
The Mexican was comprehensively outfought, with all three judges scoring the bout to Bivol
Canelo has now issued a defiant response on social media, insisting ‘we will win again’
It comes after the Mexican was gracious in defeat in the immediate aftermath, though indicating he believes he should have won the fight – which certainly was not the case.
Canelo congratulated Bivol – who moved to 20-0 with the victory – while insisting another bout between the pair is imminent.
‘He’s a great champion,’ Canelo said of Bivol in the ring after the fight. ‘Sometimes in boxing, you win. Sometimes you lose. Not making excuses. I lost today and he won.’
‘He’s a really good fighter. He’s a fighter that comes in and comes out. I also felt his power. I think it was good fight. I felt like I maybe did enough to win the fight but that’s boxing.’
‘Of course I [want a rematch],’ he concluded. ‘This doesn’t end like this.’
Though Canelo insists he will return to winning ways, his immediate plans now take a drastic shift.
A trilogy bout against Gennady Golovkin was set for September but will now likely have to wait
The Mexican had intended to fight Gennady Golovkin in an eagerly-anticipated trilogy bout in September, which will likely now be scrapped, with promoter Eddie Hearn previously insisting the match-up depended on Canelo winning at the T-Mobile Arena.
Canelo then had a London debut potentially pencilled in for December, with an undisputed showdown against either Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr – the remaining titleholders at 175lbs, who are set to fight in June – to come early next year.
Such was Canelo’s pre-fight confidence, he also insisted he would be willing to step up to heavyweight to take on Oleksandr Usyk – a thought now surely abandoned after struggling immensely against a smaller Bivol.
Bivol, who was quintessentially humble in victory, apologised for disrupting Canelo’s plans, while also indicating he would be more than happy to take the rematch.
‘I’m sorry I ruined your plans [for a fall trilogy fight against] Gennadiy Golovkin, maybe,’ Bivol said.
Bivol celebrated after staying unbeaten as he retained his WBA (Super) light-heavyweight belt
The Russian (20-0) insisted he wants to be treated like a champion after his stunning win
‘Congrats to [Canelo], he’s a great champion and I respect him. But if you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You won’t achieve anything. I believe and my team believes.’
‘I felt his power. As you can see from my arm, he beat my arm up but not my head,’ Bivol continued. ‘It’s better. He had a good speed and power. Maybe his mistake was he threw only hard punches. After hard punches, he relaxed and tired.
‘I was feeling great. This was the biggest fight of my career and I enjoyed this fight. When the people booed me, it gave me more energy.’
‘A rematch? No problem. Let’s talk about a rematch,’ Bivol added. ‘I took this fight because I just wanted the opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity. I am ready for the rematch, I just want to make sure I win and am treated like a champion now.’