“This Can’t End Like This” | Canelo Alvarez Loses Decisively To Dmitry Bivol, Ending 16-Fight Unbeaten Streak

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 07: Dmitry Bivol (L) throws a left at Canelo Alvarez in the fifth round of their WBA light heavyweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on May 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bivol retained his title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez is not Superman, no matter how much the fans or the power brokers of boxing want him to be, and last night, Dmitry Bivol reminded the world of that.

Canelo lost a decisive unanimous decision last night as he tried to get another belt on his quest to become a legend of his era.

“He’s a great champion,” Alvarez said immediately after during the in-ring interview. “Sometimes in boxing, you win and you lose. I’m not gonna make excuses. I lost today and he won.”

Human After All

In front of a very pro-Canelo crowd last night in Las Vegas, Alvarez was owned by the Russian WBA light heavyweight champion, who reminded the superstar that he is human.

According to the CompuBox stats, Bivol out-landed Alvarez by 68 more punches at 152-of-710 to Alvarez’s 84-of-495. In addition, Bivol landed more power punches and more jabs than Alvarez.

“I feel like I can come out of this fight with my head held high because I gave the best of me in a different weight class,” Alvarez said in the post-fight press conference. “I’m looking for challenges that take me out of my comfort zone.”

The Quest For Greatness

Bivol supplied the discomfort by the pound, pushing Canelo with punches in bunches, taking his power and leaving Canelo looking confused as his usual dominance was non-existent. In defeat, Canelo initially accepted the loss, then backtracked and said he thought he won the fight.

However, the three judges felt differently, with each seeing the fight the same way, with scores of 115-113. It was a reminder for Canelo that although he has had success in the 175-pound division against the fighters not in their prime anymore like Sergey Kovalev, he cannot defeat bigger fighters in their prime all the time.

“I’m always going out looking for difficult fights,” Alvarez continued. “I’m always up for taking on new challenges. Tonight, I was looking for greatness.”

When History Does Not Repeat Itself

Alvarez was seeking to become a two-time world champion in the light heavyweight division. He had a November 2019 victory over Sergey Kovalev, where he executed an 11th-round knockout taking Kovalev’s WBO title.

However, Kovalev was never the same after his two losses to Andre Ward, and Kovalev has not fought since his outing against Canelo.

The winner of multiple world championships in four weight classes, from light-middleweight to light heavyweight, Alvarez has been the dominant force in the sport since his first loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

Undisputed But Not Unstoppable

When he became the first boxer in history to become the undisputed champion at super middleweight when he defeated Caleb Plant via TKO last November, he looked unstoppable.

Earlier in the fight week, Canelo began to float the idea of even going up to heavyweight to face current unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk. Last night, Bivol provided a reality check for a fighter who has reached the pinnacle of the sport and wants to prove to himself that he can do the impossible while there.

Alvarez was gunning for a trilogy fight with Gennadiy Golovkin potentially in September, but that might have to take a back seat now. There was a rematch clause in place, and Canelo is signaling that he wants to run it back against Bivol.

“Of course I do,” Alvarez continued during the post-fight interview. “This can’t end like this.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.