• Photo - Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Bivol Edges Canelo to Retain WBA Title

WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KO’s) of Indio, California outworked and outhustled Mexican superstar, multi-division world champion, undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KO’s) of Guadalajara Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in winning and edging out Alvarez by a unanimous decision in retaining his title.

The bout began with Bivol pumping the jab and Canelo throwing the chopping right hands, Alvarez stalked as Bivol kept busy in the opening round. Canelo stayed close in round two as Bivol fought off a compact defense throwing straight as Alvarez showed flash threw and connected from different angles. In round three, Canelo kept the pace and landed inside with combinations, Bivol continued to fight off the jab and finished the round with Canelo pinned up as the Mexican began to show some flash off the ropes. Canelo connected with a solid right hand early in the fourth, Bivol had Canelo on the ropes, but the Alvarez managed his way out and later connected Bivol with a huge uppercut.

Bivol had his moment in the fifth as he had Canelo pinned up against the ropes and unleashed a combination, but Alvarez appeared to be doing the rope a dope. In the sixth, Bivol worked the jab and Canelo looked to counter off the ropes but was limited, later in the round Bivol backed Canelo. Past the halfway mark in the seventh, the jab was effective for Bivol as he continued to back Canelo but the Mexican kept working his way inside with power shots but the champ appeared to outwork Canelo. Coming out firing in the eighth, Bivol let his hands go as he had Canelo up against the ropes wailing away, the Mexican superstar appeared to have no answer for Bivol work output as the champ just worked and outhustled Canelo

The ninth round saw Bivol neutralize Canelo landing the jab and outworking him as Alvarez appeared limited and sluggish. Late in the fight in the tenth, Bivol kept coming as Canelo appeared to be frustrated as he was throwing everything at the champ. In the championship rounds, Bivol backed Canelo to the ropes in the eleventh as the Mexican superstar appeared to have now answer for Bivol’s will. The twelfth and final round saw Canelo sensing the urgency looking for the knockout as Bivol boxed and kept pumping the jab.

In going the distance after twelve rounds all three judges scored the bout 115-113 for Dmtrii Bivol as he retains his title.

Super lightweight Montana Love (18-0-1, 9 KOs) from Cleveland, Ohio got off the canvas and won a unanimous decision over a very tough Gabriel Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico in the co-feature bout. The southpaw, Love was flashy to start things off but Valenzuela floored Love in round two as he got up and shrugged it off. Boxing and pumping the jab, Love continued to show the hand speed in the third round, but Valenzuela connected firmly with the straight right. Love was elusive pumping the jab in the fourth as Valenzuela continued to press attempting to cut the ring.

Love boxed and circled the ring in the fifth, as Valenzuela was the aggressor looking to lure Love into rough fight. Halfway through in the seventh, it continued to be a skill vs. will, as Love boxed, and Valenzuela looked to make it a street fight. Late in the fight in the tenth, Love stuck to the plan and boxed as Valenzuela looked for the knockout. In the championship rounds, the fans showed their dissatisfaction with Love’s strategy, but Valenzuela looked to rally in the final round pressing and looking for the knockout.

After twelve rounds, all three judges scored the bout 114-112 for Love.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Shakhram Giyasov (13-0, 9 KO’s) from Uzbekistan won a hard-fought unanimous decision over a tough Cristian Gomez (22-3-1, 20 KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico. Slow paced feel out round in the first as Giyasov and Gomez settled in. A crisp left hook by Giyasov in the fourth sat Gomez down as the Uzbeki scored the first knockdown of the fight. Giyasov boxed and landed the power punches as bout reached the halfway point.

Gomez was down once again in the seventh as Giyasov was in control. However, Gomez staggered Giyasov in the closing seconds of the round. The Mexican continued to show his will pressing as Giyasov boxed away and kept his distance. Displaying his superior skill, Giyasov fought conservatively on his feet pumping the jab and tallying points as Gomez stalked. Down for a third time, Gomez hit the canvas in the twelfth and final round as Giyasov worked his way to a well-deserved unanimous decision victory.

The judges scored the fight 99-88, 99-88, and 98-89

Fresno, California’s own lightweight prospect Marc Castro (7-0, 5 KO’s) dominated Pedro Vicente (7-5-1, 2 KO’s) of Puerto Rico in winning a six round unanimous decision. Castro picked his shots working patiently in the opening round, connecting solidly on Vicente. The young prospect continued having his way with Vicente throughout the fight, Castro boxed effectively. It was all Castro as the punishment continued, working his way to a decision win. All three judges scored the bout 60-54.

Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (24-0-1, 19 KOs) disposed Scott Alexander (16-5-2, 8 KO’s) in one round. A straight left by Zhang knocked Alexander out cold as referee Robert Hoyle immediately waived the bout at 1:54 of the first.

Mexican Olympian flyweight Joselito Velasquez (15-0-1, 10 KOs) stopped Marcos Sustaita (13-5-1, 11 KOs) in round six. Velasquez scored a knockdown and the referee stopped it 1:06 of the sixth.

Undefeated middleweight prospect Aaron Silva (10-0, 7 KOs) from Monterrey, Mexico stopped Alexis Espino (8-1, 5 KOs) of Las Vegas in round four. Fight was stopped after a barrage of unanswered punches at 1:17 of the fourth.

Lightweight Elnur Abduraimov (9-0, 8 KOs) of Uzbekistan scored a second round knockout over Cuba’s Manuel Correa (11-1, 8 KOs). Abduraimov dropped Correa multiple times as the referee stopped the fight at 2:43 of round two.

In the opening bout from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, super lightweight prospect Fernando Angel Molina (8-0, 3 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico edged out a split decision over a very game Ricardo Valdovinos (8-2, 5 KOs). Molina boxed well but Valdovinos gave him all he can handle in going the distance. It was a hard-fought battle as Valdovinos rallied in the final round dropping Molina. After six rounds, the judges scored the bout 58-56, 57-56 for Molina and 57-56 for Valdovinos.

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