Bivol continues to find success jabbing from a distance. He’s using his length to his advantage but not afraid to step into the pocket and throw to the body to set up combinations upstairs. Canelo’s face has been reddened by Bivol’s steady output to the head. Álvarez has been ratcheting up the pressure but a lot of his blows have been blocked or parried by the bigger man. Canelo lands with a spicy right uppercut in the final seconds but it’s not enough to swing the round. Álvarez is in a fight tonight!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 9-10 Bivol (Álvarez 37-39 Bivol)
Bivol lands a thudding right hand to the body, setting up a combination upstairs. Bivol is really letting his hands go and Canelo is responding in kind. Bivol is getting the better of the exchanges, for now. More jabs and straight rights in combination from Bivol, whose hand speed seems to be troubling Álvarez. Canelo is more than holding his own, doing good body work. Another close but clear round to Bivol.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 9-10 Bivol (Álvarez 28-29 Bivol)
Álvarez lands a couple of powerful shots around Bivol’s tight guard. He catches Bivol’s chin with another hook. Bivol has picked up the pace now and he’s throwing more punches in combination but they’re not landing clean. Canelo lands a flush uppercut but Bivol takes it well. Easy round for Álvarez.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 10-9 Bivol (Álvarez 19-19 Bivol)
There’s the bell and the fighters meet in the center of the ring and begin circling one another. Canelo in a tight guard but throwing more in the early going. But Bivol looks comfortable in there and is scoring quite a bit with his jab. Canelo lands a hook to the body but Bivol answers with a combination. Canelo misses with an uppercut near the end of the round but the crowd explodes as if it connected. Close but clear round for the champion.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Álvarez 9-10 Bivol (Álvarez 9-10 Bivol)
The fighters are in the ring. The introductions have been made. The fighters have been given their final instructions and the seconds are out. We’ll pick it up with round-by-round coverage from here!
The fighters are making their entrances to the ring. Bivol is first despite being the champion. Then it’s Álvarez, who is accompanied by a full mariachi band with dancers in traditional dress. They’re playing Europe’s The Final Countdown before segueing into México Lindo y Querido, the Vicente Fernández standard that’s become his calling card.
Hello and welcome to Las Vegas for tonight’s showdown between Canelo Álvarez and Dmitry Bivol. Álvarez, the sport’s biggest star and the consensus pound-for-pound No 1, is moving back up to the heaviest weight of his career to face the unbeaten Bivol, who holds the WBA’s version of the title at 175lbs.
“I like this kind of challenge, because I want to make history,” Álvarez said this week. “This kind of challenge is going to put me at the top in the history of boxing. I feel alive when I have this kind of challenge. I respect the boxing skill of Dmitry Bivol, but it is my time. I feel like I’m in my prime. I enjoy this kind of moment.”
Cleveland’s Montana Love has just won a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Gabriel Valenzuela in their 12-round super lightweight bout, the final undercard fight of the night. Next up: the main event. Álvarez and Bivol are due to make their ringwalks in a little under a half hour. Plenty more to come between now and then.
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime here’s Donald McRae’s lookahead to Saturday’s fight.
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