WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol was surprised that so many had him set as a huge underdog in last Saturday's fight with Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

Bivol, an undefeated boxer with a solid record of wins, was a 5-1 underdog against Canelo, who took part in the second fight of his career at 175-pounds.

Back in 2019, Canelo moved up to 175 and knocked out Sergey Kovalev to capture the WBO title.

Despite Kovalev's age and no longer being in his prime, Canelo had issues in the fight and it was close on the cards when Canelo scored a knockout in the eleventh round.

Canelo would later vacate the belt and drop down to super middleweight, where he eventually became the undisputed champion.

Bivol, despite being younger and a better boxer than Kovalev, was widely overlooked - as many were already looking ahead to Canelo's planned trilogy fight with Gennadiy Golovkin in September. 

The Russian fighter upset the odds, when he outboxed Canelo over twelve rounds to earn a dominant unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Bivol believes that his recent performances, against boxers like Craig Richards, Umar Salamov and Lenin Castillo - were highly influential with landing the Canelo fight.

He simply outboxed his opponents to bank decision wins. They were textbook performances. He believes if the outings were more impressive, he likely would have been passed over by Canelo.

“We didn’t know [why I was being overlooked]. I think there are two reasons. The first, the main one, many people bet on Canelo. And the second - if you analyze my recent fights, then people might think that I somehow didn’t box very well. But without these fights, I likely would not have got a fight with Alvarez," Bivol told Igor Lazorin.

Bivol indicates that a fight with someone on the level of Canelo has certainly raised his name value in the United States.

"Yes, I feel [the increase in recognition], I felt it even when I was in training. I went to the grocery store, and they recognized me, every time I left the house somewhere, someone took a picture with me. I was surprised that they were adult women in their fifties. It made me understand how much the Mexicans love boxing, that they know the opponents of Saul Alvarez," Bivol said.