A former promotional partner of Dmitry Bivol could not be any happier with the outcome of the Russian light heavyweight’s sterling victory last Saturday night.
Bivol defeated Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision to retain his WBA light heavyweight belt at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges had it 115-113 for the 31-year-old
Kathy Duva, the head of New Jersey-based Main Events, had previously helped to promote Bivol when he was just coming on the American boxing scene. Duva, who attended the fight, was thrilled by her former charge’s victory and the fact that Alvarez, regarded by many as the top fighter in the sport, had no answer for him.
“Canelo could not figure out what to do with him,” Duva told Seconds Out. “Dmitry was just like I thought he would be: disciplined. Dmitry makes you pay. Dmitry makes you pay better than any fighter I think I’ve ever seen.”
“Canelo, he was being patient,” Duva continued. “The rounds – they all unfolded almost the same. He was letting Canelo come out of it in the beginning. But he had his guard up, he was taking punches on his arms, he was taking them on his elbows. He wasn’t taking that much [on the head] – he took some shots. A lot of this – Canelo, I see him getting tired, his face is red, he’s getting beat up, and Dmitry just came out every round with that same determination just as we knew he would. That’s just who he is.”
Duva agreed with the notion that Bivol employed a strategy similar to the one that her charge Sergey Kovalev employed against Alvarez in their light heavyweight title bout in 2019. Kovalev maintained his distance and worked his jab for the majority of that fight, but unlike Bivol, he was unable to maintain his stride, getting knocked out in the 11th round. Kovalev is set to return to the ring for the first time since the Alvarez fight this Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California, in a 10-round cruiserweight bout against Tervel Puvel on the top of a Triller Fight Club card. It will be Kovalev's first time fighting at the 200-lb limit.
Duva said she always believed Bivol could defeat Alvarez but admitted that given Alvarez’s track record in Las Vegas that she thought the fight could end up a draw.
“I thought the cards were closer than the fight, but we were in Vegas,” Duva said. “I had picked him to win but I thought it was going to be a draw.”
“Best Mother’s Day present ever!” she added.