WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is receiving a lot of praise from his compatriots from Eastern Europe.
Bivol pulled off a major upset that sent shockwaves all over the boxing world, when he outboxed Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez over twelve rounds to secure a unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Former world champion Kostya Tszyu was not overly surprised by the outcome, as he viewed Bivol as the slight favorite.
While the three official judges saw Bivol as the victor with identical 115-113 margins, most observers - including Tszyu - felt Bivol was a much wider winner.
“I gave it 55 to 45% in [Bivol's] direction, oddly enough. Few people gave him a chance to win. According to the score, I would give 117-111 [in favor of Bivol]," said Tszyu to Igor Lazorin.
"He will definitely have a rematch. That means he can make a lot of money financially. Secondly, he beat a man who only lost to [Floyd] Mayweather Jr., he's a very good fighter, the best boxer in the world right now."
Another boxer heaping praise on Bivol is former heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin.
He felt Bivol did well in avoiding any emotional attacks. During the bout, Canelo went against the ropes several times and tried to wave Bivol in to exchange punches, but the Russian boxer kept his distance and picked his spots.
“Bivol is a great boxer,” Povetkin said. “He had a great fight, he won with the judges. He boxed calmly, with discipline... which is something that sometimes I didn’t have when I would emotionally rush forward.”
"Dmitry is rightfully one of the best boxers in the world at the moment. There are no questions here. The Soviet boxing school outplayed Alvarez."