Undisputed 168-pound world champion Canelo Alvarez dared to be great, and over the past three years, he went to 175 and won and went through the 168-pound division and became an undisputed champion.
Alvarez continued to take risks as he battled undefeated WBA 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Bivol proved to be too much for Alvarez as he dominated the fight from start to finish to defeat Alvarez by unanimous decision.
Bivol(20-0, 11 KOs) won on all three scorecards, 115-113, to get the victory.
This was Alvarez’s(57-2-2, 39 KOs) first loss since 2013, when he dropped a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather.
The fight was not as close as the cards indicated. Bivol had a great mix of jabs and combinations that frustrated the Mexican superstar.
Alvarez had no answers for what Bivol brought to the table, and it showed. According to CompuBox, Bivol outlanded Alvarez in every round. Overall, Bivol threw more punches and outlanded Alvarez(152/710 to 84/485).
“I’m glad I proved myself today, I’m the best in my division, and I keep this belt,” Bivol said.
After the fight, Alvarez, who has a rematch clause for this fight, said he would exercise the rematch clause and would look to run it back.
“It doesn’t end like this,” Alvarez said.
It appears that 175 is too big for the 31-year-old Alvarez, and Bivol would seem to be a difficult proposition for Canelo in the rematch. This was not a close fight.
If I were Canelo, I would continue with my plans to fight Gennadiy Golovkin next and stay at 168. However, Canelo is a competitor, so I see him fighting Bivol in the rematch, and based on how close the scorecards were in this fight(which is crazy), he would have to be just a little better to defeat Bivol in the rematch.
Unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavídez and former world champion David Lemieux previewed their 12-round showdown for the vacant Interim WBC Super Middleweight Title with both knockout artists forecasting fireworks during a virtual press conference Tuesday before headlining live on SHOWTIME Saturday, May 21 from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT headlined by Benavídez returning to fight in his home state of Arizona for the second-straight outing after delivering a knockout victory over Kyrone Davis in November 2021 on SHOWTIME. He will be taking on a hard-hitting former champion in Lemieux, making May 21 a clash of power punchers, as the two fighters have combined for 58 knockouts in their 68 wins (85% KO rate).
Here is what the Benavídez had to say Tuesday:
“I’m very excited to go into this fight against Lemieux, because he’s a guy I’ve watched for a long time and I like his style. We both have similar styles because we go for the knockout. That gets me very excited and motivates me a lot.
“We’re also fighting for the interim title and that makes the stage that much bigger. I’ve been training hard in camp for about three months getting ready for this fight. I’m just ready to go back home and win that title.
“If you win the interim title that means the next fight has to be for the title. I don’t think it should be any difference in this case. If Canelo Alvarez wants to fight at light heavyweight, then he’s going to have to vacate. It’s only fair.
“I train extremely hard to make sure I get the knockout. I just feel like I’m at my peak right now. I have a lot of skills, power and great experience. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ve done everything right in the gym.
“I see flaws in David’s game and I’m sure he sees flaws in me. I know he wants to stop me, and I want to stop him. This is going to be a great fight for the fans. This could be the Fight of the Year because of what’s at stake and because of the type of fighters we are. We’re two bulls going in there to see who has the most heart.
“I just want everyone to see that I’m the best in this weight class. I’m only looking at the fight in front of me. I have to win this fight before I can win anything else. But I do feel like everyone knows where I stand in this division. I’ve been calling out the best and I respect Lemieux for stepping up to take this fight.
“I wanted to fight back in Arizona again because we had a great event in November. This is my first title fight back at home and it’s a dream come true for me. Everything has fallen into place for me. I’ve had an amazing camp and I’m preparing for a great opponent. This has all the makings for a great fight. The energy is right. This is one of the biggest fights of my life and that’s how seriously I’m taking it.
“We’ve been in camp for a long time and we’ve been feeding off of each other’s energy. I’ve been putting in the work and getting my miles in. Seeing Jose Valenzuela and Diego Pacheco have great victories gives me even more energy. We’re all like brothers and we all push each other.
“The main goal for myself is to become unified champion at 168-pounds. It’s not just about me. I have a lot of fans that support me, and I’m doing it for them. They’ve supported me so much, so I want them to know that I’ve put 110% into training camp every time they come to a fight.
“I feel like I deserve the biggest fights. I’ve paid my dues and I’ve been here for a long time. But I have plenty of fuel in the gym solely because of how big this fight is. I think the other top guys are making a mistake not giving me the fight now, because the more I’m in the ring, the more I’m learning. It’s going to turn around and bite them when it’s time to get in the ring with me. Everything is going to be through the roof.”
Montana Love and Gabriel Valenzuela will clash in a Super-Lightweight battle on the undercard for Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 7, live on DAZN, excluding Latin America and Mexico. In the U.S. & Canada, the event will be offered exclusively on DAZN Pay-Per View (PPV). Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, March 23.
Love (17-0-1, 9 KOs) will fight under the Matchroom banner for the second time and on back-to-back Las Vegas fights, having dispatched Carlos Diaz inside three rounds at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in December. The Cleveland man is ranked #12 with the IBF and will look to crash into the top ten in style on The Strip but will need to be on his A-game against Valenzuela (25-2-1, 15 KOs).
The Mexican crashed into top ten with a road-win over Robbie Davies Jr. in London last February and has recorded a pair of KO wins in his homeland since that night. The May 7 showdown is a huge opportunity for him to sparkle in the spotlight alongside his fellow countryman Canelo, in a fight in association with Clase Y Talento and Canelo Promotions.
“Nothing changes on May 7,” said Love. “He’s just another body in the way.”
“I’m so proud to be sharing a spot on the card with such a great Champion, Canelo Alvarez,” said Valenzuela. “We’re prepared for this and training very hard for this fight against Montana Love. He’s a tough opponent but we’re going to come very hard to get the victory. That night Mexico is coming with everything we have.”
Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) sits #3 in the IBF rankings and the giant Croatian has been hunting a dance partner for a showdown to name the mandatory challenger for the title held by Oleksandr Usyk. The 29-year-old Olympic bronze medalist has cut a lethal swathe through the pro ranks to sit in a prime position for a deserved shot at the big prize, ending all but two of his fights inside the distance, and not going past the fifth round in his last seven outings.
A host of Heavyweights were offered the clash with the dangerous Croat, but not until it came to #13 ranked Zhang (23-0-1, 18 KOs) was a dance partner found, with the lofty Chinese star accepting the challenge. The 38-year-old has been circling for a major showdown, and ‘Big Bang’ gets his wish against Hrgovic in Sin City with the two KO artist promising to leave it all in the ring with the stakes so high.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for more than year,” said Hrgović. “Finally, I have an opponent willing to face me for the chance to fight for the IBF World title. So many fighters turned down this challenge so credit to Zhang for being brave enough to accept.
“I know he’s a good opponent. He won silver at the Olympics so that means he’s a good boxer, but he is too slow on his feet, and I believe I have better the qualities. My speed, stamina and footwork will be too much for him. I will break him down and I will beat him.
“I’m now only one fight away from my dream of boxing for a World title and nothing is going to stop me. Canelo is the face of boxing and I’m excited to get this opportunity on such a big show.
I’m ready to show the whole world that ‘El Animal’ is coming!”
“I am very happy that this fight is going to happen,” said Zhang. “I’ve been waiting on an opportunity – now it’s here and I’m not going to let it pass. When no-one else from the top 15 wanted to face Hrgovic, I told myself I had to do it for me and for the sport of boxing. This is the most important fight of my whole career. I’m all in. Don’t miss it!”
“Finally, we’ve found an opponent willing to accept the challenge,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “Having gone through the IBF rankings twice, Zhang has stepped up to face Filip Hrgović in an IBF World title final eliminator. We now have ‘El Animal’ versus ‘Big Bang’ for a shot at the biggest prize in boxing. This epic battle is going to light up T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where fans can witness the next Heavyweight Champion of the World in action.”
Love-Valenzuela and Hrgovic-Zhang lead the undercard for a blockbuster main event that sees pound-for-pound Mexican king Canelo looking to become a two-time World ruler at 175 lbs against long-reigning WBA champion Bivol on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
On Friday, Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 30 KOs) signed a new multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN.
The first fight will see him step up in weight to take on Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in a bid for the WBA Light-Heavyweight title on May 7. The second fight in the multi-fight deal is set for September, which could be a third fight with Gennadiy Golovkin.
Canelo Alvarez claimed the IBF Super-Middleweight strap last time out against a tough Caleb Plant, becoming the first boxer ever to become undisputed champion at Super-Middleweight. Prior to that, the Mexican star picked up the WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders respectively, all within a year to make history and cement his spot as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, a memorable period that saw the 31 year old bag numerous fighter of the year awards including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Ring Magazine.
Dmitry Bivol has been flawless in the paid ranks and now bags the blockbuster showdown he’s been craving in the form of boxing’s pound-for-pound king Canelo. Bivol picked up the WBA Light-Heavyweight title in 2016 and has defended it an impressive ten times already to become of the best active Light-Heavyweight fighters in the world.
“I am very happy with this fight against Dmitry Bivol,” said Canelo. “It is another great challenge for me and my career — especially as I go up in weight and face an exceptional light heavyweight champion like Bivol.
“I am also very excited that we have this fight slated for Cinco De Mayo Weekend – May 7 – for all the fans to enjoy. We will be ready, like we always are.”
“I always only wanted to fight the best!” said Bivol. “I believe that the rest of my goals will begin materialize on May 7!”
The May 7 blockbuster will be available to subscribers around the world on DAZN, excluding Latin America and Mexico. In the U.S. & Canada, the event will be offered exclusively on DAZN Pay-Per View (PPV) – newly introduced for very select events to come – and priced at $59.99 for current subscribers and $79.99 for new subscribers (inclusive of a one month subscription to DAZN).
Saul “Canelo” Álvarez(57-1-2, 39 KOs) had a busy 11 months. He fought four times, which all ended in wins for the Mexican superstar. On Saturday night in Las Vegas, he made history by becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion when he stopped IBF champion Caleb Plant(21-1, 12 KOs) in front of 16,586 fans at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but with your support, my family, and my team, we’ve gotten really far,” Álvarez told SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray (through a translator) following the historic victory. “This is for everybody, especially for Mexico. This is another one for our team. We did it tonight.”
After months of an intense buildup to the fight and ten rounds of back-and-forth action in the ring, the battle ended dramatically in the 11th round. Canelo connected flush on a left hook that signaled the beginning of the end for Plant, who fought bravely in his pay-per-view main event debut. Canelo followed up the left hook with a huge right uppercut that sent Plant to the canvas for the first time in his career. Plant returned to his feet but could never recover. Canelo pounced on his injured opponent, unleashing a barrage of power shots that again floored Plant.
This time, referee Russell Mora stepped in to end the action at 1:05 of the 11th.
At the time of the stoppage, the 31-year-old Canelo led on all three scorecards(96-94, 97-93, and 98-92).
Following the bout, Plant was taken to University Medical Center as a precaution.
Alvarez went after Plant’s body. Fifty-three of his 117 landed punches were to the body, and he landed 40 percent of his power shots. Canelo closed the show landing 9 of 14 power shots in the 11th round.
It was a history-making night for boxing’s biggest star. In addition to becoming the first undisputed 168-pound champion in history, he became just the sixth male undisputed champion in the four-belt era and the first undisputed Mexican fighter in history.
What’s next for Canelo? Does he stay at 168 and fight other PBC guys like David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo, or go back to DAZN and get a third fight with Gennady Golovkin. Does he go back up to 175 and face Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol? Alvarez has options, and it should be interesting where he goes from here. Regarding Plant, outside of Canelo, he can compete with anybody at 168, so he’ll rest up and get back at it.
Watch the stoppage HERE:
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) November 7, 2021
Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez and undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant previewed their historic showdown at the final press conference Wednesday before they meet in the SHOWTIME PPV main event this Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo and Plant shared the stage for the first time Wednesday since their heated announcement press conference in September, where the two fighters exchanged shoves and glancing blows in Los Angeles. The winner of Saturday’s highly-anticipated showdown will make history as the first undisputed super middleweight champion during the four-belt era.
Here is what Alvarez and Plant had to say Wednesday:
“I want to thank everyone for their support and for making this fight possible. We have come a long way in our career to make this happen. Now we’re just days away from making history.
“It’s so different when you’re in the ring, so I don’t really take anything from our altercation at the first press conference.
“I’ve faced many good fighters with skills that are similar to Caleb. It’s a style that I’ve seen before and I know what to do with it. That just gives me confidence in my experience heading into this fight.
“I always train 100% my hardest and for the style of my opponent. I like that idea that Caleb is coming in believing he will win this fight. It’s going to make it more exciting for the fans.
“The goal is to be an all-time great. I’m so proud of the journey I’ve taken to achieve that. I’m not going to stop until I’ve tried my best to reach that goal.
“Only one thing is going through my mind, and that’s winning. Everything else is outside of my control. I only care about what’s going to happen inside of the ring Saturday night.
“The fact that I can make history this weekend along with Formula One driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez, is very motivating for me. My goal is to make this an unbelievable weekend for Mexico.
“My emotions are under control. I’m excited for the fight of course. I’m excited to become undisputed champion and to make history. That’s what I want. But I can remain calm, because this is what I do.
“Only five male fighters in the history of boxing have accomplished becoming undisputed champion. I want to be the sixth. That’s the only thing on my mind.
“You’re going to want to tune-in to this fight. This fight is going to be history. You’re going to be witnessing something that you’re going to remember for a long time.”
“There’s not much time left and not much left to say. Leading up to this fight, Canelo said that the Mexicans don’t f*ck around. That’s good to know, because where I’m from, we don’t f*ck around either.
“Make sure you tune-in Saturday night. You’re going to see the first undisputed super middleweight champion ever in this sport. This is history and you’re looking at him. His name is Caleb Plant.
“It wasn’t my intention to get under Canelo’s skin at the first press conference. I think the media makes more of it than we do. We’ve both been in worse scuffles than that. When the bell rings, it’s completely different.
“I’m someone who likes to focus on what’s in front of me. Until recently, Canelo wasn’t in my weight division, so I didn’t think much about fighting him. Once he came in the division, I knew that it would be a huge mega fight and here we are.
“I have to get the job done by any means necessary. That’s what me and my team have done so far to get to this point. Whether it’s boxing or in life, I’ve gotten here by any means necessary. I had opportunities to bow out, and I haven’t. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring Saturday.
“The way I see this fight turning out is, Jimmy Lennon Jr. saying ‘the new undisputed and still undefeated’. Canelo’s had multiple close fights, but I believe the right people are in place to make the right decision Saturday night. All I can focus on is the game plan and the job that needs to be done.
“People are going to say what they’re going to say. But I get the final say and I can’t wait to prove everything in the ring. I can’t focus on what other people say about me. If I listened to the doubters, I wouldn’t even be here.
“I’ve been the underdog before. It’s a place I like to be. I like people rooting against me. It gives me extra motivation, but when you’re fighting for undisputed status, you don’t need much more motivation than that.
“Make sure you tune-in. This isn’t just the biggest fight of the year, but you’re tuning in to witness history when I get crowned the undisputed super middleweight champion.”
Photo: Amanda Westscott/SHOWTIME
Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez and undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant made their grand arrivals in Las Vegas on Tuesday, before they meet in a historic showdown that headlines a SHOWTIME PPV this Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
With fight week officially underway, Canelo and Plant move closer to their long-awaited opportunity to stamp their names in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.
At Tuesday’s event at MGM Grand, each fighter declared their intention of making history and emerging victorious Saturday night.
“It means a lot to me to win this fight for my legacy,” said Canelo. “That’s why we are here. He’s a good fighter with a lot of skills, but that’s nothing new for me. Saturday night, I’m going to make history.”
“I’ve dedicated my life to this sport,” said Plant. “I’ve sacrificed a lot. We’re happy to be here, but we’re not just happy to be here. We are here to win those belts and become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time.”
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Mexican superstar, four-division world champion and unified WBC/WBO/WBA Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Álvarez previewed his highly anticipated undisputed 168-pound championship showdown during a media conference call Wednesday before he takes on undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant on Saturday, November 6 live on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo will look to capture undisputed status for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career as he returns to SHOWTIME where he made his pay-per-view main event debut in September 2013. The winner of the November 6 bout will stamp his name in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.
Here is what Canelo told the media on Wednesday:
“I hope he has a good chin because he’s going to need it on fight night.
“I’m always ready. I just can’t wait. I feel strong and fast. With all of the talk, it’s become personal. He crossed a line. But I have to remain focused, because this is a very important fight for me.
“Caleb has good boxing skills. He has good movement and a good jab. But it’s nothing new for me. I know what I need to do. I need to be patient in the early rounds and then start doing my job.
“Even harder than getting to the top is staying there. That’s why I try to get better each and every day. That’s what I’ve been trying to do from my first fight up until now.
“I’m 100% focused on this fight. There’s nothing else crossing my mind. After it’s over, we’ll figure out who the next opponent will be.
“Being the undisputed champion is huge for my legacy. Not only would it be an honor to be the first Latin American fighter to do it, but there’s only a select club of fighters who have achieved this. Eddy and I said in the beginning that the goal was to be undisputed, and now we’re one fight away.
“Everyone knows what I’m going to do in the ring. When something is personal with me, it’s different. I have something special in my mind and I’m going to make it a great night for us.
“The pandemic made me have to slow down for about a year, so I’m thankful that I’ve been active since then. Things are going fast now, and I love it. I’m thankful to be in this position.”
Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant held a virtual media workout Wednesday ahead of his highly anticipated 168-pound title showdown against Mexican superstar, four-division world champion and unified WBC/WBO/WBA Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Álvarez taking place Saturday, November, 6 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The unbeaten and supremely talented Plant will attempt to earn a career-defining victory and keep his perfect record intact as he makes his fourth world title defense. The winner of the November 6 bout will stamp his name in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.
Here is what Plant had to say Wednesday:
“This is personal for me, but every fight is personal for me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for this sport and dedicated myself completely, so anybody who’s getting in the way of my goals makes it personal to me. No matter who it is.
“There are a lot of things that I possess that are going to give him issues in the fight. Every fighter says this is their best camp, but I am honestly saying that. I’ve had no injuries, amazing sparring and I’m ready to rock.
“I have a lot of respect for this sport. I’ve dedicated myself to this sport and sacrificed every day. I want my name in those history books. November 6 is a big step toward that goal.
“I have a big opportunity ahead of me. I haven’t taken any shortcuts in my training. I’m prepared physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m just locked in.
“There have been some guys who lost before the bell even rang against Canelo. I think that’s why he’s so irritated with me. Some guys just come in and are there to hand over their belt, get their check and leave. Anyone who knows me, they know I’m only here for those belts.
“I’m grateful and appreciative of this opportunity. But I’m not here focusing on building my name, I’m here for those belts and for that win. That’s all I’m focused on.
“He says the first few rounds will be tough, but I’m saying all the rounds are going to be tough for him. He’s got a tall order in front of him. Me and my team are focused and ready. I’m just encouraging everyone to tune in, because it’s going to be fireworks.
“This is the best shape I’ve ever been in. You have to train like a world champion, even before you are one, and that’s what I’ve always done. I’m peaking at just the right time. The moment isn’t going to be too big for me. The closer we get, the smaller the moment feels.
“It’s been a long journey for me and my dad (co-trainer Richie Plant). Those tough moments made me the fighter that I am now. I have a great team behind me and we’re all ready for November 6.
“Camp has been great. Sparring has been pushing me hard. I’m just looking to finish out this camp. I can’t wait for the first bell.”
Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME