Dmitry Bivol breaks down how he beat Canelo Alvarez and his plans for a rematch and beyond

Dmitry Bivol scored the biggest win of his career by far on Saturday, beating Canelo Alvarez by decision in Las Vegas to stay unbeaten and retain his WBA light heavyweight title.

Bivol (20-0, 11 KO) spoke at his post-fight press conference, brushing aside any thoughts that it was disrespectful to have him enter second despite being the defending titleholder, and discussing the power of Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KO) as a light heavyweight, plus much more.

Before the presser officially goes live, the mics caught Eddie Hearn talking with Bivol and Vadim Kornilov at the table.

“In his last two fights, there’s nothing that showed he could do that,” Hearn said in conversation. “We know how good he was, you always believed in him. But to perform like that on that stage is very special. Because most fighters can’t produce that when it matters.”

Bivol remarked, “If not for my last two fights, I wouldn’t get this fight. 100 percent.”

It’s an interesting little look at a conversation that wasn’t specifically for the media.

Anyway, on to the stuff that was, lightly edited just for clarity as English is not Bivol’s first language (though it’s not difficult to understand him at all).

On what he felt was the key in the victory

“The whole fight, I was focused. I saw how he threw hard punches. He threw only hard punches. After (all the) hard punches, he was a little bit tired. Tired, tired. Canelo is a good fighter as a counter-puncher, but I made (him fight more aggressively), and I was the counter-puncher today. It was the key.”

On whether he was surprised at how “easy” it was

“I just felt that I won the fight. I don’t know.”

On being criticized for not being entertaining previously

“My last fights, I didn’t enjoy it in the fight. It wasn’t a challenge for me. I just defended my title against some guys, and everyone bet on me. I enjoyed this one, and I heard a lot of fans yelling. It motivated me today, and I really enjoyed the fight.”

On Canelo’s greatness bringing out his own greatness

“Of course, if my opponent is better, I’ll show my better side. … I didn’t expect that he was better. I expected that. I believed in myself, I believed I could win. I knew he had hard punches and would beat on my body, on my arm, and throw the left hooks. I expected that and he did it.”

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