This time he was facing a fighter who was not only bigger but equally skillful. Both men displayed a high, tight guard early on that made landing solid punches difficult. But Bivol was the busier fighter scoring points with a metronome-like jab and starting to land sharp combinations by the third as Alvarez began to spend periods of each round laying with his back to the ropes allowing the champion to blister him.
Alvarez looked to come on in the ninth pressing forward as Bivol seemed to take the round off. The champion came back in the tenth, though. The pair traded punches over the final two rounds but Bivol got the nod 115-113 on all three judges' score cards.