5 things we saw and heard in the Canelo vs. Bivol fight

I never thought it would be possible to see a sold-out arena filled with, for the most part, Mexicans singing “La Chona” at the top of their lungs, throwing and spilling beer all over the stadium floor while trying to dance with the person closest to them falling absolutely silent an hour later. Of course, I hadn’t thought I would see Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez lose his first fight since 2013. The enthusiastic “Vamos Canelo” from the early rounds turned into desperate calls for the 11th. While some around me had lost all faith by then, others were still hoping for a knockout. It wouldn’t be the first time El Canelo won by knockout, a sportswriter seated next to me assured me. But that didn’t happen.

To the dismay of everyone but the three Russian men two rows in front of me, Dmitry Bivol won the fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 7.

Held over Cinco de Mayo weekend, fans flocked to Vegas for Hennessy Fight Night and all the events leading up to it. For everyone I spoke to, a loss to Canelo was unfathomable. And that would have been quite a story – Canelo, the Mexican, defeating the foreign enemy, Bivol, against all odds. Much like the Mexicans defended Puebla and defeated the French army in 1862. However, the narrative ultimately held firm. Bivol was not the real intruder in this situation; he was defending his light heavyweight title. It wasn’t Cinco de Mayo. It was May 5.

While the outcome may not have been what many Canelo fans wanted, the fight was the perfect opportunity to see all the tenets that make so many people flock to the in-game boxer. Much has been written and says about the discipline, heritage and family focus of the Guadalajara native. All this was present and visible this weekend. Here are five things Remezcla saw — and heard — during the Canelo vs. Bivol Hennessy Fight Night weekend.

The “Never Stop, Never Settle” mantra holds up

But Never Stop, Never Settle” is the slogan of Hennessy, taken up by the ambassadors of its brand, the Canelo vs. Bivol fight was the manifestation of this. Yes, Canelo lost, but that’s sport, baby. Like he said in the post-fight interview, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But he didn’t settle. After winning all available championships in the light-middleweight class, instead of maxing out, he went for the next challenge: moving up a weight class and taking on the undefeated champion. It’s only Canelo’s second career loss, and he’s already demanded a rematch. As the message from the Hennessy x Canelo partnership says, the Mexican boxer is “in the constant search for excellence.

Being a Hennessy partner since 2017Jasmin Allen, SVP at Hennessy, tells Remezcla there is a philosophical alignment between Canelo and the brand. “We saw attributes in him that we felt were synonymous with our own attributes as a brand,” she said of parenthood with the Mexican boxer. “Both Canelo and Hennessy believe in the power of community. Believe in the power of family. Believe in the power of mastering your craft. Believe in the power to push the limits of potential, to go as far as you can. Every time Canelo steps into the ring, he demonstrates it.

Las Vegas really wants to make Cinco de Mayo a reality

Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day (September 15) in Las Vegas is a tradition for many Mexicans, and of course the city knows it. For decades, Mexicans have flocked to Vegas to “dar el grito” and catch concerts by some of the biggest names in Mexican music. This weekend is big for boxing too – so imagine if you could replicate it twice a year. From Bivol wishing a “Happy Cinco de Mayo” to a mostly Mexican crowd booing him at the Fight Fest event to the mariachis present at every Canelo appearance to soundtrack his entries, the focus has been on the holidays. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the strip, the festival RITMO featuring artists like Myke Towers and Farruko was taking place. Will Cinco de Mayo weekend in Vegas be the new vacation destination for Mexicans? Time will tell, but the wheels of marketing are turning.

Canelo wears matching outfits with his family

At the pre-fight weigh-in, Canelo showed up with his daughters and wife wearing matching fuchsia and zebra Dolce and Gabbana tracksuits – which was beyond adorable. And not only that, but a Mexican world champion boxer wearing pink all over (see his pink and gold D&G fight shorts and zarape) one of the most important fights of his life? He said fucking machismo, and we love it. Also, a special homage to the lavender sequin and tulle dresses that Canelo’s wife and daughter wore on fight night — another adorable moment and quite the service. His daughter Maria Fernanda adorably applauded her father from the front row.

Canelo’s Pre-Fight Grub

Ok, this one is 100% hearsay – that’s why the title also indicates things we’ve overheard, so take it with a grain or 10 of salt. Over dinner the night before the fight with Hennessy, a man claiming he was associated with Team Canelo said the boxer would eat sushi and meatless teppanyaki in his hotel room before the big fight. You can say you heard it from Remezcla’s resident chismosa.

Boxing amplifies the entertainment factor

Boxing matches are great entertainment events – that’s no news to anyone. As fights began to enter the entertainment world, with singers and celebrities walking hand-in-hand with boxers, for example, they began to increase the spectacle aspect. In the age of social media, where every moment can be worth documenting, it’s no surprise that Canelo is raising the bar for bringing it all to life. The contrast was blinding between the entries of the two boxers, with Bivol opting for a normal strut to the ring. Canelo, on the other hand, has grown tall. As mentioned above, a full mariachi band performed “The Final Countdown” and “Mexico Lindo Y Querido” as they released fireworks and pyrotechnics from a platform, decked out in their Dolce ensemble. & Gabbana. No musician hung by the edges of his cohort this time, as he himself was the rock star that night.

Elizabeth J. Harless