The talented and hotly tipped Bivol was stepping up in class, as he has done with everyone of his fights, and was expected to be pushed hard by Valera, who had impressed in out pointing Stanislav Kashtanov last year. Instead however he made it look easy as he showed a real maturity and calmness to his boxing from the first round.
The opening round was a slow and patient from both men, with neither looking to take risks. As the fight progressed the risk taking didn't really change, but Bivol managed to up the pressure, force Valera backwards. When he was doing that he was winning rounds with his calm and accurate punching being too much for Valera who was trying to counter, but wasn't given the opportunity. In round 3 that work rate saw Valera struggling, whilst in round 5 Valera seemed to show the first signs that he was worried about Bivol's power.
It was smart of Valera to be wary, but that didn't help and in round 6 he was caught by some bombs from Bivol, who dropped Valera and almost came close to stopping Valera who was very lucky to see out the round, and looked completely done.
Valera had recovered in round 7, but that was a temporary relief with Bivol unloading on Valera in round 8, and against dropping dropping the champion, who was forced to take a huge amount of punishment through the round.
Knowing he was well in the lead, especially given the two knockdowns, Bivol seemed to relax, slow down and take a breather in round 9. The championship rounds again saw Bivol step it up, but it seemed clear that he was happy to take the win without risking too much, he came forward, patiently and intelligently pressed the action and although Valera had his moments it was always a controlled effort from Bivol.
Given the dominant performance their was no doubting the winner, with Bivol taking the bout thanks to scores of 119-107, twice, and 116-111.