Eddie Hearn is confident that undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will defend his four titles against Dmitry Bivol in September instead of their rematch taking place in the 175-lb division once again.
First, Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will test his surgically repaired left wrist against John Ryder in May. The fight still hasn’t been made, but Hearn is hoping it will because it will be a mandatory defense for Canelo.
If he doesn’t want to lose his WBO belt, he’s got to defend against Ryder. As long as Canelo is 100% and not dealing with the stamina problems that caused him issues against Bivol and Gennadiy Golovkin in 2022, he should breeze through the Ryder without any hiccups.
WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol already proved himself to cut above Canelo last May at 175, defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision and giving him a boxing lesson in the process.
It would be a waste of Bivol and the fans’ time for the rematch with Canelo to take place at light heavyweight, so it’s got to take place at 168.
By scheduling the rematch with Canelo at super middleweight, Bivol will have the opportunity to become undisputed. As for Canelo, if loses, it won’t be the end of the world for him because Bivol will vacate the belts, allowing him to retrieve them one by one, as he’d quickly done in 2021.
Bivol will return to the 175-lb division to face IBF, WBC & WBO champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed.
Hearn says he’s got a great deal of work to do to make the Canelo-Bivol II rematch happen at 168, but he says Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) is ready to take the fight at the weight.
“I’m going to put my neck on the line and say Canelo Alvarez is going to fight Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed championship at 168,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, but Dmitry Bivol is up for the challenge,” said Hearn.
Canelo should be in a better position to win the rematch with Bivol because he’ll be in his natural weight class at 168, and he’ll have an edge. Presumably, Bivol won’t be as strong as the last time they fought because he’ll have to cut an extra seven pounds to get down to 168 from 175.
“Dmitry Bivol is about legacy. He has a chance if he can beat Canelo Alvarez, to fight Beterbiev in his next fight for the undisputed at 175. Yarde is fighting Beterbiev [on January 28th]. If he wins, he fights Bivol, said Hearn.