It seems there is some very real doubt we will see a return fight between Dmitry Bivol and Canelo Alvarez. As fans know, the unbeaten Russian defeated Canelo via wide (it should have been wider) decision in May of last year, this when the Mexican star made his second foray into the 175 pound division. Almost as soon as he had been beaten, Canelo made it clear he wanted to fight Bivol again.
But now it seems the two sides are at loggerheads over what weight a return fight should be fought at. Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s manager, spoke with ESPN Knockout, and he said the terms Canelo wants for the rematch, which is to have the fight under the same terms as fight-one, are unacceptable.
Canelo says he wants the rematch at 175, Bivol says he has already beaten Canelo at the weight and that he wants a different challenge, with him wanting to try and win Canelo’s super-middleweight belts.
“They don’t want a rematch,” Kornilov said of Team-Canelo. “They know that they lost very badly in the first fight and that they have less chances of winning in the second. When have you heard of a fighter who, after losing, asked for a rematch on the same terms? In my opinion I think they don’t want a rematch and they are saying that to justify themselves and make another fight like they did with [Gennady] Golovkin, John Ryder and maybe [Edgar] Berlanga. A rematch cannot take place on the same terms as the fight you lost. It’s stupid. We are looking forward. Artur Beterbiev is our target.”
On one hand, if Canelo did fight Bivol again but down at 168 pounds, and if Canelo won, some critics would undoubtedly say Bivol was “weight drained” and “weakened” at having made 168. On the other hand, Bivol and his team are clearly against the rematch taking place at 175. This is the impasse the two sides have reached.
Could we fans stand not seeing a Bivol-Canelo II? Yes. In fact, ask a fight fan, and chances are they will tell you they would rather see a Bivol-Beterbiev light-heavyweight unification showdown instead of a Bivol-Canelo II. Where Canelo would go next if he didn’t get a Bivol return we don’t know, but Bivol has seemingly got his sights firmly fixed on his countryman Beterbiev, who holds the other three belts at 175 pounds.
Meanwhile, Beterbiev will face Callum Smith in Canada on August 19th.