Tim Bradley isn’t one of the many naive fans & talking heads that believe that WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will fold just as easily against Canelo Alvarez as the super middleweights that he beat last year to become the undisputed champion at 168.
Canelo will be challenging Bivol for his WBA light heavyweight title less than a month from now on May 7th on DAZN pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The venue is designed for Canelo in that’s the same battleground where he fought Gennadiy Golovkin twice in 2017 & 2017.
It’s believed that by Canelo choosing to stage his fight with Bivol in that location, he’s showing how concerned he is about this fight.
Bradley feels that Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) is a completely different guy than the fighters that Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has chosen to fight in 2021 to capture all the belts at 168.
Not only does Bradley think Bivol is superior to who Canelo has been padding his record against lately in what he claims is to shape his legacy, but he also thinks he could outbox the Mexican star.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) April 2, 2022
Bradley points out that Bivol has the kryptonite to defeat the counter-punching Canelo in the form of his powerful jab, and moves in & out quite well.
He’s bigger & stronger than the fighters the 31-year-old Canelo has been fighting, and he’s not someone that is going to make foolish mistakes by sitting on the ropes the way Callum Smith & Caleb Plant did in their sights against the Mexican star.
“Canelo vs. Bivol? Bivol can make things interesting. Strong jab, strong foundation, great footwork and fights well off the back foot,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype in previewing Canelo vs. Bivol on May 7th.
To be sure, Bivol can make things more than interesting against Canelo. He can turn this fight into a haunting nightmare for Alvarez, employing the same tactics that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did to easily defeat the Mexican star.
Bivol is capable of doing a better job than Mayweather did against Canelo because he’s faster on his feet than Floyd was back then, better jab, power, and size. This fight very well could wind up being a total massacre with Bivol embarrassing Canelo.
Canelo is a flat-footed counter puncher, who slowly plods forward behind his high guard looking to land single kill shots. His work rate is low at this late stage in his career, and he hasn’t improved from the fighter he was.
Some casual boxing fans believe Canelo has improved, but if you look at how he fought from 2004 to 2013, it’s clear that he’s not gotten better.
Canelo’s punch is very low now, and his style of fighting is one-dimensional now with him just looking to land single kill shots, and incapable of throwing combinations
“We know that the jab can disrupt the timing of a counter-puncher [Canelo],” Bradley continued. “Canelo likes to use the high guard, walk guys down. He’s slow with it, consistent, steady with his approach.
“He looks to wear guys out physically. One with his presence and another with just blocking a lot of their punches, letting them gas out a bit, letting them move, and then he looks for the kill-shot later in the fight. I’ve noticed a pattern with Canelo doing that.
“Then when he [Canelo] does counter-punch, he’s vicious. So he takes a lot out of you that way as well. Defensively, allowing you to punch on him, blocking shots, and then he’s hitting you at the same time.
“I think it’s going to be a very critical fight. Look, this is the thing. For me, I think Canelo can be out-boxed, I really do. I think there’s still a weakness there with the guy.
“Look, Billy Joe [Saunders] wasn’t doing nothing, but trying to find a way to hide. He wasn’t doing nothing. He was going to get stopped, I knew that was coming,” said Bradley.
“This guy [Bivol] is a lot stronger at 175 pounds. He’s a lot stronger than Billy Joe Saunders, he punches harder than Billy Joe Saunders. He has a right hand, great boxer, great footwork, he can get in & out on Canelo, and he can punch.
“The only problem is he’s got to stay off the ropes,” said Bradley about the unbeaten Bivol. “That’s the only problem. If I’m training this dude, I’m saying, ‘If you don’t keep this fight in the center of the ring, you’re going to lose this fight.
“He does,” said Bradley when told that Bivol moves in straight lines backward after attacking. “He’ll move in & out, but he’s really good and calculated with distance. Every now and then, he’ll get clipped on the way out. I’ve seen that.
“You get clipped by Canelo [you’re in trouble]. Yeah, he’s been hurt a few times, but I don’t see Canelo stopping this guy, I really don’t. If he does stop him, there’s no denying Canelo his spot, bro in legacy, in my opinion.
“Now, he can move forward and face the winner of [Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. for the undisputed 175-lb championship],” said Bradley.