Eddie Hearn is expressing concern for his fighter Canelo Alvarez about his risky fight against the bigger WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in their main event fight on DAZN on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hearn notes that Canelo, 31, will be dealing with an entirely different kettle of fish compared to the last time he moved up to 175 to pick off an old 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
Kovalev was shot at a fighter when Canelo got to him three years ago to snatch his WBO light heavyweight title. This time, Canelo will be going up to 175 to fight a young, light heavyweight champion in unbeaten 31-year-old Bivol, who is in the zenith of his career and has fewer miles on the odometer than the golden-haired Mexican star.
Also, the last four years of Canelo’s career have been mainly spent picking off vulnerable belt-holders, and not true world champions were a threat to beating him.
Hearn probably doesn’t want to admit it. Still, Canelo has been carefully cherry-picking flawed champions while steering away from the shark-invested waters against these killers: David Morrell Jr, David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Gennadiy Golovkin, and Artur Beterbiev.
“Probably Canelo-Bivol, to be honest with you, because as good as Canelo is, this is a tough, dangerous fight because moving up to 175 is a disadvantage unquestionably,” said Eddie Hearn on which of Canelo’s two fights in 2022 that concerns him.
While Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso must think of themselves as clever by picking off belts against vulnerable champions, what they don’t realize is that picking weak champions comes at a cost.
When you stop taking risks, your skills wither away, becoming more like the flawed fighters you’re facing. The long four-year break that Canelo has enjoyed between his last elite-level opponent in Gennady Golovkin has likely hurt his game.
When Canelo gets in the ring with Bivol, it might be too much of a shock to his system for him to find that fifth gear that he once had years ago when he was facing the best continually.
If Canelo loses this fight against Bivol, the second match of his two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing & DAZN against Gennady Golovkin will disappear. That’s the fight fans wanted to see.
The Bivol fight is more for Canelo’s ego to capture titles in hopes of becoming the undisputed champion at 175 in 2024. Golovkin is the vital fight of Canelo’s two-fight deal with Matchroom/DAZN in 2022, and that’s why the Mexican star must beat Bivol.
You can bet that Hearn will be sweating bullets during the Canelo vs. Bivol fight, hoping that nothing goes wrong for his star.
As I mentioned, Canelo can lose because his skills have atrophied due to soft match-making, and his work rate has dropped off the side of the cliff in recent years. Canelo is getting old and focuses more on swerving the talented fighters and playing golf.
“To do it against a young light heavyweight in his prime whose undamaged,” Hearn said about Bivol being dangerous for Canelo because he’s young and in the zenith of his career.
“It’s not like Sergey Kovalev, who has lived a bad life and is getting a bit old. This is a prime light heavyweight. So, I worry about the Bivol fight because I think it’s a really tough fight,” said Hearn.
Bivol is definitely in his prime, and his style of fighting is a bad for Canelo.
The mobility alone that Bivol has makes him a severe threat to Canelo.
But when you add Bivol’s size, combination punching, power, and steel chin, he’ll probably beat Canelo unless we see him square up and beg the Mexican star to hit him.