Canelo Alvarez seems to have made his mind up that he will press ahead to take the rematch with Dmitry Bivol after he takes a tune-up in May against likely John Ryder.
Canelo, 32, is obviously feeling the pressure from his followers to at least try and avenge his loss to Bivol, but in this case, he should ignore them.
Alvarez had always been so careful with his match-making during his long career it seemed out of character for him to suddenly become a daring risktaker by facing Bivol.
In the eyes of many boxing fans, it’s a bad idea for Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) to fight Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) again because he was so badly overmatched last May and was lucky to be given five rounds by the Nevada judges in a fight that he appeared to win only two.
Bivol admitted afterward that he had intentionally taken his foot off the accelerator during the only two rounds in which Canelo had any success in the first half of the contest. Had Bivol continued to pressure Canelo, he might have knocked him out.
One thing Canelo has going for him in the rematch with Bivol is that it will likely take place at 168, which means that Dmitry could be weight drained enough to lose some rounds legitimately.
When you couple that with the probability that the rematch will be back at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the same venue where Canelo fought Bivol last May and the same place where his fights with Gennadiy Golovkin took place, it gives him more of a chance of winning.
“Last May, Canelo Alvarez lost to Dmitry Bivol at light heavy. Since then, he beat a 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin at super middleweight in a trilogy fight,” said Max Kellerman on Max on Boxing.
“Is he really going to fight Bivol again? Because that seems like a bad idea to me. If I was trying to get Canelo beaten, the guy I would have picked for years would have been Bivol. That’s the hardest fight for him.
“The most fan-friendly fight would be Beterbiev, and I think, actually, it’s not that Beterbiev doesn’t have real chances of winning that fight. But maybe a more winnable fight for Canelo. What else can you tell me about the Canelo-Bivol rematch?”
“Well, I spoke to Eddie Hearn this week, and he said the plan right now, he believes, is Canelo Alvarez is going to fight John Ryder in May, and then pursue a fight with Bivol, but this time at 168 where Canelo maintains the undisputed champion rather than 175,” said Mike Coppinger.
“Canelo has been steadfast all along. He had wrist surgery after the fight with Golovkin. He said he wasn’t 100% when he fought Bivol. Now that he had the surgery, he’s going to have an easier fight with John Ryder.
“He believes after the surgery and fighting at 168, and now that he’s had 12 rounds with Bivol, he’s feeling a lot more confident, I’m told.
“Bivol, for his part, he has no problems fighting Canelo at 168, and he said he has no interest in a rematch at 175, considering how easy he beat him. I had it 10-2. Forget about what the judges said in that fight, Bivol wants to be the undisputed champion.
“So, I think it’s overwhelmingly like Canelo-Bivol in September,” said Coppinger.
“Bivol is really as much a super middleweight as he is a light heavyweight,” said Kellerman. “He’s always been a super middleweight, light heavyweight.
“Okay, if Canelo can do it, it’s amazing. Kudos to him for trying, but he might he might be losing that undisputed super middleweight championship because Bivol can really box.
“Wrong style for Canelo, who is a really good counterpunch and can cut off the ring, has quick hands, but his feet are not as quick as his hands. It’s a bad combination against a guy like Bivol.
“By the way, Benavidez is still out there. If you want to pinpoint the guy who people really want to see Canelo fight, it’s Benavidez. We’ll see how he does against Plant,” said Kellerman.