Canelo Alvarez’s recent one-sided defeat at the hands of Dmitry Bivol on May 7th highlighted deterioration that had otherwise been disguised due to the weak opposition that he’d been feasting on in the last several years.
What we saw in Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs), essentially losing every round of his fight against WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), was a fighter that is not only well past his prime but one that is bordering on being entirely shot.
Age is creeping in
Although Canelo is young at 31, he resembled a much older fighter inside the ring against Bivol and in his two previous fights against Caleb Plant & Billy Joe Saunders.
Fortunately for Canelo, those two former 168-lb champions were too poor to take advantage of the deterioration in his game. Bivol was still in his prime and undressed Canelo for the public to see all his defects.
We likely would have seen the same flaws exposed if Canelo had fought one of the talented 160 & 168-pounders like Gennadiy Golovkin, Janibek Alimkhanuly, and David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade & David Morrell Jr.
Flaws in Canelo’s game
1. Poor stamina
2. Low work rate
3. Unable to throw combinations
4. Loading up 100% of the time on shots
Indeed, many in the media had Bivol winning 12-0 against Canelo. If not for the overall generous scoring by the Nevada judges, the Mexican star would have been laughed out of the ring at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 115-113 scores the three judges turned in that night for Bivol were beyond laughable; it was pathetic.
We saw Canelo being exposed in a way that shows that he’s NOT the fighter he once was and that he would have NO chance of defeating guys like Benavidez, Morrell Jr, Andrade Janibek, and even 40-year-old Golovkin.
I don’t know if it’s age or Canelo focusing too much on golf at this stage in his life. But whatever it is, he’s not the fighter he once was, and he’s going to continue to lose unless he returns to carefully choosing his opposition like before.
Bivol beat Canelo at his game
“You knew when Canelo was in real trouble when Bivol didn’t fight his fight anymore,” said Teddy Atlas on The Fight Game.
“When he [Bivol] went inside to the other guy’s land to where the geography was better for Canelo on the inside, and he still won rounds, he still won those moments.
“That’s when you knew it was a long night for Mr. Canelo. When he [Bivol] fought the wrong fight, and he still made it the right fight by going in close, Bivol.
“The other thing is he controlled the jab, he controlled the range for the most part, and he put punches together. I’ll tell you what really did in Canelo.
“Canelo’s great trainer Eddy Reynoso. Who had the better fight plan? The guy you never heard of, Bivol’s trainer. Nobody has ever heard of him. He’s been his trainer since the amateurs. Who had the better fight plan? Canelo’s people or Bivol’s people?”