Former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. says Canelo Alvarez made a collosol mistake returning to the 175-lb division to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol for his title after having competed in that weight class in 2019.
Jones feels that the 5’8 1/2″ Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) is too small for the 175-lb division, and he should have left well enough alone after defeating WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev by an 11th round knockout in his prior experience in that weight class in November 2019.
What the 1988 U.S Olympic silver medalist Jones Jr. might not have considered is the possibility that Canelo wanted to move up to 175 because he’s got a lot of heat on him at 168 in the form of David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade, and David Morrell Jr.
Those are the ‘Big Three’ at 168, and each one of them are a huge threat to the 31-year-old Canelo, particularly Benavidez. They’re coming for Canelo and, like sharks in the water, smelling blood, and they’re ready to ready to rip away his four titles at super middleweight.
So instead of Canelo staying at 168 to face the ravenous three sharks, he moves up to 175 to take on the highly technical boxer Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), who isn’t much of a puncher but a highly skilled guy that has the ability the Mexican star has never seen before.
Losing to Bivol didn’t come with as much of a backlash for Canelo as if he were wiped out by Benavidez, Andrade, or Morrell Jr. In other words, there was a method to Canelo’s madness in returning to the 175-lb division to take on Bivol.
Canelo likely thought he was choosing the weakest link in picking Bivol, as there was less chance of being knocked out by the technical fighter than if he were to have taken on IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev or WBO champion Joe Smith Jr.
“I would say, yes, he deserved the criticism, and I only say he deserves the criticism because you already went to 175, you beat [Sergey] Kovalev, so what are you going back to 175 for?” Roy Jones Jr. said to the DAZN Boxing Show about Canelo Alvarez’s decision to return to the light heavyweight division to challenge Dmitry Bivol for his WBA 175-lb title after having fought in that weight class in 2019.
“Are you trying to stay at 175? It’s obvious you’re not big enough to stay at 175; this is not the weight class for you. Are you doing this to win titles?
“You’ve already been there, done that; why do you keep going back?” Jones Jr said about Canelo.