Keith Thurman says Jermell Charlo should study how Dmitry Bivol fought Canelo Alvarez to try and duplicate the type of style that he could use to defeat him on September 30th.
Thurman notes that WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol successfully threw three-punch combinations and retreated to the outside while keeping his left extended to keep Canelo at bay from getting to him.
As Thurman points out, it was really simple what Bivol did but very effective against Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs), rendering him helpless.
The question is whether Jermell’s trainer Derrick James has taken time to study the success that Bivol had to want to use that as a blueprint.
One of Derrick’s fighters, Errol Spence Jr., looked like he was ill-prepared for his recent fight against Terence Crawford, which has many boxing fans questioning whether he’s a good enough trainer to prepare his fighters for facing elite-level opposition.
Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is coming into the fight against undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo as the underdog, given that he’s moving up in weight 14 lbs and has never faced anyone of that caliber before during his career.
Moreover, Jermell hasn’t fought for over a year, and he could have a lot of ring rust coming off a long layoff to battle Canelo at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Watch how Bivol beat him. There was a special combo that Bivol threw that kept Canelo at bay, especially when Canelo was on the ropes,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV about what Jermell Charlo should study to learn how to beat Canelo Alvarez.
“It was the one, the two, and the one. That’s what people forget sometimes. When you want to maximize distance, you bop-bop boom, and then he kept doing that retreat thing. Bop-bop boom, and then he would step back and kept his [left] hand up high].
“That one & the two and the one if you’ve got the reach and you want to stay and boom-boom boom because when you throw the three, that’s a one-two, that’s a hook.
“So what you’re doing is you’re stepping in at the one, you’re covering space on the two, and you’re bringing yourself in closer to land the hook. But when you’re staying out here for the one-two, one.
“Go back and watc Bivol. I know Bivol had the reach to do this to Canelo. He kept Canelo at bay with that jab. It was almost like a little stiff arm. I call it drawing a line in the sky. It’s like bob-bop boom.
“I’m not letting you get in closer because I have the reach advantage, and for you to hit me, you have to cross this line. I can keep you at bay, and it’s easy work, and it was for Bivol.
“I didn’t like Canelo’s athleticism at 175. He made a few comments about his camp. I heard it was the first time he was a vegan for a camp. It was a lot of small things, but to me, he had a lot of extra weight on his lats,” said Thurman.
Canelo looked bulky against Bivol like he’d been hitting the weights a lot and hadn’t done enough cardio.
That would explain why Canelo faded after the third round and spent the last nine rounds with his back against the ropes.
“Bivol looked cut, shredded, ready to fight. He looked very pathetic, and Canelo looked still very heavy,” said Thurman. “So that’s the problem in moving up. I don’t mind fighters moving up. I always encourage them to keep their athleticism and don’t be afraid to be the smaller guy in the ring.
“I would still lead to Canelo, but with the right camp and the right game plan because what Bivol did, it wasn’t fancy. That’s what’s hard for a lot of fighters. A lot of fighters want a lot said about them. They want to prove more than, ‘Look, kid, I got you this round. Look, kid, I got you another round,'” said Thurman.