WBC won’t sanction Canelo vs. Bivol II for 168-lb title

By Jeff Sorby - 05/17/2023 - Comments

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says his organization won’t sanction a fight between undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol at 168 in September because the World Boxing Council still has a ban in place for Russian boxers due to the war in Ukraine.

As such, if Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) wants to fight for Canelo’s WBC at 168, he would have to receive an exemption from the sanctioning body

At the moment, the WBC’s stance is meaningless because Canelo (59-2-2, 39  KOs) has already gone on record to say that the rematch with Bivol must take place at 175, not 168.

Canelo wants the rematch with Bivol to take place at the same weight they fought at last year in May because he doesn’t want boxing fans to criticize him for making Dmitry boil down to 168.

It’s understandable for Canelo to be insisting on the rematch with Bivol taking place at 175 because he would never hear the end of it if they fought at 168 and he beat him. Canelo would receive no credit from boxing fans for his victory.

Bivol hasn’t yet said whether he’ll refuse to take the rematch if it’s not held at 168, so it’s likely that he’ll agree to it taking place at 175 again. He won’t have an opportunity to win Canelo’s 168-lb, but the money will be good, and his popularity will increase if he fights well and wins.

It’s important that Bivol shifts into second, third, and fourth gears for the Canelo rematch because he looked like he wasn’t going all out. Bivol almost lost the fight, and he’d only have himself to blame if he did.

For the rematch, Bivol needs to fight a lot harder because Canelo will pick the venue that gives him his best chance of winning. If Bivol doesn’t want to get robbed, he’s going to need to really put it on Canelo this time.

“No, not at this moment,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said to Izquierdazo on whether the World Boxing Council will sanction the Canelo-Bivol rematch at super middleweight.

“Our definition was clear. It is a constant and consistent position. Bivol has not approached the process that we opened for all those boxers willing to apply for their specific case to be reviewed. Bivol has not done it. So for the moment, Bivol cannot participate in a WBC-sanctioned fight.

“As long as there is no boxing in Ukraine, there will not be boxing in Russia sanctioned by WBC,” said Sulaiman.

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