This Saturday night Canelo-Bivol headlines at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Alvarez will challenge Dmitry Bivol for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title. Canelo-Bivol is part of what’s become Alvarez yearly tradition of fighting on Cinco De Mayo weekend. Having been on a tear as of late by unifying the Super Middleweight titles Canelo has a new objective.

 

What’s Different?

In this outing Canelo once again makes the jump up to 175lbs. Canelo successfully fought at the weight class in 2019 when he knocked out then champ Sergey Kovalev.  This go around Canelo has indicated that it’s not a one-shot deal.  His latest goal is to unify the belts at 175lbs. as he successfully did at Super Middleweight.  But Dmitry Bivol might have other thoughts. Speaking of which, not much is known about Bivol. Who exactly is the current WBA Light Heavyweight champion?

Who Is Dmitry Bivol?

A native of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bivol is a talented fighter and a product of the Russian amateur system. A pro since 2014, he quickly rose through the light heavyweight ranks, beating names such as Sullivan Barrera, Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr. Bivol has spent his entire career at light heavyweight.  Standing at 6 feet with a reach of 72 inches gives Bivol a height and reach advantage over Canelo who stands at 5’8 with a 70-inch reach. Yet, Bivol is not without his weaknesses. For example, power is not Bivol’s strong suit. He has only 11 KO’s and none in his last six bouts.  Further, he has only 19 professional bouts under his belt, unlike Canelo who has logged 60 bouts and fought the best in the sport. Such as Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Gennady Golovkin.

What’s At Stake?

For Bivol, not much.  True, this is the biggest fight of his young career. However, just holding his own may endear him to fans not familiar with Bivol and garner him the respect of the sport and common fan alike. Which could result in additional bigger fights and paydays. 

For Canelo, arguably more, his latest efforts in the ring have all been focused on building his legacy and securing his place in boxing history.  Unifying yet another division would certainly help accomplish this goal. However, a lackluster performance, a scary moment or loss will put a dent in that.  It also may have the fighters who have been nipping at his heels, such as the Charlo brothers, David Benavidez and Gennady Golovkin salivating for their own shot to defeat him.

Outcome

Canelo will likely walk away with Bivol’s strap. Although he could face some fits along the way. Despite knocking out Sergey Kovalov in impressive fashion. Kovalev was 36 years old and already in decline. At 31, Bivol is younger than Canelo and arguably in his prime. This coupled with the notion that the effectiveness of one’s punching power is not something that travels well as you move up in weight. However, given Canelo’s counterpunching ability, always effective body attacks and strong chin, even if he does not KO Bivol, he will likely win a decision.

What’s Next?

Provided he get gets past Bivol, Canelo has already Indicated there’s a chance he’ll fight twice more this year. There has been a ton of speculation about a rubber match against Golovkin as well as a shot at the undisputed light heavyweight title against the Artur Beterbiev-Joe Smith winner.  The fan’s choice would be GGG III, but if the past is any indication Canelo isn’t too keen on such a bout. So, a shot at being undisputed light heavyweight champ seems more likely.

 

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