Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, had a very anti-climactic conclusion to his much awaited comeback to light heavyweight, as his opponent Dmitry Bivol dominated the pound for pound king to a 12-round unanimous decision victory and retain his WBA title.
Being only his second professional career defeat, nine years after his first one against Floyd Mayweather, both Canelo and Bivol will be looking forward to an imminent rematch, talks about which has been gaining pace already. Not only Canelo will have the chance to avenge his defeat, but Bivol will have another chance to show that he is much more capable of a boxer and the victory last Saturday wasn’t any stroke of luck.
The T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada on 7th May saw Canelo returning to 175 two and a half years. The Mexican had made his light heavyweight debut against Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 and won the fight via knockout in the 11th round, winning the WBO belt in the process. Canelo would then go on to vacate his 175-pound belt to storm through the 168 division and becoming the reigning four belt champion.
This time around, Canelo was the betting favourite to secure his second victory at 175 against the underdog Bivol. However, the undefeated Russian pugilist proved to be off a different breed than his compatriot Kovalev and outperformed as the betting underdog. If you’re an Indian boxing fan and are interested in exploring the world of online gambling, find best online casino in India here.
Throughout the fight, Bivol showed impeccable control of distance as well as an impregnable defense which Canelo was unable to break through. The Mexican looked like only a shell of his destructive 168-pound avatar, with Bivol’s combos giving Canelo swellings and blotches on his face. After overpowering Canelo for 12 rounds, Bivol won the favour of all three judges, with a victory via unanimous decision (115-113, 115-113, 115-111).
Moments after the fight, Canelo showed interest in activating his rematch clause, to which Bivol also nodded. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has also revealed that he will be targeting the rematch on 17th September.
However, seeing the drastic contrasts in Canelo’s most two recent performances- against Caleb Plant back in November for the undisputed title at 168, and against Bivol last weekend for the WBA belt at 175, there are mixed opinions on whether Canelo will actually be able to turn things around in the rematch, especially seeing how Bivol proved to be a much, much tougher competition that everyone expected him to be.
Many fans believe Canelo to be at his best at 168, and the undisputed champion’s recent performance at the division solidifies that claim. Interestingly, Bivol himself has likened the idea of going down one division for quite some time and is now willing to do the same for the Canelo rematch, but only if the latter’s undisputed titles are at stake.
If Bivol vs Canelo 2 takes place at super middleweight, it will definitely increase Canelo’s chances of avenging his loss. While it would be the divisional debut for Bivol, the Russian would still be much more of a challenge than any of Canelo’s recent opponents at 168.
Now, the coming days will reveal if Canelo will be eager to take the rematch and at what weight he will fight Bivol once again. While 175 may seem too much for Canelo at the moment, Bivol going down to 168 surely increases Canelo’s chances of securing a victory in the rematch.