Though WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol is relatively unknown to boxing fans, hardcore followers of the sport know not to underestimate his ability. The Russian technician hardly lost a round dispatching Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr., boxing efficiently behind the jab and employing incredible accuracy. Given that Canelo has only fought once at 175lbs against a dangerous but faded Sergiy Kovalev, the deck looks stacked against him on paper. But Canelo has also reached new peaks as a fighter, unifying the Super Middleweight division with relative ease and looking more well-rounded and technically developed that he did campaigning at Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight. Will Canelo’s explosive front-foot counter-punching throw off Bivol’s calculated rhythm? Or will Bivol’s size, jab and movement replicate the problems Canelo faced against the likes of Erislandy Lara and Gennady Golovkin? We asked our forum members for their thoughts:
One to Watch
Bivol has genuinely elite judgement of distance, is a legitimate Light Heavyweight (although relatively small) and has vast international experience. I see a highly debatable points decision, anything from a Bivol win through to 117-111 Canelo. Canelo will struggle to impose his pressure as early as usual, he will land the harder and cleaner shots but less of them. Will judges like Bivol’s educated minimalist style? I doubt it.
Canelo landing the more eye catching shots to win a point’s decision, Bivol stays very competitive in what will be a fight that will be close but the judges favour Canelo’s work.
Canelo on points seems like the safe option for this one. I actually think he’ll beat Bivol legitimately; however, in the case he doesn’t, it’s unlikely Bivol gets the nod, and I’d be massively surprised if Bivol can hurt Canelo. On the other hand, Bivol seems to have a great chin as well so I expect it to go the distance. 7-5/8-4 type decision I think.
I think Canelo gets it on points and a lot of us will be complaining about scorecards afterwards. Canelo will struggle to find the right distance in the first half of the fight but will come on strong late.
Canelo wins the fight via 116-112 type decision. He won’t have it all his own way, but he’ll adapt to Bivol at the midway point and take over.
As one of boxings most ardent Canelo nutriders and a man who prays at the altar of our ginger overlord…he’s losing this fight. Maybe not on the scorecards, but he’s leaving Vegas this Saturday being outboxed and outmaneuvered. Bivol is a special talent; he’s a classic example of his boxing style and lack of marketability leading to him being underrated amongst the fans. Fighters like Bivol generally don’t get to fight the face of the sport and we’re about to find out why on Saturday.
All that being said – 118-110 Canelo.
I think this probably looks a bit similar to Canelo-Jacobs both in terms of the way it unfolds in the ring, and the result. Bivol gets some work done at range, but Canelo finds a way to land the more eye catching shots and emerges with the decision as a result. Canelo UD.
I am big on the idea that fighters get better by fighting better competition, and when you look at Canelo, he has been fighting top tier guys; when you look at Bivol, he has been fighting low tier guys. I think that makes a difference. Canelo wins relatively uneventful fight on points which is closer than the score cards suggest, but is instantly forgettable so nobody kicks up a fuss outside of the youtubers who need something to talk about.
Bivol has the larger frame and is a great technician. He uses those traits to keep a solid jab going and establish the distance early. Canelo gradually gets closer, lands the cleaner, harder shots, wins the late rounds and takes a decision that should be close but comes out wide. We complain about how wide the score cards are even though we largely agree Canelo edges the fight.
I can see it being a very close, technical fight with Bivol getting more than his fair share of success and Canelo finding him hard to get to at times. Having said that, Canelo will still land the more eye-catching shots to win a points decision somewhere around the 116-112 mark. Canelo may also score a knockdown to justify a couple of wide cards in his favour.
A bored looking Alvarez methodically presses forward, corners his opponent and bangs to the body and head with scant regard about return fire. Some people score some of these rounds to the opponent, but in reality he’s just backing off flicking out the odd ‘don’t hit me’ jab. In the end, Canelo folds Bivol in half and wins another easy fight where he barely gets out of first gear.
Bivol 8-4. We’ll see Bivol pumping out jabs like there’s no tomorrow. I think he’s a really bad style for Canelo.
I think Bivol is a bit too limited in this fight. He doesn’t throw enough varied punches which I think will cost him.
As much as I hate saying this, Canelo by decision.
I think Bivol will rise to the occasion in a close fight. It’s tough to see him outclass Canelo enough for the judges, but I’m going for the good odds.
Bivol points, at least deserving the win. Canelo has always struggled with rangy boxers, the fundamentals are the way to nullify Canelo and Bivol arguably has the best fundamentals in the game.