-625 MEX Canelo Álvarez (57-1-2: 39 KOs): 5’9”, 168-pounds – 70.5” Reach – 31 y/o
Proven Performer on Big Stages, Precision Puncher with KO Power, Fought This Generation’s Elite Boxers
+400 RUS Dimitry Bivol (19-0: 11 KOs): 6’0”, 174-pounds – 74” Reach – 31 y/o
WBA Light-Heavyweight Champion, Undefeated, Consistently The Enforcer in His Fights
WHO WILL WIN
Canelo Álvarez, one of boxing’s truly exceptional athletes, returns to the ring for a rare fight at light-heavyweight, seeking to add another belt to his mantle. Since his entrance into fame, Canelo has been a very active champion, while also fighting challengers trying to take his crown. This time, the Mexican superstar will be facing Russia’s Dmitry Bivol, a calm-demeanor killer who hasn’t tasted defeat in his professional career.
Bivol is a tall boxer who does a great job using his frame to throw a very accurate jab. He moves well for his size and is constantly active. His most notable flaw has been a few lapses of focus; Whether it was giving away late rounds to a 10:1 underdog in Craig Richards or getting tagged with a huge overhand right from Joe Smith Jr. as the bell sounded, Bivol must stay locked in. But that is easier said than done, as Canelo can lure his opponents into a false sense of security before knocking them out. Canelo understands his cardio and knows when to push and when to conserve his energy. What he loses in stature, Canelo makes up for with power and quickness.
In Canelo’s lone light-heavyweight fight against former champion Sergey Kovalev, he remained confident in his game plan until he saw an opening and quickly dispatched Kovalev with a wicked two-punch combo. With that being said, Bivol is a more agile fighter than Kovalev and doesn’t remain stagnant. When Canelo throws, he rarely misses, but I see Bivol being able to avoid getting cornered and if need be, the Russian can take a shot. In the end, I envision Canelo doing enough work to get the nod from the judges. Canelo Álvarez Wins.
FIGHT GOES THE DISTANCE? -274 YES, +190 NO
It’s becoming more and more of a rarity for Canelo to see the final horn as he has been a heat-seeking missile, downloading his less-seasoned opposition’s tendencies and knocking them out at a high clip. Bivol is a unique challenge for Álvarez in that he has good power, title fight experience and is much younger than Sergey Kovalev. In Canelo's last fight, he chopped down an undefeated and speedy Caleb Plant with a flurry of body punches until Plant’s hands dropped and Canelo then dropped him with thunderous hooks to the head. Bivol won’t be easy to crack -- if Canelo can break Bivol’s rhythm and fluidity to take control of the dance, he might be able to land a fight-ending blow, but that is unlikely and like I said before, Bivol has a granite chin. I’m expecting 12 hard-fought rounds where these warriors gain more respect for one another. Fight Goes The Distance.