Marquez: Canelo should fight Beterbiev or Bivol

By Boxing News - 03/01/2020 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Juan Manuel Marquez wants Canelo Alvarez to face Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol next for his May 2 fight. Marquez feels that Bivol and Beterbiev important fights that Canelo needs to take at 175.

Those are the fighters that Canelo perhaps should have considered fighting when he moved up to light heavyweight to challenge for a world title against WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2.

Did Canelo avoid Beterbiev and Bivol?

Some think Canelo cherry-picked a faded 36-year-old Kovalev to win an easy title instead of risking his neck against Beterbiev and Bivol. When you dare to be great, sometimes you fail. Did Canelo shy away from trying to be great? It’s for the fans to decide.

“It would be great to see him against Bivol or against Beterbiev, who is also in the division,” said Marquez to Fino Boxing when asked who Canelo should fight next. “It’s up to Canelo and his team if he wants to stay in the division or go back down, but I think those would be important challenges for the Mexican fighter,” said Marquez.

The Mexican great Marquez doesn’t appear to be keeping up on the latest news on Canelo Alvarez, as he’s ALREADY vacated his WBO light heavyweight title. Some believe Canelo gave up his WBO belt so that he wouldn’t be pressured into fighting Bivol or Beterbiev.

In the short period of time that Canelo held the WBO title after winning it last November, he already had a ton of fans asking him when he was going to fight Beterbiev and Bivol.

Why did Canelo vacate his WBO title? 

A lot of fans were hoping that Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) would stay at light heavyweight to face Beterbiev or Bivol, but he’s moving back down to 168 to challenge one of the champions in that weight class. The general consensus is that Canelo didn’t want to be at a disadvantage against Beterbiev and Bivol, so he gave up his WBO light heavyweight title and moved back down to 168.

Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith are viewed as two leading candidates in the Canelo sweepstakes for his next fight on the 2nd of May on DAZN. Those two are good fighters but are both considered below super-middleweight champions David Benavidez and Caleb Plant in the talent department.

Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) holds the IBF/WBC light heavyweight titles and is viewed as the #1 guy at 175 by a lot of boxing fans. As for Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs), he holds the WBA 175-lb title and is considered the #2 guy in the division.

“One of the best, not #1, maybe #2 #3 because you have Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko. For me, Terence Crawford is #1, and in second it’s between Lomachenko and Canelo. I think that having beaten Daniel Jacobs and now Kovalev, that opens the door for becoming number one in the world,” said Marquez.

You can’t give Canelo the #1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings due to his choice of opponents in winning world titles at 168 and 175. He beat Rocky Fielding to win his WBA 168lb title and Kovalev to win his 175-lb belt. Fans thought Canelo should have fought David Benavidez or Plant at 168 to win a title. And we’ve already mentioned that Canelo should have fought Beterbiev or Bivol to win a world title at 175.