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Bivol is unpredictable, he’ll cause Canelo problems says Joel Diaz

Canelo vs. Bivol boxing photo

By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Joel Diaz says the combination of the size and “unpredictable” style of WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is going to cause Canelo Alvarez many problems on May 7th.

Bivol is in his prime, unlike the last 175-pound fighter Canelo fought when he took on Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

Diaz believes that Bivol, 31, will be the toughest opponent Canelo has faced during his career. If true, Canelo’s chances of defeating Bivol are slim.

Canelo was schooled by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, and arguably beaten by Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara and twice by Gennadiy Golovkin.

Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has grown accustomed to fighting limited opposition from the UK in he recent years, and virtually all of them stood in front of the Mexican star, making it easy for him to tee off with his body shots to where them down.

It’s going to be a much different story against the undefeated Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) because he’s intelligent, has size, an excellent jab, and he employs and in and out style.

Bivol’s style is unpredictable

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. I think it’s a great fight, and I think it’s a good fight for the fans,” said trainer Joel Diaz to Fighthype on the Canelo vs. Diaz fight on May 7th.

Canelo vs. Bivol boxing photo

Bivol is a hungry lion, a strong fighter and he’s in his prime. I think he’s going to be the toughest opponent that Canelo is going to meet. His style is going to make Canelo think, and he’s going to keep Canelo on his toes,” said Diaz.

If Bivol can get into the type of shape he was in for his fights with Sullivan Barrera, Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr, Canelo is going to be in for a long night.

What boxing fans don’t know is if Canelo had a rehydration clause installed in the contract with Bivol to keep him from rehydrating over a certain amount. Fortunately for Bivol, he’s a small light heavyweight, so rehydration clause would be pointless, and wouldn’t guarantee a win for Canelo.

“Bivol prepares really well, and he’s a very disciplined fighter, a strong fighter, and also he’s a solid 175-pounder,” Diaz continued. “So, I think it’s going to play out for a good fight for the fans. In my opinion, Bivol is the only fighter in the division that has a chance of beating Canelo.”

Diaz is overlooking what IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. both bring to the table as threats to Canelo.

Particularly Beterbiev would be dangerous for Canelo because he knows how to fight on the inside, is a bigger puncher at point-blank range in close, and specialty is throwing to the body.

With Canelo’s bulldog heat and neck, he takes shots upstairs well, but his weakness is taking body shots.

Beterbiev would be a problem for Canelo, and we might see the Mexican star play to the referee to complain, saying he’s getting hit low.

If Beterbiev ignores the warnings from the referees continues to land body shots, he’ll likely stop Canelo.

“I think it’s going to be a good fight. Canelo is a slick, smart fighter but he’s going to have a little bit of problems trying to figure out Bivol because of his style,” said Diaz.

“Bivol has a unique style, in and out. He uses his jab a lot and he’s unpredictable. That’s what makes him dangerous,” Diaz said.

Dmitry’s style is unique

“Canelo fighting [Jermall] Charlo, Charlo is there and very vulnerable,” Diaz continued. “Benavidez, he’s a strong Mexican fighter, he has the height and he’s there to fight.

“So, I think that gives Canelo the edge of getting in there, working the body, and breaking Benavidez down, even though Benavidez has speed. You need the power to control Canelo and they’re there.

“Charlo, his style plays out for Canelo, but I think Canelo will stop him before the tenth. With Bivol, it’s different. His style is completely unique. He uses his jab a lot, he’s strong, and he’s always moving in and out.

“Canelo is going to have some problems due to his style, which is totally different. I don’t take anything away from Charlo or Benavidez being great fighters themselves, but styles make fights.

“Stylistically, Benavidez and Charlo will be a fight for Canelo to win in an easier matter than Bivol,” Joel said.

The weight matters

“When he fought Kovalev, he fought him at 175, no?” said Diaz about Canelo. “At that weight, Canelo is strong, but remember, Kovalev wasn’t in his prime. This guy [Bivol] is in his prime. That’s the difference.

Canelo vs. Bivol boxing photo

“The weight matters because Canelo is strong at 168. He’ll knock anybody out at 168. At 175, even though he has a lot of power, it’s a weight issue. These guys [natural light heavyweights] can take a little bit more because they’re bigger.

“So that’s going to be a big factor, the fact that this guy [Bivol] is at 175, and this guy is going to be the bigger man. Canelo is going to have to work a little bit more for him to go for the knockout.

This guy [Bivol] because he’s heavier and strong too, he’s going to give Canelo some problems. They’re [Bivol] training here in my gym, his team, his management team, we’re a team together.

Diaz’s advice for Bivol

“I train all these Uzbekhs and they come along with management,” said Diaz. “They’re part of a team. I’m not training him. He has his own coach. My advice is when stepping in with Canelo will be, you got to be really smart.

“You got to be on your toes because Canelo is strong, he’s fast, he’s smart and he doesn’t lack confidence, believe me. Canelo is a very special fighter, so you cannot rely on one thing.

You’ve got to have Plan-A, B, and C to face Canelo because Canelo has proven himself against all these bigger fighters. He’s built up a lot of confidence in himself because he’s a good fighter.

“Bivol is not facing just anybody. He’s facing the pound-for-pound best in the world right now.

“So the only advice I could tell him is this. Prepare yourself 100% and be ready for something you’ve never seen before. Canelo in his prime is very dangerous,” said Diaz about his advice for Bivol.

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