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Abel Sanchez surprised by Canelo’s loss to Bivol

Canelo Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol boxing photo

By Allan Fox: Former Gennadiy Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez says he was surprised at seeing Canelo Alvarez lose last weekend to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas.

Sanchez had expected Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) to have too much for Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), but it turned out that the skills & size of the WBA champion proved to be too much for the Mexican superstar.

What may have surprised Sanchez is that the judges gave Bivol a narrow win by the scores 115-113, 115-113, and 115-113, despite him focusing mainly on pure boxing.

Sanchez felt going into the contest that Bivol’s “safety-first” type would result in Canelo being given the victory, and he was also right.

In five rounds, the judges surprisingly focused on the tiny handful of power shots that Canelo landed and ignored the higher volume Bivol was connecting on.

Gennady had done the same thing in his two fights with Canelo, and yet the judges failed to give him the victory in either of those two contests.

Those two fights showed how difficult it is to beat the superstar Canelo, and we saw the same thing last Saturday, with Bivol squeaking out a 12-round decision in a fight that he appeared to win 10-2.

“I thought Canelo should win, and I thought that Canelo was the busier fighter as far as fights,” said Abel Sanchez to Fighthype about Canelo Alvarez’s loss to Dmitry Bivol last weekend.

“I thought Bivol has had in the past a safety-first kind of style, but a very talented fighter. Just like Gennadiy [Golovkin]. He was a world champion, an amateur world champion; he was undefeated, and he’s a bigger guy and very well-schooled.

“I said to Bernie that if Bivol comes out of his safety-first shell, it could be an interesting fight because Bivol is a very talented fighter. Obviously, from what I heard, he came out of his shell, and he attacked Canelo,” said Sanchez.

Bivol fought Canelo aggressively, attacking him with combinations, putting the superstar in a challenging position where he needed to work harder than he was capable of doing.

What the fight showed is that Canelo is helpless when his opponents attack him with sustained combinations.

He’s good at blocking and countering single shots, but he could not do anything when Bivol attacked him with four to six-punch combos.

The red-faced and exhausted-looking Canelo looked wretched when he motioned Bivol forward after being bombarded with a sustained flurry in the fifth round.

If Bivol had chosen to unload his armament in that round, there’s an excellent chance he would have knocked out Canelo because he was exajhusted &  helpless.

“Canelo did something that very few fighters are willing to do today,” said Sanchez. “His first title was at 147. So he moved all the way up to 175, and that’s a big challenge for him. He fought one of the better-talented fighters in the division.

“I didn’t think Bivol had the style to beat him, but obviously, I was wrong. I think the kind of fighter he is and the kind of attitude that he’s brought into this game, I think he goes back for the rematch,” said Sanchez when asked what Canelo should do next.

“I think he goes back and tries to figure out what went wrong and tries to correct it. There’s nothing wrong with a rematch of a good fight. From what I heard, it was a very, very good fight.

“It was a fan-friendly fight,” Sanchez said of the Bivol vs. Canelo fight. “So if they do it again, it’s going to be the same kind of fight. But there’s also the possibility of a Gennadiy fight [for Canelo].

“Those two fights are great for him. Dealing with Canelo in the fights that we had, he’s a very competitive guy, and maybe he wants that back,” said Sanchez.

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