Bivol’s arm badly bruised from Canelo punches
By Jim Calfa: Canelo Alvarez’s powerful punches bruised WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol’s left arm last Saturday night, but they failed to keep him from winning.
You can’t fault Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) for employing the strategy of attacking Bivol’s arms to bruise them to the point where they were useless to him.
In Canelo’s fight against Callum Smith, he targeted the British fighter’s left arm, and by the end of the battle, it was severely swollen. Smith was covering like a dutiful sparring partner against the ropes the entire fight, making it easy for Canelo to land shots to his left arm.
Canelo was too tired to put up a proper fight, and he was lucky that Bivol didn’t go the knockout. In the fifth round, things got out of hand for Canelo when Bivol unloaded with a flurry of shots.
Canelo looked helpless while pinned to the ropes, trying to dodge the storm of shots but doing a terrible job. Had Bivol continued throwing those flurries, he would have indeed knocked Canelo out in the second half of the fight.
“It’s easy to say after, but not a lot of people were saying it before,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV when asked if it was a ‘bridge too far’ for Canelo Alvarez in taking on WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
“There are a lot of people in boxing who felt this was going to be a really tough fight, and some even picked Dmitry Bivol,” Hearn continued. “But we can’t stand here now and say, ‘Oh, a bridge too far.’
“If we would have had this conversation yesterday, we’d say he [Canelo] was a huge favorite, which he was. We don’t know if it was a little bit of a mixture of tiredness from Saul or the weight, I don’t know,” said Hearn.
It wasn’t a bridge too far in terms of talent, but the conditioning is where Bivol had the advantage. He looked like he was barely breaking a sweat, fighting in first gear the entire 12-round contest.
For his part, Canelo looked badly exhausted, mouth open, face beet red, and laboring badly. He looked like a part-time fighter that has been spending too much time on the golf course and not enough time in the gym.
We saw the same look on Oscar De La Hoya when he hit his early 30s and had become fabulously wealthy.
“Did he have a good camp? I don’t know, but let’s not take away from the brilliance of Dmitry Bivol. He was absolutely punch-perfect,” said Hearn about Canelo.
“I think coming off the Craig Richards win and coming off the Lenin Castillo win; you wouldn’t look at him necessarily and think he had a performance like that in him against the pound-for-pound #1 [Canelo].
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