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Dmitry Bivol more of a challenge than Artur Beterbiev says Canelo

Canelo Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol boxing photo

By Jim Calfa: Canelo Alvarez surprisingly revealed that he rates WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol above IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev as the best fighter in the 175-lb division this week.

One would hope that Canelo isn’t intentionally lowering the value of Artur Beterbiev to use as an excuse for not fighting him in 2022 or 2023. There are some boxing fans that believe Canelo swerved Beterbiev in 2019, and for this fight on Saturday.

They also believe that Canelo will make Beterbiev wait before finally fighting him in a move to age him. Beterbiev is currently 37-years-old, so if Canelo makes him wait until 2023 or 2024, he could be slower and not as dangerous as he is now.

Canelo says he views Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) as more of a challenge than he does the unified 175-lb champion Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs). If Bivol is more of a problem for Canelo than Beterbiev, the Mexican star could be heading into a loss on Saturday.

Beterbiev would be a pure nightmare for Canelo with his body punching, vicious inside game, steel chin, and his ability to push an incredibly fast pace.

Canelo lacks the stamina to fight at a fast pace and always has, especially now that he’s hit his early 30s. He needs to take breathers after throwing his single punches. Beterbiev would be all over Canelo, forcing him to fight at a faster pace than his limited stamina could handle.

Canelo will be fighting Bivol for his WBA light heavyweight belt this Saturday, May 7th, live on DAZN pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

For the boxing fans that are interested in purchasing the Canelo-Bivol event, it can be had for $59.99 for subscribers to DAZN and $79.99 for non-subscribers.

“I think he’s a better boxer. He has more skills than Beterbiev,” Canelo said. “Beterbiev’s a really good fighter; strong, always go forward. But I think Bivol is a really good fighter with a lot of experience.”

Beterbiev has more titles and has fought in two Olympics for Russia. With Canelo’s emphasis on winning world titles, why would he choose a champion with fewer belts and lacing the amateur accomplishments of Beterbiev?

“The fighter [Dmitry Bivol] is different,” Canelo said to DAZN. “The fighter [WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol] brings more challenge for me.

“With [Sergey] Kovalev, I feel different. I became heavy, stronger, but with Dmitry Bivol, it is going to be more difficult because he’s strong and young. He’s a really good fighter,” said Canelo.

When Canelo fought then 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev for his WBO light heavyweight title in 2019, he looked very muscular, like a bodybuilder.

For this fight with Bivol, Canelo’s physique has less of a bodybuilder appearance, so it’s not surprising that he’s not as strong as he was when he fought Kovalev.

It would be a mistake for Canelo to be as muscular for the Bivol fight as he was for his two fights against Gennady Golovkin and his match against Kovalev because Dmitry will be using movement, forcing him to fight at a faster pace than he’s been made to do in the last four years.

“It’s a shock because anytime Canelo gets beat, it’s a huge shock,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social, when asked if it would be a massive blow to Canelo if he loses to Bivol. “Anytime Canelo gets beaten by anybody would be a huge shock.”

It would be a shock if Canelo were to lose to Bivol because it’s been nine years since he experienced his only career defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2023.

Since then, Canelo has been fortunate not to have suffered losses to Erislandy Lara and Gennadiy Golovkin. With the way Canelo seems immune to losing by a decision, it would be a shock if he were to lose in that manner against Bivol.

It wouldn’t be a shock that Canelo would get beaten because he’s beatable, especially now with his work rate has diminished due to age and weight gain. The shock would be that the judges gave it to Bivol.

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