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Dmitry Bivol must decide next opponent now that Canelo Alvarez out of picture

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By Huck Allen: Dmitry Bivol and his management are already planning for the next defense of his WBA light heavyweight title following Canelo Alvarez’s decision to fight Gennadiy Golovkin in September instead of taking the immediate rematch.

Canelo will fight Bivol next year on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend in May 2023, which will give the Mexican star plenty of time to repair the flaws in his game.

Bivol’s options:

  • Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
  • Joshua Buatsi
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Joe Smith Jr.

Team Canelo made the choice of fighting Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) in the trilogy on September 17th, instead of returning to face Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) again in a rematch.

Bivol ended Canelo’s 16-fight streak without a loss by defeating him by a 12-round unanimous decision on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Canelo stated that he wanted to fight Bivol right away, but now that he and his management have had time to think, they’ve chosen to delay the rematch by 12 months.

In the end, Canelo and his team decided to play it safe to go with the relatively sure thing win over 40-year-old Golovkin instead of playing with fire a second time against Bivol.

The original plan was for Canelo to fight Golovkin in September after facing Bivol on May 7th, so the Mexican star is staying on that path.

Fighting Golovkin again is a convenient move for Canelo because it not only will make him a lot of money, but it also enables him to use the time to work on the areas that Bivol exposed.

For Canelo to have a shot at avenging his loss to Bivol, he’ll need to fix the holes in his game. Fighting Golovkin and then possibly John Ryder in December will give Canelo plenty of time to work on a game plan that will be effective against him.

Dmitry [Bivol] has begun his preparations for the next fight already. But it is impossible to say, who will be the next person to fight with – we have just begun to think about it, ” Bivol’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy said to Sky Sports.

“I believe in Dmitry. Today he is definitely one of the best fighters in the world because of the combination of his physical conditions, his abilities to concentrate on the result, and his technique.”

When Canelo does decide on fighting Bivol again, he may opt to have him boil down from 175 to 168, so that he has a way of making it an even playing field. Returning to the 175-lb division would be too hard for Canelo.

Fighting Bivol at 168 won’t give Canelo the same praise from fans as he would get if he fought him at 175, but it’s more important that he win. He’d be at a tremendous disadvantage in going up to 175 again to fight Bivol, and he’s smart enough not to try.




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