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Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez will decide on Dmitry Bivol rematch or not

Image: Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez will decide on Dmitry Bivol rematch or not

By Dan Ambrose: Eddie Hearn says Canelo Alvarez will decide whether he wants to take the rematch with Dmitry Bivol or not soon.

Thus far, the popular Mexican star has been strangely quiet since Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) defended his WBA light heavyweight title successfully last weekend against Gilberto Ramirez.

We don’t know yet whether the sparking masterclass that Bivol put in against Ramirez may have scared Canelo off, making him change his mind about wanting a chance to redeem himself by avenging his loss from six months ago.

Hearn says that if Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) does choose to take the rematch, he must also decide what weight to face Bivol at. The options are 168 and 175. If Canelo fights Bivol at 175, he’ll have a chance of winning his WBA 175-lb title.

Hearn isn’t sure if Canelo will want to take the rematch with Bivol at 168 because it would look like he’s trying to gain an edge. Of course, it would be only fair because Canelo already gave Bivol the advantage in the first fight by facing him at 175 in his weight class.

It’s only fair that Bivol returns the favor by coming down to 168 to face Canelo where he’s most comfortable.

If Canelo chooses to fight Bivol at 168, he’ll be defending his undisputed super middleweight championship, and if he loses, all four belts will be gone. However, it won’t be the end of the world for Canelo because Bivol will surely immediately vacate the four 168-lb belts and return to the 175-lb division.

Canelo could go after one of the fragmented super middleweight titles against whichever contender is ranked high for the individual belts.

It’s a tough spot Canelo is in right now because if he chooses not to take the rematch with Bivol, he’ll return to the 168-lb division where David Benavidez, David Morrell, and Caleb Plant will be waiting for him.

In the case of Benavidez and Morrell, those would be just as tough fights for Canelo as a rematch with Bivol, and there would be no excuse he could give to the boxing world if he loses to those guys.

Staying at 175 after facing Bivol would put Canelo in a good position to be one of the top guys in the division in terms of the contenders. He’s already beaten Callum Smith in 202o, and he could probably defeat most of the other contenders except for perhaps Joshua Buatsi.

If you’re Canelo and you don’t want to face the criticism that would arise if he were to lose to Morrell or Benavidez, it would be better for him to stay at 175, where he will always have a built-in excuse about fighting outside of his natural weight class and facing bigger guys.

“There’s still a lot of negotiations that need to unfold before we decide if either one of those fights are possible, and sometimes in that scenario, if there’s even one that’s possible and it can be signed, you’re almost better off jumping on that and getting it done because we know what boxing can do sometimes,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show about whether the Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol rematch will take place at 168 or 175.

“I think Dmitry Bivol is in a fantastic position. His last four fights have been in Abu Dhabi, Las Vegas, Russia, and England. He’s really becoming [a star]. You just see it across social. I think there’s a newfound love and respect for Dmitry Bivol from fight fans.

“Obviously, when you beat Canelo Alvarez, you’re profile is going to go through the roof anyway. I just feel he’s a real fan favorite, this guy, and I think boxing fans are really enjoying the career of where this might go because right now, he’s looking really, really good.

“I think Bivol is that good,” said Hearn when asked if Gilberto Ramirez wasn’t that good or if Bivol was simply too talented last Saturday night for the WBA mandatory Zurdo.

“Coming off the Canelo victory, it’s like sometimes that confidence and beating a fighter like that can take you to another level, and that’s what I’ve seen from Dmitry. It’s almost like a bit of swag from him.

“It’s just that belief that he’s a pound-for-pound great. I thought he was unbelievable. Ramirez is a good fighter, but he was just bewildered by the footwork and the distance.

“I was sitting there with AJ watching the fight, and I was talking about the Usyk fight. It’s very similar. People say, ‘You got to jump all over him, be aggressive.’ You see, Ramirez try to be aggressive, but when he got there, Bivol was just out of range.

“It was a masterful performance, honesty. I’m just seeing a different Dmitry Bivol. A little bit more spite, a little bit more excitement, but that swag and that belief. He believes he’s pound-for-pound #1.

“He might not tell you that to the media, but I know he’s starting to believe that way, and I’ll tell you what. I’m watching that fight thinking, ‘I think he might be right.’ There are levels above Ramirez still in that division, but really only.

“I mean, you got Callum Smith, you got Buatsi, and then the big test is Beterbiev, but he dealt with that. I really didn’t have him losing many rounds, to be honest with you. I think sometimes the rounds are close, and the judges kind of give one or two here or there, but I thought it was a completely dominant performance.

“Firstly, it doesn’t matter what the best fight is for me. He’s [Canelo] going to make the decision. I have a job to do for Canelo Alvarez, and I have a job to do for Dmitry Bivol.

“There are so many things to look at. #1, Dmitry Bivol is definitely about legacy. Beterbiev vs. Bivol is unbelievable. It’s maybe the best fight in boxing. Two unbelievable world champions. For now, that’s [Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford] is unachievable.

“But you have to look at the timing. Beterbiev is due to fight Yarde, I think at the end of January or early February. Soon after that is Ramadan for Beterbiev. That’s coming in April or something like that.

“He’s not really going to be available until late summer to fight Bivol, So Bivol has got a choice. Do you wait for that undisputed, or do you jump in with Canelo Alvarez?

“Canelo Alvarez is also coming off the back of surgery. I believe he might be okay to punch by the end of the year, but what if he’s not? In an ideal world, if you ask Bivol, his choice would be Beterbiev because he wants to be undisputed,” said Hearn.

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