By Sean Jones: Dmitry Bivol said last week that he no longer cares about a second bout with the former four-division world champion Canelo Alvarez in 2023.
Canelo has seemingly annoyed Bivol by skipping the rematch with him twice in favor of easier fights against Gennadiy Golovkin and now the unheralded John Ryder.
Some now believe that Canelo is purposely putting off the Bivol rematch, knowing what’s in store for him, just as he’s doing by swerving David Benavidez & David Morrell at super middleweight.
As far as Bivol is concerned, he already proved his superiority as a fighter by beating Canelo Alvarez last May by a 12 round unanimous decision in one of his favorite haunts at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo had his window
“I don’t care to be honest,” Bivol told IFL TV about the chance of a second fight against Alvarez next year. “I don’t want to depend on his decisions for who he wants to fight.
“I just want to fight; I want to fight for four belts. If I don’t get this fight, then give me another fight, and I will be patient.”
Whatever slight interest there was for the goal-oriented Bivol to face the popular Mexican star Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs) in a rematch appears in the rearview mirror.
You can say that Canelo, 32, had his opportunity and blew it by playing games, sidestepping the rematch with Bivol last September.
Compared to other fighters that have practically begged Canelo for a fight and purposefully fought soft touches, waiting for him to throw them a bone, Bivol is less needy. He doesn’t need the rematch, as he’s focused on sport, not money. The money will eventually come for a fighter if he accomplishes essential things.
Dmitry eyeing Beterbiev fight
Bivol has his eyes on fighting IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) for the undisputed 175-lb championship next year.
Beterbiev has a title defense against Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) on January 28th at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Bivol will have his eyes on that fight, knowing that the winner is the one he needs to face to become the four-belt champion at light heavyweight next year.
Fighting Canelo again doesn’t appeal to Bivol unless there’s something he can gain in terms of titles.
If Canelo wants the rematch badly enough with Bivol, he’ll forget about taking a tune-up fight against the 34-year-old Eddie Hearn-promoted John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) next May and try and set up the rematch with the talented Dmitry at that time.
Alvarez deserves credit
You’ve got to commend Canelo for facing Bivol in the first place, considering that showed much bravery on his part by going up to 175 to challenge the WBA champion.
Even if the move was initiated on Canelo’s part to give him cover for continuing to swerve the lions at 168 in David Benavidez & David Morrell, it still shows a lot of nerve to face a talent like Bivol.
To some fans, Bivol is #2 in the light heavyweight division. He’s not an old guy like Sergey Kovalev, who Canelo cherry-picked in 2019 to get an easy belt. Bivol is a young 31, still at the top of his game.
Even if he were on the wrong side of 30, as Kovalev was, one gets the sense that Bivol would still box Canelo’s head off due to his superior technical skills.