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Eddie Hearn wants Dmitry Bivol to challenge Canelo Alvarez at 168 for undisputed in September in “ideal world”

Image: Eddie Hearn wants Dmitry Bivol to challenge Canelo Alvarez at 168 for undisputed in September in "ideal world"

By Brian Webber: Eddie Hearn says his “ideal world” schedule for Canelo Alvarez in 2023 is for him to fight his WBO mandatory John Ryder in May, followed by a rematch against Dmitry Bivol at 168 in September for the undisputed.

It will require some convincing on Hearn’s part to get Canelo to agree to defend his super middleweight undisputed championship against Bivol, as he may not wish to do this.

However, if Canelo is to have any shot at defeating Bivol in the second fight, they’ve got to even the playing field by having him sacrifice weight. We witnessed last May that Bivol was too big, too fast, and too skilled for Canelo at 175.

Given all those advantages that Bivol has going for him, the rematch would be the same if the bout was fought at 175 again. Hence, the push by Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn to set up the second Canelo-Bivol fight at 168 to make things fairer.

Hearn isn’t calling WBO interim super middleweight champion Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) a tune-up fight for Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KO), who is coming off left wrist surgery and needs a less risky fight for his May clash before moving onto more dangerous encounter in a rematch with the unbeaten Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs).

The perception from boxing fans is the 34-year-old Ryder is indeed a tune-up fight for Canelo, so they’re already anxiously anticipating the rematch with the Mexican superstar against Bivol.

“Canelo Alvarez, in an ideal world, will return in May. I think it’s disrespectful to call it a comeback fight. It’s a comeback fight from his injury, and I believe he’ll fight his [WBO super middleweight] mandatory challenger, which is John Ryder, the interim world champion,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about undisputed 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez’s next fight in May.

“Then I’m going to put my neck on the line and say Canelo Alvarez is going to fight Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed championship at 168. There’s a lot of work to be done, but Dmitry Bivol is up for the challenge.

“Dmitry Bivol is about legacy. He has a chance if he can beat Canelo Alvarez, to fight Beterbiev in his next fight for the undisputed at 175. Yarde is fighting Beterbiev [on January 28th]. If he wins, he fights Bivol.

“A year ago, I said, ‘Yarde isn’t fighting Beterbiev. Why doesn’t he fight Buatsi.’ That was like a year ago. When I say, ‘he’s not fighting,’ I don’t mean in his entire life, but he didn’t fight him for twelve months after that interview, and he could have fought Buatsi for seven figures in the summer, in the Autumn, in the winter, and still fought Buatsi.

“Good luck to Yarde. I like him. I think he’s got a chance. Callum Smith has to fight the winner of that fight [Beterbiev vs. Yarde]. His next fight will be announced shortly in March. He is mandated to fight the winner of Yarde vs. Beterbiev in the WBC.

“Bivol will fight around the same time in April or May. I’d like for him to fight Buatsi. If he beats Joshua Buatsi, he will fight Canelo Alvarez. If Joshua Buatsi wins, he will probably fight Canelo Alvarez. That’s the way the light heavyweights plan out.

“In an ideal world, Canelo Alvarez will fight John Ryder and Dmitry Bivol if John Ryder fails to pull off the big upset,” said Hearn.


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