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Dmitry Bivol is Canelo Alvarez’s target for September

Image: Dmitry Bivol is Canelo Alvarez's target for September

By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez says his “goal” is to fight a rematch with Dmitry Bivol at 175 in September. If that fight doesn’t happen, Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) will go in a different direction.

The fact that Canelo is now talking about the possibility that the rematch with Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) may not happen indicates that he’s having second thoughts about facing the unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion again.

After the punishment the 32-year-old Canelo absorbed against a very average-looking John Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) last Saturday night in Guadalajara, Mexico, it’s not understandable why he’s no longer speaking in absolutes when mentioning the rematch with Bivol.

If Bivol doesn’t agree to Canelo’s terms, be it weight, money, location & ring size, he’ll likely cancel his plans for taking the rematch. It’s likely that Canelo will use that as an excuse to avoid taking the rematch with Bivol, which he’s been avoiding for a year now since his defeat in May 2022.

When a fighter doesn’t want to face a particular opponent, they make excuses. We’ve already seen that in play with Canelo choosing to fight 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin last September and then saying he had to fight Ryder because his WBO mandatory was due.

You can argue that Canelo will come up with another excuse to avoid fighting Bivol if he doesn’t fancy the fight, and he’s already shown that he doesn’t want it.

Bivol next for Canelo

Canelo looked slow, showing no endurance and getting hit a lot in his fight with Ryder last night. Although Canelo won the fight by a twelve-round unanimous decision, his performance was at the same level that it was a year ago when he lost to Bivol and came close to getting beaten by 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin.

“Yeah, that’s my goal this year, but if that fight don’t happen, we’ll see. But that’s my goal this year,” said Canelo Alvarez at the post-fight press conference when asked if he wants to fight a rematch with Dmitry Bivol next.

If Canelo losses to Bivol, it’s very likely he’ll retire rather than stick around and face David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, and David Morrell Jr at 168. The writing would be on the wall for Canelo after a second defeat against Bivol, and he wouldn’t want to become food for the killers at 168 to feast on him.

Canelo needs a year or one to two-year layoff

“I don’t think he’s past his prime. He’s fighting in a weight class that’s not his,” said Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Robert Diaz to Fight Hub TV about Canelo Alvarez.

“It could be his body. He turned pro at 15,” Diaz on whether Canelo physically needs a layoff. “32-33, the sparring and the amount of fights, it takes a toll on the body.

“As much as you feel healthy and feel strong, the body says, ‘I need a break.’ Personally, I think it would be beautiful if he took a couple of years off and came back just to rest the body. Knowing him, he’s going to keep on wanting challenges.

“Mayweather did it, Manny did it, and the body rests at the same time, and you create more anticipation because the fans want to see you back.

“I thought it would be a distance fight until he broke him down round by round, but you’ve got to take your hat off for John Ryder. He didn’t come to survive. After a few rounds, no one would have criticized him if he didn’t come out if they stopped the fight.

“Like Eddie said earlier, he was competitive. He was trying. He didn’t try to finish the fight, but he was trying to win it all the way to the end. So hats off to him.

“Canelo, he tried to get the knockout to give the fans a knockout, but John Ryder is physically a bigger man, and Saul is coming from a smaller weight class. A lot of people didn’t give John Ryder credit that he was a threat. The guy was dangerous, with nothing to lose and everything to gain. He came up the hard way; nothing was given to him.  He came to win.

“He’s fighting bigger men, and he’s winning based on talent,” Diaz continued about Canelo. “It’s not that he’s past his prime. He’s getting tired because these guys are bigger, and he can feel the punches.

“You have a kid [Canelo] that was a welterweight, super welterweight, now fighting at super middleweight and actually hurting & dropping bigger guys? You got to give him credit,” Diaz said.

Alvarez wants Bivol rematch at 175

“Knowing Canelo, I don’t think he’ll have it outside of 175,” Diaz said about the rematch with Bivol. “Personally, I wouldn’t want to see it. You made history by beating Kovalev at 175. There’s nothing more to prove. The higher you get, the more difficult it gets.

“I would like the [Jermall] Charlo fight or do Charlo-Benavidez, and the winner gets Canelo.

“One, you have a southpaw, and two, you have a physically bigger man, a guy that wasn’t going to take a step back,” said Diaz when asked why Ryder gave Canelo so many problems. “Remember, Saul is a counter-puncher, and most of the fight, he was pressing forward.

“Saul’s best move is when you attack him and bends at the waist, makes you miss, and counters you. Today, he was the aggressor, trying to get the knockout for the fans.

“Canelo doesn’t need titles. With all due respect and all the organizations, Canelo is at a point where a long time ago, he didn’t need titles.

“Julio [Cesar Chavez] was one of the greatest fighters I’ve ever seen. It’s eras. Everybody has their own time. The matches he was able to have with [Hector] Camacho. Everybody has their own time. Saul’s not done yet, so we can’t really compare right now. Did he surpass them?

“It’s a different era now with social media and streaming. He’s [Canelo] become a bigger star, but his career is not over yet, so we have to compare when he’s done,” said Diaz.

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