By Charles Jay
My quick take on fight between Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol is that we are looking at something that’s going to go the distance. And then we can kind of go from there. I don’t know if Bivol comes into this affair thinking in terms of a knockout victory. Clearly that has not been his strategy in recent defenses of his WBA light heavyweight title. His last six fights have gone the distance, and he has won all of them easily by decision.
You should pay attention to the score cards as well. He has won those fights by an average of 25.7 points, spread across the three scorecards of the judges. That is 8.6 points per card. And that actually tells us some of the story here.
Obviously, he has had complete control of those bouts. What do you think the chances are that this relative stand-up boxer is going to just stand there and peck away at Canelo and just write the same script round after round? Now mind you, I’m not saying that Alvarez is going to go out there and steamroll him; after all, Bivol is a legitimate light heavyweight, and Canelo, at 5 foot-8 and moving up from where he’s been most comfortable in weight, is not necessarily someone I would expect to control this fight with power.
But he doesn’t really have to. He can control the fight with activity. And you know what I mean when I say that. You often hear announcers talk about how one of the fighters has to be “busier.” More activity often translates into more points on the cards. From what I have seen of him, Bivol does not strike me as someone who is going to have a high work volume, at least in terms of the kinds of things that are going to keep Canelo consistently on the end of his punches. I think he likes to keep a distance between himself and his opponent, get a jab out there, and pick and choose the spots where he wants toengage. He’s good defensively, so he’s got that going for him.
But is he getting pushed all that much by these opponents? Has he had to go all out for all or most of the twelve rounds? The indications are that this hasn’t happened. And I can envision something different happening against Canelo.
Alvarez throws body punches, which is a point in his favor. That may have to be the case, especially if he’s looking to get low and get under Bivol’s punches. And what I see as I visualize this fight is that Canelo can probably indeed be the busier fighter. And Bivol might not have enough firepower to really make him pay when he comes inside. Against other light heavyweights, perhaps Artur Beterbiev, there might be a different story. But I don’t know that Bivol can be thinking any other way but that he intends to outbox Alvarez.
That being said, I am looking for this to go past 10.5 rounds, and I’m using a price of -275 for that. Rather than lay – 525 on Alvarez (your price may vary), I would take the exact method of victory as we have seen – 165 on Canelo to win a decision (you may be able to do even better than that).
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
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