By: Hans Themistode
Although becoming a world champion brings a certain amount of spotlight and attention, that aforementioned spotlight is intensified tenfold when facing Canelo Alvarez.
The pound-for-pound star and multiple division titlist has brought his adoring fans and staunch supporters with him to Las Vegas where he’ll be taking on current WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol.
While Bivol has proudly held his world title for the better part of the past five years, he admits that facing Alvarez brings an unprecedented amount of eyeballs. With the two officially set to square off this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena, Bivol has noticed a trend with many of Alvarez’s opponents.
By and large, the Mexican star fills arenas and brings a large number of media personnel to his bouts. In Bivol’s opinion, the uncharacteristically large crowds often have a detrimental effect on Alvarez’s opponents.
Ultimately, Bivol admits that more cameras have been shoved in his face than usual and the seemingly perpetual interviews that he’s forced to partake in can become arduous and burdensome. Nevertheless, Bivol refuses to allow his newfound limelight distract him from the task at hand.
“Many people can’t get over all the pressure and the big ring and all of the fans but that’s a part of being champion,” said Bivol during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “Mentally being there and getting over it.”
Alvarez’s upcoming title fight against Bivol will represent only the second fight of his career at 175 pounds. In November of 2019, Alvarez scored a concussive knockout victory over Sergey Kovalev. Since then, however, Alvarez has spent his time aggregating every world title at 168 pounds. Following his 11th round stoppage victory over Caleb Plant at the tail end of 2021, Alvarez became the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time.
While he may have competed above 168 pounds only once in his career, oddsmakers are publicly backing Alvarez to pick up the victory. Bivol, nonetheless, is incredulous over the feelings of the betting public.
In addition to holding a spotless record through 19 professional bouts, Bivol has registered 11 stoppage victories. Although his last knockout performance came in 2018, the Russian native is confident that due to a combination of both his punching power and his decided weight advantage, he has everything that it takes to stop Alvarez right in his tracks.
“I believe I can win. Why not? It’s boxing, we both have power. If I see I can knock him out, I will try.”
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