Eddie Hearn Believes Canelo Alvarez Vs. Dmitry Bivol Will Take Place At A Catchweight
By: Hans Themistode
There was nothing Canelo Alvarez wanted more than to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time. With the Mexican product ending the title reign of Callum Smith and seemingly ending the career of Billy Joe Saunders, the pound-for-pound star was one title away from achieving his goal.
However, as discussions between himself and the divisions only other titleholder in Caleb Plant have fallen apart, Alvarez is now moving towards secondary options. Currently, the leader amongst the slew of names at his disposal, is WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol.
While Alvarez has had success fighting at 175 pounds in the past, stopping former WBO titlist Sergey Kovalev in November of 2019, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that this time around, Alvarez could ultimately meet Bivol somewhere in the middle.
“I think it would be some kind of catchweight,” explained Hearn. “Bivol has been talking about going to 168 for some time. He just wants some kind of big opportunity.”
If, in fact, Alvarez and Bivol work out terms to a deal for a catchweight battle, their showdown would take place without either man placing their titles on the line. While the Russian native would love nothing more than to add more gold to his championship mantle, the 30-year-old would happily accept a showdown against Alvarez.
Over the past few years, Bivol has made it look increasingly easy against everyone he’s faced in the ring. On May 1st, earlier this year, the WBA light heavyweight titlist ended a year and a half hiatus to eke out a close decision win over fringe contender Craig Richards.
In a perfect world, Alvarez would wrap up negotiations with team Bivol and face the hard-hitting Russian on September 18th, the original date he planned on facing Plant. Although fighting in mid-September is still the goal, Hearn acknowledges that time isn’t exactly on their side.
“We are talking about the Dmitry Bivol fight at the minute. If we get that over the line, it is only even weeks away. The Plant fight is not happening… for now, but if he goes September 18 it is likely to be Bivol. We need to get moving.”
Eddie Hearn Admits Dmitry Bivol Likely Next For Canelo Alvarez: “I Think It’s A Really Good Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Time isn’t exactly on the side of Canelo Alvarez and promoter Eddie Hearn. With the Mexican star failing to negotiate terms for an undisputed showdown against IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant, team Alvarez has reportedly elected to move on.
Under normal circumstances, the unified 168-pound champion has primarily fought twice a year, both being on Mexican holidays in May and September. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) took care of business on Mexican Labour Day weekend this past May, stopping Billy Joe Saunders in the eighth round and relieving him of his WBO super middleweight title.
While the pound-for-pound star would love to keep his tradition going by fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend on September 18th, Hearn admits that the chances of that happening are getting worse and worse by the day.
“I spoke to Saul a couple times,” said Hearn during an interview with IFL TV. “I think the decision is, do we go on September 18th? The decision has to come any day now.”
With Plant seemingly out of the running for a showdown with Alvarez, Hearn has remained confident in his ability to lineup another high-quality opponent. Although Alvarez has firmly placed his flag in the 168-pound ground, there’s a high possibility that his next contest takes place elsewhere. Presently, IBF middleweight belt holder Gennadiy Golovkin and unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, are amongst the select few in the race to Alvarez.
On multiple occasions, Hearn revealed that any of those aforementioned names would make for a great fight against the unified 168-pound titlist.
In the case of Golovkin, the Kazakstan product believes he received the short end of the stick in back-to-back fights with Alvarez. In September of 2017, Golovkin was forced to settle for a split decision draw. With that said, it was ostensible to most of the viewing public that Golovkin should have been given the win.
The two would do it again 12 months later, this time, Golovkin would suffer the first defeat of his career, albeit somewhat controversially. Since then, the 39-year-old has attempted to lure the Mexican star back into the ring.
As for Beterbiev, Hearn has stated on numerous occasions that while the Russian knockout artist is a massive puncher, a matchup against him is one that Alvarez “sickly” wants.
Still, despite the credentials of both fighters, Hearn believes another 175-pound titleholder is in the driver’s seat as the next opponent for Alvarez.
“I think [Dmitry] Bivol is the fight,” admitted Hearn. “He’s ready, obviously, we promote him. They want the fight and have been looking for that breakout fight. I think it’s a really, really good fight, a tough fight. We’ll have to see.”
Bivol, 30, has long craved a matchup against Alvarez. The WBA light heavyweight belt holder may have walked through his competition up until this point but he’s struggled as of late with activity.
After appearing in the ring only twice in 2019, Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) took the entirety of 2020 off. He recently returned this past May against journeymen Craig Richards. Bivol would eke out a close decision win on the night. Now, he could be on the verge of landing the opponent he’s yearned for.
Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker Undercard Results: Dmitry Bivol Grinds Out Win Against Craig Richards
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol ended a near two-year inactivity period with a tougher than expected win against fringe contender Craig Richards.
Although the Russian contender was highly favored, Richards didn’t fade into the shadows. Instead, he bit down on his mouthpiece and gave Bivol all he could handle. While he took big shots, he remained on his feet and at times, outboxed the long-reigning champion. In the end, however, Bivol did just enough to squeak by with a unanimous decision victory at the AO Arena in the United Kingdom.
Dmitry Bivol: “I Need To Be Undisputed Champion”
By: Hans Themistode
At the age of 30, WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, is presumably in the middle of his prime. Over the years, the Russian native has built a solid overall resume which includes wins over Sullivan Barrera, Jean Pascal and newly crowned WBO belt holder, Joe Smith Jr.
Still, even with those wins under his belt, Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) believes he hasn’t taken full advantage of his talents. In order to do so, there is only one thing that he feels he needs to accomplish.
“I need to get four belts,” said Bivol during a recent virtual press conference. “I need to be undisputed champion. I want to realize my potential.”
Aside from himself and previously mentioned Joe Smith Jr., the remaining belt holder in the 175-pound division is unified champion Artur Beterbiev. With both men heading towards a collision course later this year, all Bivol can do is sit back and wait his turn. In doing so, Bivol wants more activity in his career. The WBA titlist hasn’t stepped foot inside the ring since a 12 round unanimous decision victory over Lenin Castillo in October of 2019.
In an effort to return to form, Bivol will face fringe contender Craig Richards in Manchester Arena this coming weekend. Should he do what many are expecting, which is pick up the win, promoter Eddie Hearn wants a quick turnaround for Bivol to keep his motor going.
At the moment, Bivol is more concerned with the man standing in front of him on Saturday night as opposed to worrying about an uncertain future. With that said, the Russian product knows good and well that although Richards is considered a light touch, a win is vital to his career aspirations.
Whether it’s a showdown with Beterbeiv or a rematch with more at stake against Smith Jr., Bivol simply wants to lace his waist with more gold.
“I just need more belts, I want to fight against the guy who has the belts.”
Dmitry Bivol Eyeing Callum Smith Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
No one is waiting in line to face WBA Light Heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, but that hasn’t stopped him from calling out big name fighters to face him. Even those in other divisions.
Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) has put together a solid championship run. Beating the likes of Jean Pascal, Joe Smith Jr and Sullivan Barrera amongst others. Facing no hopers isn’t on the mind of Bivol though. He’s more interested in facing other title holders. But with unified Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev tied up due to mandatory obligations, that leaves very little on the table for Bivol in his next contest.
That statement might be true at 175, but at 168, everything is wide open.
“I think it could be a great fight for Britain fans and for Russian fans,” said Bivol to Chris Lloyd on the Matchroom boxing podcast The Lockdown Tapes, when asked about a matchup with WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith. “For boxing, it’s a good fight because he’s a champion at 168 pounds, and I am the champion at 175. I would like to fight against the best fighters in the world, and he’s now one of these guys who’s the best.”
In a perfect world, the 6 feet 3 Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) would move up in weight, but boxing is far from perfect and Smith seems just fine campaigning one weight class below. The seven pound difference isn’t an issue for Bivol though. He’s never been known as a big Light Heavyweight and his last fight proved it.
“[It’s] better at 175 because this is my weight. But I can move to 168. It’s not a problem for me, I think, because my last fight on the [weigh-in] day, I had breakfast before I weighed in. And I don’t feel thirsty on this day. I think I have a reserve to make [168 pounds].”
At first glance, a matchup between Bivol and Smith might come off as awkward. The two have never been seen in the same arena against one another, never mind the same ring. At least in the pros. In the amateurs however, these two are all too familiar with one another.
“It was in Hungary. To be honest, I don’t remember this fight at all because when we fight each other, for me it was just a guy from Great Britain, just a tall guy who has good skills. But I have to beat him. Only like that, my memories.”
If Bivol gets his wish, he’ll get his chance to replay that memory one more time.
Dmitry Bivol Offers to Drop Down in Weight for Canelo Clash
By: Hans Themistode
With Canelo Alvarez presumably in need of a new opponent for his first ring appearance of the year, WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, has attempted to throw his name into the mix.
Before COVID-19, placed a stranglehold on the entire sports world, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders scored the golden ticket. For Saunders however, it wasn’t COVID-19 that got in his way for his dream contest, but it was actually himself.
During this worldwide pandemic, Saunders thought it would be funny to post a video telling men how to physically abuse their spouse.
Saunders found it hilarious, but no one else did as his boxing license was immediately suspended. Now that he might have taken himself out of the mix, Bivol wants to replace him.
“I’ve said now for over a year that I’m ready, willing and able to move down to super middleweight and fight Canelo,” said Bivol. “I have been training throughout the COVID-19 crisis and have watched on social media that Canelo has as well.”
“I know that my team and Golden Boy Promotions have discussed this option. We are willing to make the fight on very reasonable financial terms. My team understands that unlike many other opponents, my goal is not the payday, but to face the best in boxing today. I know I can beat him and the real rewards will come after this fight.”
Even before Saunders was penciled in as an opponent, many of the top names in the sport turned Alvarez down. Opportunities such as facing a pound for pound great fighter in his prime don’t come often. But for fighters such as WBA Super Middleweight champ Callum Smith, the money just wasn’t enough. Bivol though, is willing to take a discount.
Don’t misunderstand Bivol’s point of view. Sure he wants to get paid, we all do, don’t we? But if he can lock down a fight with Alvarez and actually pull off the win, he’ll find himself swimming in cash in no time.
Bivol has a slight eye on the gold at the end of the Canelo rainbow. But more importantly, if he does land the mega showdown, he’ll finally have a career defining fight.
“We are willing to work out a much more reasonable deal than what was paid to Canelo’s recent opponents to make this fight. For Dmitry it’s more about the opportunity to dethrone one of the very best fighters in the world.”
“I have heard that DAZN and all other parties involved are supportive of this fight. But whenever the name is brought up to Canelo, he says he would never do it. However I don’t know how much truth there is to this. It would be great to know if he is ready to fight other top champions in his division. One’s that are on the same network and are ready to make a simple and appropriate deal. I strongly believe that Dmitry Bivol at Super Middleweight is the toughest test for Canelo.”
“Dmitry wants to fight the best and Canelo is all the way at the top of that list right now. This fight will have to happen sooner or later. The fans want to see a fight where Canelo will really be tested.”