By Sean Jones: Dmitry Bivol says he’ll do his talking inside the ring with Canelo Alvarez on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) will be defending his WBA light heavyweight title against challenger Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) on DAZN PPV.
Canelo has got to raise his game considerably if he doesn’t want to lose by a lopsided 12-round decision against Bivol.
The Russian fighter does well against shorter fighters, and Canelo is easily the shortest opponent he’s fought.
Don’t be surprised if Bivol makes it look easy against Canelo, as he did against Jean Pascal and Sullivan Barrera.
What’s interesting about this fight is how vastly different Canelo’s physique looks compared to when he fought former WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019, and in his two contests with Gennadiy Golovkin.
The 31-year-old Canelo doesn’t have the vascular bodybuilder look for the Bivol fight as he did when he fought Kovalev and Golovkin. This could mean that Canelo isn’t hitting the weights as much or if it’s a diet thing.
Whatever the case, Canelo’s physique isn’t ripped like it was in those three fights. Canelo was blocky & slow when he fought at light heavyweight three years ago, and that would be a big problem against the quick-footed Bivol.
It’s likely that Bivol’s mobility and boxing skills have Canelo worried, making him think that it would work against him if he bulks up to a little Hulk as he did the last time he fought at 175.
Bivol confident of victory
“It’s just the opinion of people. If many people bet on Canelo, it’s no good to bet on him to earn money. It’s just opinion,” said Dmitry Bivol to ESNEWS, reacting o being told that Canelo Alvarez is a 4 to 1 favorite to beat him on May 7th.
Bivol shouldn’t worry about the oddsmakers picking Canelo to beat him. They’d probably have Canelo the favorite against IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev as well, and they’d end up looking silly when the unbeaten Russian talent stops him.
“I just do the work that my coach tells me. He said, ‘You have to do this,’ and I just do,” said Bivol when told that he has a reputation of taking it easy on sparring partners.
“I don’t want to win every sparring [session]. Why? I want to learn, of course. Every sparring is a learn. No knockdown [of sparring]. Not too much, but if it happens, it’s just an accident.
“Of course, I feel confident. I feel power, speed, everything,” said Bivol. “I had a good camp. Yeah, I feel good. Yeah, he’s young. I think he will feel comfortable at 175,” said Bivol about David Benavidez possibly moving up to light heavyweight soon. Why not? He’s a big guy.
“Beterbiev has more of a chance,” Bivol said when asked about his view on who wins the June 18th unification fight between IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr.
“Smith has the power to, but Beterbiev has power. Beterbiev, not only power, but he’s a good boxer too. No, no, no, not just power. We see his power, but people that understand boxing, they see his boxing school too.
“I just have an awkward boxing school, which helps me win the fight. I think it’s interesting to see which school is better. Mine or Canelo. Right now, I’m not excited. I’m getting used to big fights. I’m just looking forward to fighting.
“I’m glad I have a fight and an opportunity, but not more. He was the main coach at Saint Petersburg amateur,” Bivol said about his trainer. “He was the main coach at Saint Petersburg, and I was an amateur team.
“He had a student who was in the Olympic games in Korea in 1988. Every action, you have to know why you do this action. He just says it once, and if you don’t want to, it’s your problem.
“If you throw a jab, you have to know why you throw a jab, how you throw a jab. Elbow up, elbow down, everything you have to know what to do,” Bivol said.
Bivol ready for fight
“I don’t watch too many fights because I box too much, but every time I see videos of Sugar Ray Leonard, I love it. I love his movement, how he throws his punches so easily,” said Bivol.
“His arms are like a string but his fists are like a rock. I like Tyson Fury outside of the ring. He just makes boxing more interesting for people. I appreciate him for this. He’s a good person for boxing.
“I like meat. When my weight is down, and you’re angry like an animal, I forget this because I eat what I want before the weight. I don’t have a problem, but maybe I love sweets. I love ice cream after a fight. I usually buy ice cream. Vanilla is my favorite.
“I think you all know that Canelo is the best fighter and you don’t want to miss his fights. It’s a good opportunity for me to fight him and win. I’m really excited.
“I try to do my best and to show how I’m a good boxer. I hope you will enjoy the fight and will be glad to see this fight,” said Bivol.
“I don’t know what to say to him. Yeah, we’ll see each other,” said Bivol about him and Canelo seeing each other soon. “No words just action in the ring,” said Bivol.
The last thing boxing fans need is Bivol to be talking it up with Canelo like his last opponent Caleb Plant. Who can forget the conversation Plant had with Canelo during the ninth round of their fight last November.
Plant seemed to be looking to be validated by Canelo, asking him if he thought he was a good fighter. You won’t see Bivol stooping to that level on May 7th.
He’s coming to fight, not to talk to Canelo, and try and befriend him inside the ring that night like Plant appeared to be doing.