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“The Russians will be defamed.” Is Bivol capable of defeating the best boxer on the planet?

On the morning of May 8, Russian WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol will face one of the greatest boxers of our time, Saul Alvarez. How foreign experts assess the chances of a Russian being successful in a duel: in the selection of “RBC Sport”

Saul Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

On the morning of May 8, Las Vegas will host the duel between the absolute world champion in the second middleweight category (up to 76.2 kg), the Mexican Saúl Canelo Álvarez, and the Russian Dmitry Bivol, world super champion, according to the Association World Boxing (WBA). in the weight category up to 79, 38 kg (light heavyweight). Bivol’s championship belt will be on the line.

Álvarez is one of the best boxers of our time, since September 2021 he leads the ranking of the best boxers, regardless of weight category, according to the authoritative magazine The Ring. In total he has 57 wins (39 by knockout), one loss and two draws in the professional arena.

According to authorized experts, Bivol is Álvarez’s most serious rival since 2019.

The WBA super light heavyweight title fight will headline the tournament in Las Vegas on the night of May 8. The fight between the Russian and the Mexican will start around 6:00 Moscow time.

Bernard Hopkins, former two-weight world champion, member of the Boxing Hall of Fame

“Canelo spreads it, just mashed potatoes everywhere. Another great event for him. People are really excited: They want to see if Canelo can stay mentally and physically on top like he used to. Bivol’s physical advantage? If Canelo didn’t have the qualities, the talent that he has, then yes. But it’s not like that if we talk about it [преимущество Бивола]then it’s fantastic. From my perspective, everything that’s coming is basically one-sided, it’s about what Canelo wants to do, not what Bivol is going to do,” Hopkins said.

Doug Fisher, Editor-in-Chief of The Ring magazine

“I think Bivol has a better jab, which is very important, as well as a more complicated and compact left hook. But Canelo is a better counter puncher and he has a more accurate power punch. One thing I noticed about Bivol is that he has a bad habit of dropping his hands right after the jab, which leaves him open to direct right hand punches. I don’t know if Alvarez will be able to finish the fight with Bivol early, but I think he will do more damage in 12 rounds and win a deserved decision,” said Fischer.

In all, The Ring interviewed 20 different pundits in the lead up to this fight, with only Cathy Duva backing a draw. The rest give victory to Álvarez.

Cathy Duva, American promoter who works with former World Light Heavyweight Champion Sergei Kovalev

“When and if the day comes that Canelo loses a fight, it will not be against one of his teammates. It will be against a bigger and younger boxer-puncher with exceptional intellect in the ring. I guess that’s a great description for Bivol, who has everything to get past Canelo. I’m betting on a tie because the large Mexican crowd in Las Vegas tends to sway the jury, at least to some degree. So I’m not sure Canelo can lose a decision in Vegas to anyone. And Bivol is a boxer, not a puncher. When it comes to a judges decision, Canelo always has the upper hand. I expect Bivol to fight hard and eventually beat Canelo. But I’m afraid a draw is the best Bivol can get under the circumstances,” Duva said.

Bob Arum, American promoter

“Canelo is something really special. Bivol is a good fighter, but in this fight he would give the opponent the advantage. I think it will be too hard for Bivol. However, this is not an attack on Bivol, because he is a competent fighter with good wins on his record,” Arum said.

Teddy Atlas, American trainer who worked with Alexander Povetkin

“Canelo’s opponent has a good chance of winning for the first time since the rematch with Gennady Golovkin in 2018. I don’t fall for Saunders and Plant with their unbeaten streaks. Before his fights, I said that there can only be one winner: Canelo. And a lot of people didn’t like it. I think the Bivol fight is the first time since the second Golovkin fight that Canelo’s opponent has had a chance to win,” Atlas said.

Eddie Hearn, British promoter

“Canelo is good, but I think he is going to have a tough and dangerous fight because moving up to light heavyweight definitely puts him at a disadvantage. Also, this is a fight against a light heavyweight, who is at the top of his form. This is not Kovalev, who led an unhealthy lifestyle and has already aged. So I’m worried about Canelo in this fight,” Hearn said.

Ray Mancini, former world lightweight champion

“I will bet on Bivol because he is a natural light heavyweight who moves very well. Canelo always has a problem with mobile fighters, he hasn’t fought a fighter like that since 2014 when he defeated Erislandy Lara, although many boxing fans believed he lost that fight. Canelo has been fighting great fighters in recent fights, and a lot of them don’t move well on their feet. Bivol knows how to move, at least he does it better than Sergey Kovalev,” Mancini said.

Timothy Bradley, former two-weight world champion

“At first, this fight will be relatively easy for Bivol as he will get the upper hand due to his activity. The fourth round would be the turning point, as Alvarez would find a way around Bivol’s jab and start throwing counterattacks. Bivol has a chance, the fight will go to the last rounds. Álvarez has brute force and dominance in the ring. His ego is protected by an invincibility shield. Alvarez will be forced to work hard, but he will win ahead of schedule, by TKO in the 10th or 11th round,” Bradley said.

Callum Smith, former super middleweight world champion

“I think it will be like Canelo’s last few fights, where he had to lose the advantage early in the fight and then catch up with opponents. He will finish the fight strong and possibly win on points. I think many dismiss Bivol. But he is a very good fighter. We boxed a lot as amateurs and I always followed him. He doesn’t “turn on”, but he always does enough. He is very difficult to beat, he is good at what he does and he doesn’t take risks. An interesting fight awaits us,” Smith said.


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