In recent times, Álvarez has changed into an invincible man however subsequent
he meets his hardest opponent in a number of years. Matt Christie breaks down Canelo vs Bivol
AGE & EXPERIENCE
ÁLVAREZ, born on July 18, 1990, is precisely 5 months older than Bivol. It will be tempting to say that in addition to being marginally youthful, Bivol can be considerably brisker when one places his 19 skilled fights alongside his opponent’s 60. But it’s the adopted Russian – born in Kyrgyzstan to a Moldovan father and Korean mom – who has been boxing for longer. He began on the age of six and, after juggling a number of fight sports activities, he compiled a reported beginner report of 268-15 the place he received junior World championships, a Youth bronze in 2008 and fought at a excessive stage internationally, together with within the hybrid World Sequence of Boxing.
When in comparison with Canelo’s report within the vest – supposedly 44-2 after beginning on the ripe previous age of 13 – Bivol can rightly declare to have superior education at grassroots stage and, total, has truly had extra fights than his rival. However within the skilled ranks, essentially the most dependable barometer when analysing knowledgeable contest, the expertise of Álvarez leads the best way by a substantial distance.
This shall be Álvarez’s thirty seventh scheduled 12-rounder in comparison with Bivol’s twelfth, the opening bell will set off the 437th spherical of the red-head’s skilled profession (to Bivol’s 149th) and that is the primary time that the underdog has been in an occasion something like the dimensions of this. Evidently massive fights are, by now, second nature to Canelo.
SINCE November 2019, Canelo has gone 5-0 (4) towards Sergey Kovalev, Callum Smith, Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant. Granted, not precisely a ‘murderers’ row’ however nonetheless a very distinctive run of kind that noticed the Mexican win a belt at light-heavyweight earlier than dropping right down to 168 to utterly filter out the highest of the burden class inside 12 months. Moreover, the lads he beat to win gongs at super-middle have been all unbeaten beforehand (Smith, Saunders and Plant).
In the identical timeframe, Bivol posted 12-round factors wins over Lenin Castillo, Craig Richards and Umar Salamov. All stable fighters however none deemed a menace to anybody near the highest of the light-heavyweight rankings. Bivol didn’t massively impress in any of these outings, both. We’ve got to return somewhat additional, to March 2019 – greater than three years in the past – for proof of Bivol at his greatest. That was when he dominated the strong Joe Smith Jnr over 12 rounds, highlighting how good he could be. Even so, 4 of Canelo’s final 5 opponents – Kovalev, Smith, Saunders and Plant – could be favoured to outbox Smith, too.
Álvarez is leaping up in weight to a spot he’s been earlier than; Bivol, nonetheless, is taking an almighty leap into the sort of class he’s by no means as soon as skilled.
SIZE, PHYSICAL EQUIPMENT & STYLE
AT 6ft, Bivol will get pleasure from a four-inch peak benefit and slightly below two inches in attain. However that is nothing new to Canelo; one has to return to his 2015 factors win over Miguel Cotto for the final time he encountered an opponent he was taller than.
Nevertheless, Bivol is a pure light-heavyweight, boxing within the weight class since he turned skilled in 2014. This shall be his twentieth combat at 175lbs, in comparison with Canelo’s second. Not having needed to acquire or drop some pounds is a bonus; his camp can have been all about making ready for the Mexican celebrity.
The 4/1 underdog is a wonderful fighter, too. He does all the basics very effectively, he’s clever and by no means hurried. Like Canelo, he likes to combat in a deliberate and methodical method behind among the finest jabs within the sport. He also can throw lead hooks with aplomb and has a tidy straight proper hand. Additionally like Canelo, he can burst into motion and fireplace fast combos from a standing begin.
Canelo has developed right into a affected person and suave murderer. He could lose rounds right here and there however it’s a very long time since he misplaced his composure; he stays calm, assured and assured always. His ft and defensive abilities are nearly as supreme as his attacking prowess. Onerous to fault in any means however, in relation to the 175lbs class, Bivol is the extra established.
WHAT BIVOL MUST DO TO WIN
TO HAVE any likelihood by any means towards Canelo, the jab needs to be on level, it needs to be common and there could be no concern in relation to following up; to beat Canelo he might want to boss from centre ring and be courageous sufficient to throw extra than simply ones and twos whereas various his output to move and physique. Bivol is able to doing precisely that if – and it’s an enormous if – he turns up at his highest.
Álvarez opponents typically fall beneath the Mexican’s spell and combat at his tempo, so Bivol – who additionally not often over exerts himself except there’s good purpose to – may very well discover the tempo of the early going to his liking. Unflustered and assured, it’s possible he’ll use his peak and attain benefits extra successfully than current Canelo opponents and win rounds. The extra he can win, and even simply nick, the extra possible it’s that Canelo shall be pressured to take the sort of probabilities he’s not needed to take for some time.
WHAT CANELO MUST DO TO WIN
CANELO has been right here so many occasions earlier than. What he could discover with Bivol, nonetheless, is a fighter he struggles to interrupt down mentally.
Álvarez could discover alternatives to counter restricted so count on him to provoke exchanges himself by setting traps as he is available in. The physique of Bivol must be focused by Canelo’s looking out hooks earlier than he takes purpose up prime; Canelo’s proper, which he can loop over an oncoming jab or craft into a standard hook, could be his simplest weapon on this contest.
Though Canelo has had success prior to now by draining vitality from his opponents, he’ll must work laborious to retain management. The tempo, if gradual and measured, will swimsuit the favorite. Unhurried, he’ll possible up his output because the combat progresses.
THE uninitiated could presume that is simply one other day on the workplace for the most effective fighter within the sport, that just because his identify is Canelo Álvarez he wins this combat. However this could be one of many hardest fights of his profession and an upset wouldn’t be a large shock.
Bivol’s pace and supreme ringcraft make this a troublesome night time for Canelo. It’s unlikely that, mentally, he shall be overawed in any means.
We count on a nip and tuck affair, significantly by means of the primary six rounds. In the end, although, Canelo seems the extra versatile and his expertise on the highest of ranges could possibly be the distinction within the second half. Nevertheless, Bivol exceeding expectations could result in some screaming theft when Alvarez’s arms are raised after 12 absorbing and tactical periods.
ZILHEI ZHANG is 6ft 6ins, he’s a southpaw and he’s unbeaten in 24 fights. He’s additionally probably the most overrated heavyweights of the present period who has been protected all through his profession, largely as a result of there’s likelihood to do some massive enterprise in China the place heavyweight boxers are uncommon.
Filip Hrgović would have been a certainty to beat Zhilhei however the Croatian, whose father died in April, withdrew from the competition as a consequence of a troublesome coaching camp. As we went to press, Zhang was ready on a brand new opponent.
There’s some good matchmaking additional down the cardboard, with some shiny information both set to be strengthened or uncovered.
Southpaw Montana Love, 17-0-1 (9) and from Cleveland, Ohio, ought to win his super-lightweight 12-rounder towards fringe contender, Gabriel Valenzuela, 25-2-1 (15). But the Mexican, who beat Robbie Davies Jnr in February final 12 months, appears prone to final the course.
Over 10 rounds at welterweight, Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov, 12-0 (9), must be too good for Mexican puncher, Christian Gomez, 22-2-1 (20). Additionally, maintain an eye fixed out for flyweight Joselito Velazquez, 14-0-1 (9), middleweight Alexis Espino, 9-0-1 (6) and super-feather, Elnur Abduraimov, 8-0 (7).