Canelo has been in trouble because of his opponents, who were fast and box fighters. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was the only one to defeat Canelo.
In strict boxing terms Saul Alvarez versus Dimitry Bivol is a contest worthy of Canelo’s annual Cinco de Mayo showpiece in Las Vegas.
It is important to point out, however, that I don’t agree with this fight. All Russian fighters and athletes should be banned from any other sport until the invasion ends.
Canelo’s opponents have been fast, box fighters who have caused him trouble. Floyd Mayweather Jnr was his only opponent and he defeated him.
Austin Trout, Erislandy Trout, and Austin Lara were other people who threw him off-kilter.
Bivol is a member of the same ilk. He fights more like an amateur and relies on his feet to escape range.
Canelo will have to deal with this problem, as he cuts down the ring more than any other person I’ve seen.
His footwork and balance are amazing. Canelo is a great fighter, just like Julio Cesar Chavez or Roberto Duran.
Conventional moves don’t work against him. He walks across to his opponents, taking them on to a right-hand or left hook.
And Canelo doesn’t miss. Although it might take him a few rounds to reach his range, he will eventually reach Bivol.
It took him 11 rounds to nail Bivol’s compatriot Sergey Kovalev. Bivol is more defensive than Kovalev, so theoretically it will be harder for him to reach.
He is also younger and has fewer miles. But he does not carry Kovalev’s knockout power nor does he have the Krusher’s experience.
Bivol must keep the fight at the center of the ring for as long as possible to survive. In an emergency, Bivol must take at least four steps before he hits the ropes.
However, he doesn’t want Canelo to be there. He must accept Canelo’s terms and stop him from shutting down the ring.
It means controlling distance using the jab. If Canelo is approaching, he needs to take a step back, throw quickly, and then return to the centre.
Bivol should at least catch Canelo if he does not land with a clean landing. It is best to aim for the chest. He will hit some of his target and force a reset.
We are essentially talking about damage limitation. A Canelo points win is the more likely but don’t be surprised to see Bivol dispatched in the championship rounds.