The boxing world is enjoying a run of big fights right now. We've seen Errol Spence Jr. get the best of Yordenis Ugas, Tyson Fury knockout Dillian Whyte, and Shakur Stevenson become undisputed super featherweight champion with a win over Oscar Valdez and Katie Taylor best Amanda Serrano in an exciting scrap at Madison Square Garden. This weekend, on Saturday, May 7, Canelo Alvarez returns to the light heavyweight division for the first time since he won the WBO light heavyweight crown in November 2019 with an 11th-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez, who became the undisputed super middleweight champion in November with an 11th-round TKO win over Caleb Plant, faces Dmitry Bivol on Saturday for Bivol's WBA light heavyweight crown.
Alvarez brings a 57-1-2 record into the contest, while Bivol is a perfect 19-0. According to The Ring, the 31-year-old Alvarez is the No. 1 rated pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Bivol, who is also 31, is not among the top pound-for-pound boxers according to The Ring, but he is the No. 2 rated competitor in the light heavyweight division.
- Date & Location: Saturday, May 7, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: DAZN pay-per-view
Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol odds
Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol prediction
Fans are likely to know a lot more about Alvarez than they do about Bivol. With that, we will cover Bivol first. The light heavyweight champion has a height advantage of three inches and a reach advantage of 1.5 inches. Despite being the bigger man, Bivol does not have a power advantage over Alvarez. He hasn’t had a stoppage since 2018, when he scored a TKO over Sullivan Barrera in 2018. His past six outings have all gone the distance. What Bivol has is speed, solid footwork, good defense and excellent discipline. He is a boxer and not a brawler, a fighter who chooses his shots well and doesn’t waste energy.
As Alvarez has gone deeper in his career, he has become a much more aggressive fighter. He is no longer the patient counterpuncher. He is aggressive, a push-forward combatant who mixes up his targets, looking for knockouts. Thirty-nine of Alvarez’s fights have ended via knockout, including his sole another fight in the light heavyweight division. Alvarez’s movement and defensive skills are what allow him to be so aggressive and force his opponents to fight the fight that he wants.
I expect Alvarez to take advantage of Bivol’s less aggressive style, maybe not from the start of the fight, but once he gets a read on his opponent’s movement and timing, which will happen in the early rounds.
OSB prediction: Canelo Alvarez (-600)
How long does Alvarez vs. Bivol last?
I think Bivol will have some success in the early going. He will be able to use his jab to keep Alvarez at distance and I see him winning the early rounds because of his size. However, I think as the fight goes on that Alvarez will be able to take advantage of the movement and timing of Bivol. When that happens, I expect Alvarez to slip and counter the jab of Bivol and score big points to the body. With that body blows, Alvarez will slow his opponent, and that will cause Bivol to drop his guard and his head, which will open up more opportunities for Alvarez to land.
I think this one will be competitive early, but that Alvarez will pull ahead and eventually win a unanimous decision.
Pick: Alvarez to win via unanimous decision (-500)
Bivol has the chance to spoil big plans
On April 9 of this year, Gennady Golovkin stopped Ryota Murata in the ninth round. That win was the first domino that needed to fall to set up a trilogy bout between Golovkin and Alvarez. The two met in back-to-back scraps in 2017 and 2018. The first bout ended in a split draw and the rematch went Alvarez's way via majority decision. A third fight, which is tentatively planned for later in 2022, would be huge for boxing as well as the fighters involved. A Bivol win on May 7 would likely put those plans to rest.
If you think Bivol can pull off the upset, and I do not believe he can do that, the odds are favorable to place a wager on him.
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