Talks for a rematch between Dmitry Bivol and Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez look set to reach a stalemate as neither fighter is keen to budge on the weight for the contest.
Bivol, who holds the WBA Light Heavyweight title, successfully defended his belt against undisputed super middleweight champ, Álvarez, with a unanimous decision in a performance that made his case for 2022’s fighter of the year.
A second fight between the pair looked almost nailed on following Canelo’s loss in May. There wasn’t a rematch clause as standard, but an agreement to have the conversation should the opportunity arise.
Both men have had one victory since – the Gennady Golovkin trilogy for Canelo and a Gilberto Ramirez title defence for Bivol – and 2023 was the year they were set to run it back.
Despite the obvious hype, Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, told Little Giant Boxing he wasn’t certain it would happen.
“If that happens, I’ve said it before that I’m not 100% sure.”
“Why am i sceptical? To be honest, I don’t really understand why they would want to do it. I think that Canelo himself has that mentality that he really wants it, but from the sense that I get it just doesn’t make a lot of sense for them.”
Kornilov went on to discuss the terms his fighter has set to make the rematch happen, and that includes making it at super middleweight rather than light heavyweight as previous.
It’s an idea Canelo has refused in the past, and may be the sticking point that sees this one never made.
“Bivol already beat him. He’s not as motivated and there’s not really that big of a challenge of him. So they have to meet certain terms that we’re asking for, and one of those terms right now is Bivol wants to fight him at 168.
First of all, it’s enticing for him [to have] all the titles on the line, and he doesn’t want anymore excuses. Because Canelo said after the last fight that he went up in weight, but he’s done that before.”
Both champions want glory without caveats, and for Bivol that means winning more belts. It’s hard to see his team backing down from this and that means there’s a problem – especially considering how adamant his Mexican foe has been about fighting at 175lb once more.