Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez prides himself on taking on all comers, but the man who handed him his second career defeat disagrees.
Dmitry Bivol welcomed Canelo back to light-heavyweight for a shot at his world title. The Russian was an underdog, but showed superior skills over the distance and won on points – his eighth unanimous decision victory in a row.
For some time, Canelo said the rematch was the only fight he wanted. As the victor in the first meeting, Bivol tried to use some of that clout to make the second fight at super-middleweight for the the Mexican’s undisputed title rather than another defence of his 175 WBA belt.
Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Bivol was asked if he would rather win the three remaining belts at light-heavyweight or move down and take all of Canelo’s titles.
Given the choice, he would opt to stay where he is, but he feels the opportunity at 168 was never truly on the table.
“I didn’t take it as serious with Canelo. It was only talking. Just word, words. I have my own weight, of course it’s better to fight in my weight class for four belts.
But if they want the rematch it’s not enough just talking, we need to some moves. And we know who should do some moves – it’s not me, because I’m ready to fight. I don’t care about it much, I’m just focused on my weight class now, and the fight against Beterbiev is a great fight.”
Whether or not the rematch happens further down the line remains to be seen, but it’s off the table for now.
The pair are no longer under the same promotional banner, and Bivol may get his long-awaited crack at unified champion Artur Beterbiev in 2024 – even despite a WBC ruling that says he will not be sanctioned.
Canelo is with PBC now and expected to defend his titles against the winner of David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade in the first half of 2024.