Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez looks set to rematch old foe Dmitriy Bivol in the second half of 2023, provided he gets past mandatory challenger John Ryder at the Estadio Akron this Saturday night.
With his WBA light heavyweight world title on the line, Bivol put in a career best performance against Alvarez last May to win a clear unanimous decision and inflict upon the Mexican his first defeat in almost a decade.
Though Bivol has made clear he wants a second meeting to take place at 168lbs for Canelo’s undisputed super middleweight crown, the same terms as the first contest are likely to be in play.
And, in a recent interview with IFL TV, promoter Eddie Hearn stated that a rematch with Bivol at light heavyweight is the only fight where Canelo would go in as the underdog.
“He [Canelo] is a massive underdog against Dmitriy Bivol with the fight at 175lbs. Tell me any other fight in the world where Canelo Alvarez is the underdog? Doesn’t exist.”
“This is the toughest fight for him, but guess what? He wants the toughest fights out there, and he wants to avenge that defeat.”
All this talk will mean little, however, should Canelo suffer defeat to Ryder, who will be in Guadalajara with every intention of spoiling the pound for pound star’s plans.
The contest will be Canelo’s first in his native Mexico since all the way back in 2011, and is expected to draw an attendance of around 50,000.
Though the loss to Bivol did come as a surprise to many, defeat to Ryder would be on another level entirely and would rank amongst the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.