By Huck Allen: Canelo Alvare has finalized the first part of a two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th on DAZN.
Canelo chose to accept Matchroom Boxing’s two-fight deal over PBC’s 2-fight offer to face Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez.
This will be pay-per-view, and that’s going to upset some people, but Canelo’s two-fight contract with DAZN will be an expensive one. Having both of Canelo’s fights this year on pay-per-view will help DAZN balance things out and perhaps turn a tidy profit.
The Canelo-Bivol fight is expected to occur at what many fans believe is Canelo’s good luck venue, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The other part of the two-fight deal for Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) will be a trilogy match against his old nemesis, 39-yea-old Gennady Golovkin, in September 17th. That fight is expected to take place at the T-Mobile Arena.
The Canelo-Golovkin fight hinges on Canelo beating Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) on May 7th, and Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) defeating WBA Super World middleweight champion Ryota Murata in early April.
According to Keith Idec, Canelo vs. Bivol press conference will take place next Wednesday in San Diego.
The former four-division world champion Canelo will be moving up to 175 to challenge Bivol for his WBA title.
Canelo briefly moved up to light heavyweight three years ago to take the WBO title from past his prime champion Sergey Kovalev, who he beat by an 11th round knockout in November 2019 in Las Vegas.
It’ll be a lot more difficult for Canelo to unseat the Russian Bivol as the WBA 175lb champion, as he’s still in his prime and young at 31.
For obvious reasons, Canelo will need to perform much better against Bivol than he did against then 36-year-old Kovalev to come out victorious on May 7th. That fight was very competitive until the 11th round, when Kovalev stopped throwing punches and was taken out by Canelo.
It’s unknown if Golovkin will get past his April opponent Murata because that’s a tough one, and the Kazahstan fighter has fought only three times since 2018.
“Al Haymon offered Alvarez a one-fight deal worth upward of $45 million for a May 7 defense of his undisputed super middleweight championship against Jermall Charlo, sources said. Another PBC offer extended to Alvarez, 31, was for two fights and more than $100 million for a May fight with Charlo and a September bout with David Benavidez,” said Mike Coppinger at ESPN.
Rather than agree to either of those two lucrative deals from PBC, Canelo went with the smaller $85 million deal from Matchroom promoter Hearn to face Bivol and Golovkin.
Besides Canelo’s desire to close the chapter on his rivalry with Golovkin, he also wants to become the undisputed champion at 175.
Facing Bivol in May will give Canelo a foothold in the light heavyweight division and put him in a position to face the winner of the unification fight between IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. for the undisputed championship in either late 2022 or early 2023.
Under a perfect scenario, it would be better for Canelo to fight GGG next on May 7th rather than waiting until September to meet him potentially.
If they were to fight on May 7th, Golovkin would be Canelo’s guaranteed opponent.
But with Golovkin needing to beat the powerful WBA 160-lb champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) in early April in Japan, there’s a strong possibility he’ll lose that fight. Murata is an intelligent fighter with excellent power and is quite capable of throwing many heavy punches.
Golovkin won’t be able to match Murata’s punch output, so he’s going to have to count on knocking him out to win.
In Golovkin’s last fight against his IBF mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta in December 2020, he stopped him in the seventh round.
That was over a year ago, and GGG will have been out of the ring for a year and a half by the time he faces Murata in April. Given how slow and rusty Golovkin looked against Szeremeta, he’s likely to be worse off against Murata.
Before Golovkin’s last fight, he’d been out of the ring for a year since his questionable 12 round decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in October 2019.
Bivol has wins over Joe Smith Jr, Jean Pascal, Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba, Craig Richards, and Umar Salamov.