By Jim Calfa: David Benavidez thinks WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will give Canelo Alvarez a good fight if the two of them battle next on May 7th.
Presumably, Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso have studied Bivol in-depth and view him as beatable. If they didn’t feel they could beat Bivol, he’d likely be avoided like some believe Canelo is doing with Benavidez, David Morrell Jr, and Demetrius Andrade.
Bivol (19-0.11 KOs) and Gennadiy Golovkin are part of a two-fight, $85 million package offered to Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) from Eddie Hearn in 2022.
To Hearn, the two-fight deal for Canelo is still in the negotiation stages, but if he does agree to it, Bivol, 31, will be his next opponent at 175.
Former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez says he’s sparred the Russian Bivol in the past, and he was impressed with the one-time combinations he’d throw. However, he says Bivol didn’t have much beyond that, and he says you can time him.
Benavidez says Bivol is too predictable
“I think so, I honestly think so,” said David Benavidez to Fighthype when asked if Bivol would be too hesitant because of his fear for him to defeat Canelo.
“I think what’s going to be different in this fight is that Bivol is not too big of a guy. I’m talking about height-wise,” said Benavidez. “In the last couple of fights, Canelo has fought really tall guys and not really power punchers.
“I’ve sparred Bivol. He’s got a good one-two [left-right combination]. Yeah, I’ve sparred Bivol a lot. I don’t know, I want to see how it turns out,” Benavidez said of a fight between Canelo and Bivol.
“He’s [Bivol] good. That’s why I’m excited about the fight. Let’s see what happens. It’s going to be a great fight. He’s got good power, but to be honest with you, he throws good one-twos, but other than that [not much else].
“You can see it in the fight. There’s not really too much difference. He doesn’t really change it up,” said Benavidez about Bivol. “So when he throws a right hand, you’ll see a big right hand coming.
“I feel like he doesn’t have too much after that. Canelo, his way of sliding punches, I feel like you need more body shots and all that***. Bivol just kind of throws one-twos. He’s very effective with it.
“It’s not my job to say what he can, or he can’t do. We got to see for ourselves. I’m sure he’s going to get really motivated through all this s***. We just got to see,” Benavidez said.
Even if Benavidez is predictable, he’s vastly improved over Canelo’s opponents from 2021. Canelo’s last opponent Caleb Plant sounded like a basket case during the ninth round of their fight last November when he started finishing for compliments.
Bivol has a good right hand
“That’s definitely what it is,” said Benavidez when asked if Bivol’s style is the ‘old school Eastern European style, Russian, Uzbekistan, no inside.’ “But he’s very effective at what he does.
“He puts the right hand in really good. You can’t block a shot with him like this because he knows exactly how to put it in. He tries to punch through it [the guard].
“But once you get the timing down with that, you can go around and ask about the sparring I had with him. They’ll tell you. It’s going to be a great fight. I like Bivol a lot.
Zurdo [Gilberto Ramirez] throws a lot of body shots and pivots and stuff. I worked a lot more with Zurdo. When I would work with Bivol, I would do five or six rounds at the most,” said Benavidez.
You got to imagine that Bivol will come up with a different game plan if he gets the fight with Canelo. He’s not just going to throw one-twos in sparring with the Mexican star, especially once his trainer spots his weakness when taking it to the body.