By John Tornay: Dmitry Bivol says he plans on taking risks against Canelo Alvarez on May 7th because he’s facing the best fighter in boxing and he knows he’s going to need to up his game to get the victory.
Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA light heavyweight title against the superstar Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) on DAZN pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
This is a fight that Bivol is looking forward to because he wants to compare his skills to that of Canelo.
If Bivol can outbox Canelo, that would mean a lot to him because it would show that he’s a better fighter in the skills department.
It obviously would help if Bivol takes the judges out of play entirely by knocking Canelo so that he doesn’t wind up suffering the same fate as Gennady Golovkin and Erislandy Lara when they fought the Mexican star in Las Vegas. Both guys were on the receiving end of controversial decisions.
Bivol uses his power when needed
“You thought I had a weak punch?” said Dmitry Bivol to Fight Hub TV. “Of course, I have good power. I’m a light heavyweight and I have nineteen wins. I have good power, but I don’t use it every time.
“I see I can punch harder, I use my power, but sometimes I’m looking forward to using my skills and hitting the big punch. Of course, I will use all my good sides. The power, speed, movement, everything I should use.
Bivol played it safe in his recent fights against Umar Salamov and Craig Richards, doing the minimum to get the win, but not attempting to try and score knockouts.
Those were opponents that Bivol probably could have stopped had he gone all out looking for a stoppage.
“If I see I could hit him harder, I will do it. I am bigger but not big like Sergey Kovalev,” said Bivol. I think I’m a similar size with Canelo because I don’t lose too much weight in the light heavyweight division.
“We all know about Sergey Kovalev. He didn’t have enough time for preparation. He was empty after his last fight and he took the fight against Canelo and he didn’t have confidence he could go 12 rounds because his previous fight was so close. He didn’t have time to recover.
“Of course, you have enough power to stop your opponent in the early rounds,” Bivol said. “If you don’t have enough power, he will come to you every time, and he will keep coming and coming, and he will eat you,” said Bivol about Canelo.
If Bivol doesn’t make Canelo respect his power, he’s going to walk him down and score a knockout in the way that he did against the non-punchers Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.
Dmitry to take risks
“Of course, this fight is a fight against the best fighter in the world, and you have to use everything,” Bivol said about fighting the superstar Canelo. “When you see, you have to go on the risk.
“In this fight, I will, of course, take more risks because the opponent is better,” said Bivol when told that he has a reputation for playing it safe in fights. “This is my chance to show my skills to the people,” Bivol said.
It’s obvious that Bivol needs to take risks in this fight if he wants because he’s never going to get a decision win unless he beats him in a one-sided manner.
As we saw with Gennady Golovkin, beating Canelo by 8 rounds to 4 doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have your hand raised.
“He was looking good at light heavyweight, but it was only one fight against Kovalev, who was a little bit tired,” Bivol said about his thoughts on what he saw of Canelo during his fight with Kovalev.
“I think he has enough ability at light heavyweight because he’s undisputed 168. It means he’s ready for light heavyweight. Who has the better skills? It’s an interesting question for me. That’s why I’m excited about this fight. I want to check my skills. I want to challenge myself against the best fighter.
“Size doesn’t mean anything because in most of my fights, I was smaller than my opponent. It does not matter who is bigger. It’s more who has the better boxing skills,” said Bivol.
Size obviously will help Bivol against Canelo, but he’s going to need to use his jab if he wants to get the victory because that’s the best way to beat him.
People overvalue Canelo’s ability
“Of course, he has good power and good skills, but most people think of him as untouchable or he’s unstoppable or he has enough power to beat super heavyweights,” Bivol said.
“Sometimes it’s funny to hear about him from people. First of all, he’s a good fighter, and he’s a man. He has a loss and a draw. If you believe in your skills and you’re a good boxer, you could give him one more loss.
“Of course, I watched those fights. They were different fights against Mayweather and Golovkin,” said Bivol when asked if he’d watched Canelo’s fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Gennadiy Golovkin.
Mayweather was Mayweather. He had better speed and he had more boxing skills. Golovkin was more confident in their first fight, and I thought Golovkin should have won the first fight.
“It was close, but I thought Golovkin was better. For me, it’s only my opinion and it’s nothing. It doesn’t matter,” said Bivol about Canelo already signed to fight Golovkin on September 17th.
“I’m glad I have this fight and it’s a lot for me. It’s enough for me, I have a chance. Everything depends on me. I’m only thinking about May 7th. I just have to do my job, I just have to do a good job, and we will see what will be,” Bivol said.
Kovalev gave Bivol advice on Canelo
“We don’t speak often, but he told me, ‘Dmitry, you can beat him, believe me. The point is don’t overdo in the preparation. Canelo is a human being. Just train like it’s another fight. Don’t overrate his abilities. Don’t overrate Canelo’s abilities. He’s a regular fighter,’” said Bivol on what Kovalev told him about Canelo.
“I believed in him when he was fighting against Canelo, I really believed in him. On my scores, he was winning until he got the punch. But this is boxing, this is why I love boxing. It can be stepped in any second.
“Honestly, I never counted the skills for skill stuff, but he’s very good at what he does and I’m very good at what I’m doing. We both have skills and it only matters for the preparation and who is going to prepare right for this fight.
“I believe I have all the skills necessary to beat him. I believe I have all the skills to prepare properly for the fight and be ready. Every camp is different, with different sparring partners, different places, different people around you, and different times of the year.
“Every camp is different, but the basic model of preparation is always the same. The same team, the same plan, the same goals, and just the change of opponents and sparring partners and the place of training,” said Bivol.