Canelo Faces Off Versus Bivol For Light Heavyweight Title

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, boxing’s pound-for-pound king, is back in the ring Saturday when he faces undefeated Dimitry Bivol for the light heavyweight championship. Tune in this Saturday, May 7th, at 8pm ET on DAZN PPV, available to DAZN subscribers and DIRECTV STREAM subscribers with the DIRECTV STREAM Device. The PPV is priced at $59.99 for DAZN subscribers and $79.99 for everyone else.

Catch the press conference livestream at 4pm ET on Thursday, May 5th.

Catch the weigh-in livestream at 4pm ET on Friday, May 6.

Cinco de Mayo weekend is one of the most popular weekends in boxing. Top Mexican fighters have traditionally staged huge bouts around the Mexican holiday, including Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, and Juan Manuel Marquez, but also American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino Manny Pacquiao. This year, Mexico’s greatest fighter, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) returns on Cinco de Mayo for the fifth time since 2016.

Canelo will face one of the stiffest challenges of his decorated career May 7th when he faces unbeaten Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs), the second-ranked light heavyweight in the world. The fight will be contested at 175 pounds with Bivol’s WBA Super World Light Heavyweight title on the line. Alvarez steps up from Super Middleweight (168 pounds), where he consolidated all the major belts over the past two years.

But Bivol is a different animal. He’s big, strong, and in his prime. He’s aggressive but measured, with light feet, a strong jab, and a heavy right hand. He also has a four-inch height advantage over Alvarez and 1.5-inch reach advantage. The Russian fighter, born in Soviet Kyrgyzstan, dominated the Russian amateur ranks with numerous belts and a 268-15 record. After turning pro, he defeated Felix Valera for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight title in 2016 and has held versions of that WBA belt ever since. He owns convincing wins against top Cuban contender Sullivan Barrera, former unified champion Jean Pascal, and Joe Smith, Jr. His use of body work, fluid movement, and a steady diet of combinations have put him at the top of the division along with Artur Beterbiev, the reigning WBC and IBF champ. But Alvarez will be his toughest competition to date.

Consolidating Belts

Alvarez has been barnstorming through boxing’s super middleweight division in recent years. He easily decisioned Callum Smith for the WBC Super Middleweight and WBA Super Middleweight belts. He won the WBO Super Middleweight title when he forced Billy Joe Saunders to retire in his corner. And he added the IBF Super Middleweight strap when he TKO’d Caleb Planet last November. Canelo’s heavy body shots and devastating counterpunches have lifted him to the top of the sport’s pound-for-pound list.

Of particular interest for this fight is Alvarez’s bout in 2019 with then WBO Light Heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, in which the Mexican scored a devastating 11th round KO of Kovalev, claiming his first light-heavyweight belt, which he later vacated to move down in weight and launching his quest to consolidate the super-middleweight belts.

Alvarez boasts a track record of triumphs against some of the sport’s best, across four divisions. In addition to the above conquests, Alvarez fought two classic middleweight battles with former champion Gennady Golovkin, drawing the first and winning a split decision in the second. He also has noteworthy wins over Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Amir Khan, Liam Smith, and Daniel Jacobs. Alvarez’s sole defeat is to undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather in 2013.

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