CANELO v BIVOL PREDICTIONS: Hearn says Alvarez faces toughest fight

CANELO v BIVOL PREDICTIONS: Eddie Hearn insists Alvarez faces ‘the toughest fight of his career’, but George Kambosos Jr tips him to ‘tear Bivol apart round by round’ and Bernard Hopkins says Mexican will ‘smash him like mash potatoes’

  • Canelo Alvarez will square off with Dmitrii Bivol in Las Vegas on Saturday night 
  • The Mexican is looking to cement himself as one of the best fighters of all time  
  • Bivol is the underdog but is undefeated and will give Canelo a stern test 
  • Promoter Eddie Hearn feel it is the toughest bout of Canelo’s boxing career
  • Bob Arum, Bernard Hopkins and Julio Cesar Chavez tipped him for an easy win  

Canelo Alvarez will continue his assault on boxing’s top fighters when he takes on Dmitrii Bivol looking to take his WBA world light-heavyweight title off his hands in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The Mexican pound-for-pound king is the clear favourite to overcome the Russian, though his opponent is highly-regarded and unbeaten in his career so far, so Canelo will not be underrestimating him in the slightest. 

The fearless Canelo will seemingly take on any challenge, even against fighters in higher weight classes – this week claiming he would step into the ring with heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

But will his class still shine through against the tough challenge of Bivol? Sportsmail has gathered predictions from the biggest names in boxing, who have had their say on which way the fight will go. 


Canelo Alvarez (L) and Dmitrii Bivol (R) face off on Saturday, but who do the experts back?

EDDIE HEARN – ON THE FENCE

Matchroom Boxing promoter 

‘This is a very, very tough fight because Dmitry Bivol is fresh,’ said Eddie Hearn to Intu Boxing about Canelo Alvarez’s fight this Saturday night against Dmitry Bivol.

‘He’s never been in trouble in a fight, he’s never been hurt in a fight, and he beat Joe Smith, the other world champion easy,’ Hearn continued about Bivol.

‘It’s a stroll in the park, and he’s [Dmitry Bivol] been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time,’ said Hearn. ‘Now, he’s going to get it, but he’s going to have to be a pound-for-pound great to beat Canelo Alvarez because this guy is so good.

‘I saw him up there, and I said, ‘Are you ready?’ The look in his eyes, it’s as if to say, ‘Oh, yeah.’ He’s going to bring everything to Bivol, and it’s a brilliant fight, and it’s a tough one, one of the toughest of his career so far,’

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes Canelo faces the ‘toughest fight of his career’ against Bivol

CRAIG RICHARDS – LEANING TOWARDS CANELO

Lost to Bivol in 2021  

‘He [Canelo] needs to be smart with his work early,’ Richards told DAZN.

‘Bivol’s a sharpshooter, he’s got very fast hands, good combination puncher.

‘You’ve got to pick your times when to press onto him. But Canelo is Canelo, I’m sure he doesn’t need advice from myself with his IQ.

‘In my fight I showed how I closed the distance, no one has really done that to Bivol before, so people think that part is easy, but it’s going to be difficult for Canelo to close the gap and get to work if he doesn’t have good footwork.’

Craig Richards (R) warned Canelo he needs to ‘close the distance’ to unsettle Bivol (L)

GEORGE KAMBOSOS JR – CANELO ON POINTS 

Lightweight world champion

‘I think he will box very intelligently and tear Bivol apart round by round. 

‘I think Bivol has a solid jaw and so he will go the distance and test Canelo several times, but he won’t have enough artillery to beat him.’ 

BOB ARUM – CANELO KO

Top Rank promoter 

‘I think Canelo is something special. Bivol is a good fighter, but I would side with Canelo in that fight. 

‘He is a warrior and he has a great trainer like Eddy Reynoso, so I think he has too much for Bivol, who is not a real puncher. [Bivol] is a competitive guy who has a few good wins.’ 

Legendary promoter Bob Arum hailed ‘special Canelo’ and is backing him for a routine win

KALLE SAUERLAND – CANELO KO

Wasserman Boxing promoter 

‘I think that Canelo will win convincingly and stop his man between rounds 6-8. I just think Canelo has come on so strong and there is no one around that weight that can hold with him. 

I think Bivol is an excellent technical fighter but I think Canelo will get to him and it won’t go into the later rounds.’ 

JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ – CANELO KO

Former multi-weight world champion 

‘I think (Bivol) is a fighter who is going to give him, with all due respect, a good five, six rounds. 

‘But then he is going to impose the strength, the body shot, the shot from the Cinnamon it will prevail. I think she’s going to end up knocking out Bivol.’ 

CALLUM SMITH – CANELO ON POINTS 

Lost to Canelo in 2020 

‘It’s a good fight; Bivol is a very good fighter. He’s a lot better and more effective when you’re in there with him. He’s not flashy, and he’s hard to beat. I think it’ll be a close competitive fight.

‘I don’t think Bivol hits hard enough to make Canelo think twice [about pressuring]. I think Canelo possibly comes from behind, but I think Canelo wins on points.’

Callum Smith – who lost to Canelo in 2020 – thinks Bivol will make him work for a point victory

BERNARD HOPKINS – CANELO KO

Former middle and light-heavyweight world champion 

‘He smashes him. Mashed potatoes all over the place. Another smash event, smashes him.

‘I mean, people are really excited – yeah, to see Canelo, whether he can stay mentally and physically on top as he has been. ‘That’s all we really looking for, people that know.’

‘If Canelo didn’t have the attributes, the talent that he has, yes [Bivol could cause problems]. But that’s not the case, we’re talking fantasy if we’re talking about that, it’s a fantasy.

‘Things are so basically one-sided from a person like myself and others out there that would agree. ‘It’s about what Canelo wants to do, not what Bivol is going to do.’

Iconic boxer Bernard Hopkins can see Canelo Alvarez ‘smashing’ Bivol ‘like mash potatoes’

SHAKUR STEVENSON – ON THE FENCE 

Super-featherweight world champion 

‘It’s going to take a special talent to beat Canelo, but Bivol might cause Canelo a lot of problems too.

‘He’s got a good boxing IQ, he might cause Canelo problems, but Canelo might get to his body and break him down.’

CLARESSA SHIELDS – CANELO WIN 

Undisputed world champion 

‘I don’t think that Canelo can be beat by the guys he’s being matched up against.

‘I believe that Canelo will beat anybody put in front of him unless it’s Demetrius Andrade or Jermall Charlo.’

Undisputed women’s boxing champion Claressa Shields says Canelo is too much for the opponents he is being matched up against

TIM BRADLEY – CANELO WIN 

Former welterweight and super lightweight world champion 

‘I have to say it’s Canelo. I’ve said in the past that Bivol does have a chance and he does, he really does, but what he needs to do is stay off the ropes. 

‘If he stays off the ropes to keep the fight at the center of the ring then he’ll have a really good chance of beating Canelo because he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he understands how to fight against the high guard Canelo uses. 

‘He likes to punch in between, he can punch in between that guard of Canelo and come around it as well. And just good footwork, in and out movement, kind of confuse Canelo.

‘But, gotta stay off those ropes. If you don’t stay off the ropes it could be night night for Bivol. I think that’s where it’s gonna be most dangerous for him, is against the ropes.’

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