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Mexican star Canelo Alvarez returns to the ring against light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol this Saturday in Las Vegas on pay-per-view.
Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) vs. Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs)
- Date: Saturday, May 7
- Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV/Stream: Pay-per-view
- Cost: $79.00 ($59.99 on DAZN for subscribers)
- Division: Light heavyweight (175 pounds)
- Rounds: 12
- At stake: Bivol’s WBA title
- Pound-for-pound ranking: Alvarez No. 2
- Odds: Alvarez 4-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
- Also on the card: Montana Love vs. Gabriel Valenzuela, junior welterweights; Filip Hrgovic vs. Zhang Zhilei, heavyweights; Shakhram Giyasov vs. Christian Gomez, welterweights; Joselito Velazquez vs. Jose Soto, flyweights.
- Prediction: Alvarez UD
- Background: Canelo Alvarez tested the 175-pound waters once before, stopping Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round of what had been a competitive fight to win the WBO title in November 2019. He could face a tougher test the second time around. The Mexican pound-for-pound star has been untouchable at 168 since winning two of the four major belts by easily outpointing Callum Smith in December 2020. He followed that with a third-round knockout of overmatched Avni Yildirim in his first defense two months later, an eighth-round stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders to add a third title two-plus months after that and a wide decision over Caleb Plant this past November to claim the fourth and final belt. There was talk that he might fight former super middleweight champ David Benavidez or middleweight beltholder Jermall Charlo. Instead, he opted to face unbeaten 175-pound titleholder Dmitry Bivol of Russia in what he hopes will be the first step toward becoming undisputed champion at that weight, although he’s expected to fight middleweight champ Gennadiy Golovkin at 168 in September. The knock on Kovalev going into his fight against Alvarez was that he was beginning to decline at 36. Bivol, 31, appears to be in his prime. The Indio, California-based native of Kyrgyzstan is a gifted, well-schooled boxer, having been reared in the Russian amateur system. He reportedly finished his amateur career with a record of 268-15. And he picked up where he left off when he turned pro in 2014, winning a secondary world title in his 11th fight and being upgraded to “super” champion shortly before his 17th. He cemented his status as an elite fighter by defeating in succession Sullivan Barrera (TKO 12), Isaac Chilemba (UD), Jean Pascal (UD) and Joe Smith Jr. (UD) in 2018 and 2019. His subsequent opposition hasn’t been as tough but he has continued to win handily. He last fought this past December, when he easily outpointed countryman Umar Salamov in Russia. His last six fights have gone the distance, an indication that he isn’t a big puncher. However, as a 175-pounder his entire career, he’ll have a natural size advantage over Alvarez. He also will have an edge in height (6-feet to 5-8) and reach (72 inches to 70½). This will be Bivol’s first fight in the U.S. since he outpointed Lenin Castillo in October 2019.