The general consensus with Canelo Alvarez on the part of many veteran boxing observers is that may be in for the toughest fight of his career on Saturday as he takes on Dimitry Bivol for the WBA version of the light heavyweight championship. When BetOnline customers consider that Bivol is a genuine light heavyweight, in the prime of his career, and has been so dominant in terms of his victories as champion, one can envision that this is no cakewalk.
Think about this for a second - in his last six fights, Bivol has six decision wins, and they have been by an average of 8.6 points per scorecard. What that means is no one has really gotten close. And his last four opponents have had a combined record of 86 - 6 - 2.
Of course, you have to remember that there's a flip side to that as well. Bivol has been able to dictate the tempo and land the vast majority of punches in those bouts, has not taken anyone out inside the distance. So this creates an opening for someone who could perhaps walk through what he's got to throw and might be able to land more shots.
There have been very credible victories for Bivol against people like Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr,; people who have bought some of the best. But you can argue that none of them went into battle with this current champion possessing the overall package that Canelo has.
Taking a look at the boxing betting odds on this fight as they are posted at BetOnline, there's a lot of faith in Canelo:
WBA Super Light Heavyweight (175-pound) Championship
May 7 - - T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Canelo Alvarez -525
Dimitry Bivol +420
Over 10.5 rounds -275
Under 10.5 rounds +215
We have seen enough of Alvarez to get a pretty clear picture as to what he can do. We also know he's about 5'8", and so going into about against a full-sized light heavyweight (four inches taller) is something that's a little different for him, as he's been in this division only once, beating Sergey Kovalev, who most people fought was rather washed up.
But the fight against Kovalev wasn't easy, and it was pretty close on the scorecards when Canelo ended it.
If you are short, you have to FIGHT shorter. And this might work out well for Alvarez against a stand-up boxer like Bivol, who knows how to throw a jab, but isn't likely to control this bout with it. You get the impression from watching footage of him that Bivol will get more aggressive against the lesser opponents, but he is, on an overall basis, somewhat defensive-minded.
He is an educated boxer. But does he have enough to teach Canelo a lesson? Sure, he's got size on his side, but you have to wonder, when you see all of that dominance in decision victories, whether he has put himself in a position where he has been able to just put things on cruise control. Despite his physical advantages, is there anyone out there who truly believes he's just going to stand there and keep Alvarez at bay for the entire twelve-round distance?
Yes, even though Canelo has stated that patience is going to be a virtue here, his best chance is probably going to be with pressure. We're absolutely certain that Bivol has not been pushed to the point where he has to fight three minutes of every round; not lately anyway. Well it is true that he possesses the capacity to avoid getting knocked out, we also don't imagine he'll be more active. And his mindset can't be that he is going to knockout Canelo. So we definitely like this fight to go the distance (- 275 on the "over").
When you look at the props on the exact outcome, we can get -165 on Canelo to win this one by a decision. So that's definitely another way to go.
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