By Ken Hissner: WBA, WBO, WBC, and IBF World Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez wants a rematch with Dmitrii Bivol almost a year after losing to him in May of 2022.
In the meantime, WBC Interim World Super Middleweight champion David “El Bandera Roja Red Flag” Benavidez and WBA World Super Middleweight champion David “Osvary” Morrell wait for their shot at the Mexican redhead.
Alvarez, 59-2-2 with 39 stoppages, lost to Bivol by scores of 115-113 on all judge’s scorecards, while most viewers thought it was by a wider margin. Alvarez, the “cash cow” of boxing, has them lining up for a big payday as his opponent.
Earlier this month, Alvarez defended his titles, defeating WBO Interim World Super Middle champ John “Gorilla” Ryder, 32-5, with 18 stoppages from the United Kingdom by scores of 120-107 and 118-109 twice in Mexico. It was the first time since November of 2011 that Alvarez fought in his home country. Most in attendance felt Ryder won the final round while Alvarez was all gassed out, except one judge gave him every round.
Alvarez moved up in weight for Bivol to 174 ¼, his ring highest since knocking out WBO World Light Heavyweight champ Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 34-3-1, in November of 2019 in Las Vegas a title he never defended returning to super middleweight.
The 5’08” Alvarez facing the 6’0” Bivol would be facing a 6’02” Benavidez, 27-0 with 23 stoppages from Arizona would have a 6” height advantage. Both have defeated Caleb “Sweethands” Plant. Alvarez by stoppage in 11 rounds and Benavidez by decision in March of 2023, stopping his six-fight stoppage streak.
While Benavidez is the WBC interim champ and Morrell the WBA interim champ, Alvarez chose the weaker opponent of the three being the WBO interim champ John Ryder. That in itself says something about avoiding both Benavidez and Morrell.
Joshua Buatsi is the No. 1 contender for Bivol’s title and, with a 17-0 record with 13 stoppages holding both the British and WBA International titles, would be the right choice for Bivol at this time.
Born in Ghana and fighting out of the United Kingdom, this 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist deserves the next shot against Bivol.
Beterbiev is 38 and was behind on two of the judge’s scorecards in his last fight before stopping Anthony Yarde in the eighth round in January. Only if Bivol’s WBA title and Beterbiev’s WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles were on the line should be enough for a Bivol and Beterbiev fight. Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith, 29-1 with 21 stoppages, is Beterbiev’s No. 1 contender at WBC and WBO and could be his next opponent.
The fans should be more interested in the Bivol and Beterbiev fight than a Bivol and Alvarez rematch. Unification matches are usually the most interesting matches. So, even without the WBC title included, I wouldn’t be surprised if that match would be made.
Alvarez’s No. 1 contender in the IBF is Cuban William “Indomatle” Scull, 20-0 with 9 stoppages out of Argentina with his last seven matches in Germany. If Alvarez is looking for another more favorable win, Scull could be next while Bivol and Beterbiev try to get their match, and Alvarez continues to avoid Benavidez and Morrell.