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Canelo Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol Odds, Predictions, and Best Bets
Since Floyd Mayweather’s retirement, it’s fair to say that boxing has been dominated by three big names:
- Jake Paul (Unfortunately)
- Tyson Fury
- Canelo Alvarez
Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), whose lone pro defeat came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather back in 2013, will be taking on WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol this Saturday night inside of the T-Mobile Arena. 10 of Canelo’s last 13 fights have been for his opponent's belts, and he has yet to meet the occasion.
Canelo is the current IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO, and The Ring Super Middleweight Champion after defeating Caleb Plant back in November. Alvarez won the WBO Light Heavyweight title back in 2019 after his KO victory over Sergey Kovalev, but has not fought in the weight class since.
To casual fight fans, Bivol may seem like just another name. A simple tomato can rolled Canelo’s way in order for promoters to make money. In reality, however, this has all the makings to be a massive upset that shocks the boxing world.
Here is where I'll be breaking down this weekends fight, as well as giving out my best bet to win it all. I'll be using the odds provided by BetMGM Sportsbook, which is one of the best on the market. If BetMGM is not available in your state, or if you are just unsure as to whether or not it is, don't worry--you can check out the best sportsbooks in the country here.
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Who IS Dmitry Bivol?
Bivol opened as just a +250 underdog–which is about as close to a pick ‘em as you’ll get when fighting Canelo. He has since grown to about a +400 underdog, but that’s expected when you’re fighting a fan favorite like Canelo. Experts see Bivol as Canelo’s best opponent not named Gennadiy Golovkin, who Canelo just narrowly beat back in 2018.
Bivol will be much larger than Canelo come fight night. Bivol comes into the fight with a 4-inch height advantage and a 1.5-inch reach advantage, and will definitely be the biggest fighter Canelo has ever faced.
Bivol, who is 19-0 with 11 KOs, has been the WBA light-heavyweight champion since 2017. Each of his last six belt defenses have gone to decision, but have been unanimous decisions–so he’s been winning handily each time.
Bivol is often credited by experts as one of the purest and most technical boxers in the world right now. Bivol relies heavily on his jab, landing 9.7 jabs per round according to Compubox. In his last title defense against Umar Salamov in December, 76% of his attempted punches were jabs. This comes as a result of Bivol’s defensive fight style–something that may frustrate Canelo as the fight goes on.
According to Compubox, Bivol’s opponents only land an average of 5.8 punches per round on him–which is well below the average for all fighters of 16.4. Bivol also leads all of boxing–including Canelo–in net strikes (subtracting a fighter’s opponent connect percentage from their own) with a plus/minus of +20.3.
How Can Bivol Win?
If Bivol is able to establish his jab early on, then he may be able to frustrate Canelo greatly. Mix in the fact that Canelo will have a hard time hitting Bivol in the first place, and Alvarez may find himself behind on the scorecards very early on. Bivol threw more than 500 jabs against Joe Smith Jr. and landed over 100–if he’s able to do this (or more) then he has a great chance of at least establishing a semblance of dominance in the early rounds of the fight.
Bivol also needs to use his length and reach to his advantage. Canelo already loves to dive or duck into shots, but will have to do so even more now that he’s fighting someone 4 inches taller than him. Bivol has to be ready to fire each time Canelo steps in for a shot, and can really do some serious damage to him this way.
How Can Canelo Win?
It’s simple, but it’s true–Canelo just has to do his thing. Alvarez can apply pressure early on by landing some of his signature overhand rights and power punches, and could find an advantage up close due to Bivol's lack of inside game.
Whenever a shorter fighter has to take on someone taller, I tell them to attack the body–chop down the tree from its base–and that’s exactly what Canelo should do. Look out for some crazy left hooks to the liver–a Canelo signature, and an absolute fight ender.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m leaning for the upset. Bivol has all the weapons necessary to take down Canelo, and his defensive prowess is eerily similar to that of a guy who has already beaten Canelo (Floyd Mayweather Jr).
Regardless of the outcome of the fight, I expect the early rounds to go Bivol’s way no matter what. This is his weight class after all, so it may take some time for Canelo to become accustomed to Bivol’s size and pace. Where the real threat comes in is the mid-late rounds–as the fight goes on and Bivol possibly starts to wear out, that's when Canelo will turn up the heat. If Bivol can withstand this onslaught and maintain his defensive posture, then I think Canelo may end up outmatched.
Prediction: Bivol by Points (+700)