Usyk, Golovkin, Bivol: Canelo Alvarez's possible six-fight plan to become greatest ever


The aim of every boxer is to be the greatest and Canelo Alvarez is no exception.

The Mexican still feels like he’s got a lot of work to do in order to be regarded as the greatest but has full confidence in himself moving forward.

This weekend he steps into the ring to battle Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas as he constantly cements his legacy.

Alvarez hasn’t discussed a potential retirement date but he’s built up a resumè consisting of 60 professional fights and will reach the age of 32 this July.

TalkSPORT have recently compiled a list of six potential fights which Canelo could look to tick off which can help him become the all-time great.

The list is based off a strategy Alvarez and many others have used in boxing, choosing opponents whilst attempting to minimise risks and maximise rewards as the Mexican continues to move through weight divisions as the pound-for-pound king.

6. Dmitry Bivol

Lining up with real life, the list of six fights needed for Canelo begins with his next opponent. Bivol is undefeated but it still proves to follow a strategy of picking a weaker champion.

SAN DIEGO, CA – MARCH 02: Boxers Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol pose for photos at the press conference announcing the Canelo Alvarez v Dmitry Bivol fight on May 7th, 2022 at the Sheraton Hotel on March 2, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/Getty Images) ***Local Caption***

Bivol, while looking explosive in his early career, has won his last six fights by decision which could lead him to be predictable and easy for Canelo to figure out.

5. Gennady Golovkin

These two genuinely dislike each other. Canelo chose to turn down alternate fights to line up the Bivol and Golovkin pathway.

Alvarez only has a few fights that grossed over $100 million, which includes the two against Golovkin and there is still huge public interest in a third fight between the Mexican and his counterpart.

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez embrace after their WBC/WBA middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

4. Arter Beterbiev

Similar to previous strategies, Arter is a fantastic boxer but could be past his best. He’s undefeated with 17 straight knockout wins and the clear number one at 175lbs but has showed signs of slowing.

He’s suffered from injuries in his career and if he can win against Joe Smith Jr, Canelo could capitalise on Beterbiev’s undisputed title win and may go after the glory in early 2023.

3. Ilunga Makabu

This point stands so long as Makabu is still the weakest cruiserweight holder.

This fight nearly happened late last year when an application was apparently submitted by Canelo’s manager Eddy Reynoso but the boxer himself claimed not to know anything about it.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 26: Ilunga Makabu faces the media during a press conference ahead of his fight with Tony Bellew at the Royal Liver Building on May 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Makabu has strung many wins together recently but snuck through Thabiso Mchunu by decision meaning he could be vulnerable. 

2. Mairis Briedis

This one is less straight forward since Briedis holds an impressive 28-1 record in the cruiserweight division.

Mairis is 39 but has a style that may age well and should Canelo deem it necessary Briedis could find himself being chased by Canelo.

Alvarez could be given the chance to become a four-weight lineal champion which has before been unheard of. It’s the type of victory which goes a long way in the Mexican’s chase for all-time greatness.

1. Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk
Boxing – Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew – WBC, IBF, WBA & WBO World Cruiserweight Titles – Manchester Arena, Manchester, Britain – November 10, 2018 Oleksandr Usyk celebrates winning the fight with the Ukraine flag Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

If Canelo really wants to bring his career to new heights, he should look to unpick one of the smaller heavyweight competitors.

There are alternatives and, of course, a heavyweight like Tyson Fury would be well off any possibility due to size but it might not get much bigger than Usyk.

The Ukrainian is one of the best boxers on the planet but due to him being last on the list, this fight would happen quite a way down the line.

By that time there is a chance Usyk, or an alternative smaller heavyweight, slips up or shows signs of ageing it may not take much for Canelo to take that career defining risk.

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