Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol: Boxing world gives predictions for May 7 blockbuster

  • Tom Ward

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez challenges for the WBA light-heavyweight title against Dmitry Bivol tomorrow night.

The Mexican superstar, who has won titles in four divisions, most recently became the undisputed super-middleweight world champion by beating Caleb Plant in Las Vegas last November.

Russian boxer Bivol, 31, goes into his showdown with Canelo Alvarez, also 31, as a huge underdog – despite never having tasted defeat.

Here, goes through predictions for the intriguing 175lb affair from some of the biggest names in boxing – and a couple of others as well for good measure.

Bernard Hopkins

‘B-Hop’ has backed Canelo to run through Bivol, implying the Russian will look like ‘mashed potatoes’ by the end of it.

He told “He smashes him. Mashed potatoes all over the place. Another smash event, smashes him.

“I mean, people are really excited – yeah, to see Canelo, whether he can stay mentally and physically on top as he has been.

“That’s all we really looking for, people that know.”

Prediction: Canelo

Canelo Alvarez will face Dmitry Bivol on May 7

Eddie Hearn

However, Eddie Hearn, who promotes Alvarez and Bivol, is expecting it to be a difficult night for both men.

Hearn told iFL TV: “This guy is the biggest star in the sport of boxing.

“It’s a tough fight this weekend. We just did the head to head, it’s a really tough fight against Dmitry Bivol. You saw a thriller last weekend and you’re going to see another thriller on DAZN.

“I think [Bivol] against [Artur] Beterbiev is an incredible fight, but the thing about Beterbiev is he’s old, he’s also a huge puncher.

“You saw him go down against Callum Johnson. Dmitry Bivol is fresh, he’s never really had a tough fight, never been down on the canvas. Never been close to defeat. 

“Boxed Joe Smith, beat him easily, he’s another world champion. Boxed Jean Pascal, in his prime, easy fight. It’s all about how good Dmitry Bivol is, because if you’re not a pound for pound great, you’re not going to beat Canelo Alvarez.

“A young fresh light heavyweight who could be levels above what he’s had to show.

“I do believe you’ll get a thrilling fight. You see the size of the light heavyweights against him. He’s taking incredible challenges, but he lives to do it.”

Prediction: On the fence

Juan Manuel Marquez is backing Canelo Alvarez to do the business on Saturday night

Juan Manuel Marquez

But Juan Manuel Marquez believes Bivol’s aggressive style is tailor made for Canelo.

He told Fight Hub TV: “Canelo is a good fighter. What kind of style is easier for Canelo? The easiest style for Canelo is an aggressive style.

“What kind of style does Bivol have? Bivol’s style is an aggressive style. This is a good thing for Canelo because if Bivol has the skills to move around the ring with speed, it’s difficult for Canelo.

“Canelo likes to fight against aggressive fighters because that style is much better for him.  I think Canelo knocks him [Bivol] out in eight rounds.

Prediction: Canelo

Sergio Mora can’t see anything other than a Canelo win

Sergio Mora

The former super-welterweight world champion also sees no way in which Bivol can prevail.

Mora told “He’s going to have to be special because Bivol is going to have to get out of character in order to beat Canelo.

“That jab [from Bivol] is going to give him issues, and the power and size is going to give Canelo issues. But it’s not going to be enough to win.

“Caleb Plant gave Canelo some issues with the jab, some issues with the movement.

“But he didn’t have the experience, size, or the power to do anything else, and ultimately, he got knocked out in the 11th.

“[Sergey] Kovalev had the size but didn’t have the commitment and got knocked out in the 11th.

“I think Bivol might be in the same boat. He’s going to have to show up and show out.”

Prediction: Canelo

Shane Mosley Jr is backing Canelo Alvarez to win

Shane Mosley Jr

Shane Mosley Jr, who shares the same name as his legendary father, told DAZN: “I agree that Bivol has a great boxing ability, great strength, he possesses a lot of skill, but I just don’t think that’s enough for Canelo.

“Yes, it’s at 175 and he’s a little bit heavier, he’s been in there with ‘Krusher’ [Sergey Kovalev] before, he’s been in there with guys that can punch like nobody’s business.

“It’s hard to go against Canelo.”

Prediction: Canelo

Craig Richards has fought Dmitry Bivol before

Craig Richards

Having previously fought Bivol to a decision, Craig Richards had this to say about his former opponent.

Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “Canelo won’t be able to close the distance as easily as he does with other people.

“Bivol always throws when he can, he’s very busy with his hands and he’s a sharp shooter, so it won’t be an easy task for Canelo.

“It depends if Bivol’s power can trouble Canelo, but it will be an interesting fight and whoever can impose their style the best will come out on top.”

Prediction: On the fence

Andy Ruiz Jr used to train with Canelo Alvarez and knows him well

Andy Ruiz Jr

Andy Ruiz Jr borrowed a phrase from Mike Tyson before offering up his opinion when asked about Canelo’s chances.

And he thinks it will be an ‘easy’ night for the 31-year-old.

He told ES News: “He’s not a counter puncher. Well, like I said, anything can happen in boxing. You know it takes one punch to change the game.

“Mike Tyson says everyone has a plan until they get hit and he is moving up in weight, so this fight is interesting as well. I don’t know. I think Canelo is going to be an easy fight, easy money.”

Prediction: Canelo

Shakur Stevenson is siding with Canelo Alvarez

Shakur Stevenson

Shakur Stevenson is also backing Canelo to get the job done against Bivol on May 7, telling DAZN: “It’s going to take a special talent to beat Canelo, but Bivol might cause Canelo a lot of problems too.

“He’s got a good boxing IQ, he might cause Canelo problems, but Canelo might get to his body and break him down.”

Prediction: Canelo

Claressa Shields can’t see anyone beating Canelo Alvarez

Claressa Shields

Only one winner for Claressa Shields.

She told DAZN: “I don’t think that Canelo can be beat by the guys he’s being matched up against.

“I believe that Canelo will beat anybody put in front of him unless it’s Demetrius Andrade or Jermall Charlo.”

Prediction: Canelo

Canelo’s belts were on full display at the press conference

Alex Batt

Over to GiveMeSport‘s academy manager Alex Batt to give his two cents:

“I can’t see past Canelo this weekend.

“Although Bivol is undefeated, this is a BIG step up for him and his biggest challenge to date.

“In my eyes, it’s a challenge he can’t overcome and Canelo stops him midway through.”

Prediction: Canelo

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Where was Canelo Alvarez born?

Tom Ward

Lastly, a word from myself:

“Bivol is by no means a pushover by any stretch of the imagination but I’m not sure he has the power to trouble Canelo.

“With that being said I’m expecting it to be close but competitive before Canelo starts to take control from the halfway stage onwards.

“Look for Canelo to go to the body early before finishing him between rounds ten and eleven somewhere down the home straight.”

Prediction: Canelo

READ MORE: Canelo vs Bivol: Saul Alvarez looks absolutely massive ahead of fight

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