Tony Bellew believes Canelo Alvarez would have beaten WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol if he was on his A-game last May.
It appeared that Canelo was fighting at the same level as he’d been during his fights in 2021.
As far as Sean Jones is concerned, the former four-division world champion Canelo looked the same against Bivol as he had last year when he beat 168-lb champions Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, and Callum Smith to become the undisputed super middleweight champ.
Bellew feels that Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) wasn’t at his best when he challenged the undefeated 175-lb champion Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), and the result was a 12-round decision loss.
Interestingly, Canelo turned down the opportunity to try and avenge his loss to Bivol by forcing an immediate rematch.
Instead of Canelo testing Bellew’s theory of it being just an off night by fighting Bivol again, he’s taken the easier route by facing 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17th. Eddie Hearn says Canelo had to take the fight with Golovkin now because it was a perfect time.
Despite Canelo losing in a rather one-sided manner, Bellew believes he still deserves to be ranked high on the pound-for-pound lists.
Many people would take issue with Canelo, 32, remaining in the top 5 after that performance because he looked so severely overmatched in terms of technical skills compared to Bivol.
The way that Canelo gassed out was another troubling aspect of his game, as he looked poorly trained. Of course, Canelo has had stamina issues since he turned pro in 2005, but this was far worse than ever.
“Must do better; some will say that’s the matches he’s making. You want to set the standard so high? You’ve got to maintain it and stay there. He’s amazing; he’s still up there pound-for-pound,” said Tony Bellew to the DAZN Boxing Show about Canelo Alvarez.
“Everyone took him out the pound-for-pound list when he lost to Bivol. Absolutely not; he remains right up there for me,” said Bellew. “But there are some things he has to do better.”
I don’t think it makes sense for Canelo to be ranked higher than Bivol in the Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list. After Canelo’s loss, he’s ranked #5, whereas Bivol, his conqueror, is rated #7.
“If he’s on his ‘A’ game that night, he fights Bivol. I think he beats him
He wasn’t on his ‘A’ game, so he has to do better,” Bellew said about Canelo.Bellew may not realize that Canelo did have his A-game against Bivol, but his best wasn’t good enough in this case.
We’re talking about a fighter that is a career-long counterpunch, and it was only last year when Canelo changed his style and began walking down his opponents.
With the change of style, Canelo throws only single punches and hasn’t shown the ability to throw combinations. That’s why he was outgunned by Bivol, who was unloading on him with three to seven punch combos.