Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol: Fight Odds, Live Stream, Predictions

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2022

Canelo Alvarez, second from left, of Mexico, poses with Dmitry Bivol, right, of Russia, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in San Diego as promoter Eddie Hearn, second from right, and Alvarez's trainer, Eddy Reynoso, left, look on. Alvarez is scheduled to fight Bivol in a boxing bout in Las Vegas on May 7. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) is back for another Cinco de Mayo weekend showdown, as he prepares to take on Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) for the WBA world light heavyweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

After beating Caleb Plant in November to become the undisputed super middleweight champion, Alvarez decided to set yet another challenge for himself and move up to 175 pounds. His only other fight at this weight came in November 2019, when he defeated Sergey Kovalev by 11th-round knockout to capture the WBO world title.

Bivol, 31, isn't as flashy or as well known as some of Alvarez's previous opponents, but he could prove to be the most difficult. The undefeated Russian is a natural light heavyweight with a fantastic jab and expert defensive skills. He last fought in December, beating Umar Salamov by a wide unanimous decision. 


Alvarez vs. Bivol Fight Info

When: Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m ET (main card start time)

Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

Live stream: DAZN pay-per-view

Odds: Alvarez -475 (bet $475 to win $100), Bivol +350 (bet $100 to win $350)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook


Preview, Predictions

For several years now, Alvarez, 31, has been the premier fighter in the sport. He routinely takes on difficult opponents, bouncing around different weight divisions to do so. The Mexican superstar survived the awesome punching power of Gennady Golovkin in two brutal duels, had Daniel Jacobs punching at air in 2019, and systematically broke down the likes of Billy Joe Saunders and Plant in his most recent outings. He's as tough a code to crack as there is in boxing right now.

Despite the many accomplishments, there are some who believe Bivol might finally disrupt the Alvarez era. Bivol is a savvy, technically sound boxer who has been comfortably dispatching fighters at or around 175 pounds for his entire career. He's held the WBA world title since 2017, routinely winning by big margins on the cards. He also has height (6'0" to 5'8") and reach (72" to 70.5") advantages over Alvarez, per BoxRec.

The measurables can help in any fight, but they're especially helpful to Bivol, who has one of the best jabs in boxing. He can rack up scoring punches with the jab, or use it to set up rapid, accurate combinations. Bivol is also a nightmare to attack. Opponents routinely can't generate any consistent offense against him, as CBS Sports' Brian Campbell notes:

"The thing that ultimately separates Bivol, however, is his defense. Opponents land just 5.8 total punches per round against him, which is second to Demetrius Andrade's 5.1 and well below the CompuBox average for all fighters of 16.4. Bivol also leads all other boxers, including the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Shakur Stevenson and Alvarez, with a plus/minus rating of +20.3, which subtracts a fighter's opponents connect percentage from their own. "

To his credit, Alvarez seems aware that this trip to the light heavyweight division will be more difficult than his last.

ESPN Ringside @ESPNRingside

Canelo gives Bivol high praise ahead of their bout 👏 #CaneloBivol https://t.co/KP6K9xOChq

Slowing down the fight into a defensive contest sounds like a fine path to victory for Bivol, but Alvarez has already seen this kind of matchup. Like Bivol, Plant was thought to be a challenge for Alvarez because of his height, length and quick, effective jab. It wasn't enough, as Alvarez expertly cut off the ring and shredded Plant with heavy power punches en route to a late stoppage. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Canelo TKO’s Plant in the 11th Round 🥊 #CaneloPlant (via @ShowtimeBoxing) https://t.co/25q7AYCb8p

If Bivol wants to employ a similar strategy, he'll just have to be better at it than Plant. Maintaining his awareness in the ring and avoiding traps will be crucial. Alvarez is a vicious hitter—just as capable of stopping a fighter with a shot to the chin as he is to the midsection. Bivol hasn't won a bout by stoppage since March 2018, and he probably won't fare well if he gets into prolonged exchanges.

This fight is going to be an interesting one as both men look to implement their preferred strategies. Bivol should be able to frustrate Alvarez with his jab and win a handful of rounds by keeping things boring. Ultimately, Alvarez will get his own timing down, perhaps land a few counters and then assert himself with his power. However, he may take a fair bit of punishment in doing so, and the scores could be all over the place after 12 rounds.

Prediction: Alvarez by split decision


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