Will we see Dmitry Bivol vs. Canelo Alvarez rematch?

As ring announcer David Diamante finished reading out the scorecards at the T-Mobile Arena on May 7, 2022, Canelo Alvarez half-heartedly raised his left hand in the hope that he’d won a decision that he didn’t deserve. Instead Diamante yelled, “he’s still undefeated, and still the WBA light heavyweight champion of the world…. Dmitry Bivol!”

WATCH: Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder fight card, exclusively live on DAZN


While some insiders had predicted that Bivol’s size and skills would be too much for Canelo to overcome, the result went down as a big upset, at least in betting parlance. Canelo entered the bout as a -450 favourite and was already looking ahead to light heavyweight unification bouts or even a crack at a cruiserweight champion. Both of those options went out the window.

Fans were expecting to see a direct rematch in September 2022. However, the fighters couldn’t reach a concrete agreement on the weight. Bivol wanted to drop seven pounds and challenge the Mexican star for his undisputed super middleweight championship. Conversely, and somewhat surprisingly, Canelo wanted to run it back at light heavyweight, where he’d been largely dominated. Some have speculated that Canelo was reticent to stake his 168-pound titles because a second defeat to Bivol would leave him with nothing.

So where are we now?

Well, instead of facing Bivol last September, Canelo renewed ties with old foe Gennadiy Golovkin. Following 12 ho-hum rounds, he retained his super middleweight championships by unanimous decision. This year, Canelo made a successful homecoming defence against John Ryder in May before dominating former undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo in September.

And what about Bivol? Well, the Russian star has been extremely inactive. The 33-year-old technician followed the Canelo triumph by handing former WBO super middleweight titleholder Gilberto Ramirez a boxing lesson in the Middle East and then dropped off the grid completely. By the time he steps into the ring against heavy outside Lyndon Arthur in Riyadh on December 23, he’ll have been out of action for 13 months.

Will the stars align for Bivol vs. Canelo to take place in 2024? To be honest, I would doubt it.

With the amount of time that’s elapsed and with the boxing landscape perpetually changing, this rematch now looks dead in the water. As the months have passed, the demand for a fight between Bivol and fellow light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has continued to increase. There’s more intrigue in that matchup – and with the greatest of respect to Canelo, this is a legacy-defining fight for the 175-pound division. Despite being a former titleholder at light heavyweight, Canelo is a small 168-pounder. That’s just the reality.

MORE: Bivol rejects proposed weight for Canelo rematch

Canelo has been linked to matchups with countryman Jaime Munguia and reigning WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo. However, the fight that every boxing fan with a pulse has been clamouring for is David Benavidez. The unbeaten 27-year-old has been calling out boxing’s biggest star for months (or is it years?), but Canelo is turning a blind eye to “The Mexican Monster”. Like Floyd Mayweather before him, Canelo has reached diva status, so he does what he wants. But how much longer can the Mexican hero avoid the biggest challenge in his division?

While a Bivol vs. Canelo sequel looks unlikely, plans in this sport can change in an eye blink. Maybe if Bivol were to lose, then Canelo would pounce on the opportunity to exact revenge. What are the chances of Bivol losing? Well, unless Beterbiev is in the opposite corner, the pound-for-pound star opens as a strong favourite against any light heavyweight in the world.

Bivol vs. Canelo 2? Don’t hold your breath.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *