Canelo Álvarez picks Bivol, Golovkin for next 2 fights

Mar 2, 2022, 2:44 AM | Updated: 4:47 pm
Canelo Alvarez, second from left, of Mexico, poses with Dmitry Bivol, right, of Russia, Wednesday, ...

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)

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Canelo Álvarez has chosen the next series of challenges for himself atop the boxing world.

And as usual for the Mexican pound-for-pound superstar, he’s charting a path with his legacy in mind.

The undisputed super middleweight world champion will move up to light heavyweight for the second time on May 7 to take on WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in Las Vegas.

If Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) wins, and if Gennady Golovkin beats Ryota Murata in Japan in April, Álvarez and Golovkin will complete their highly entertaining trilogy in the late summer or early fall.

“For me, it’s to continue to make history, right?” Álvarez said Wednesday as he opened promotion of his showdown with Bivol, slated for T-Mobile Arena. “I like the idea to go to 175 and fight (Bivol), the second-best fighter in that division, the champion. That’s a good challenge for me.”

Álvarez also intends to take a third fight in December, likely against either a cruiserweight champion or a super middleweight mandatory challenger. It all adds up to another busy year for boxing’s most bankable star, one whose work ethic hasn’t flagged with his increasing fame and fortune.

“I like to be busy,” said Álvarez, who fought four times in 11 months while claiming all four 168-pound belts last year. “I feel I’m in my prime. I feel more confident in everything, more strong, so I don’t know if it’s because I’m more active or not, but I like to be in the ring.”

He will have significant height and size disadvantages against Bivol, but that’s all part of the challenge to Álvarez, who stopped Sergey Kovalev in his only previous light heavyweight bout in 2019.

After blasting through every 168-pound belt-holder last year, he decided not to take another fight at super middleweight against the likes of two-time champion David Benavidez or middleweight star Jermall Charlo, who would both love the payday guaranteed by sharing a ring with Álvarez.

“I know I’m the best fighter, but I fought the best fighters in the division, and I beat everybody at 168,” Álvarez said. “You still say, ‘No, but you need to fight …’ Why? I don’t understand that. But right now, I can do whatever I want, and I just do the best things and I fight with the best, with the champions. … (Bivol) has something to offer me. He’s a world champion at 175. He’s a better fighter than (Charlo or Benavidez).”

Álvarez will go back down to 168 pounds to fight Golovkin, who battled him to a draw in their first bout before Álvarez got a narrow decision in the second matchup. Álvarez had been notably reluctant to accept a third fight with the Kazakh middleweight star, claiming a personal grudge against him, but streaming service DAZN has been eager for Álvarez to take the most marketable bout possible for both fighters.

Álvarez began promotion of his showdown with Bivol in San Diego, where he lives and trains and plays 18 holes of golf almost every day of the year. He rolled up to the tent outside the harborside hotel in a black-and-blue Bugatti Chiron, and he briefly delayed his first interview session to answer texts from his wife.

Don’t let Álvarez’s comfortable American life fool anyone, though. He remains an inveterate gym rat who stays sharp constantly with trainer Eddy Reynoso, and he is returning to training camp just four months after he beat Caleb Plant last November to complete his busy 2021.

“He’s set the bar,” said Eddie Hearn, one of Álvarez’s promoters. “Normally the excuse for big stars is, ‘They only fight twice a year.’ Well, he’s just fought four times. I do think other stars ought to be more active, and he’s setting the example.”

Bivol has his own concerns as a Russian athlete put in a painful position by the invasion of Ukraine.

Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan, but his parents moved to St. Petersburg when he was 11 years old. His wife, children and family are still in Russia while he prepares to train for this bout in the U.S.

“I have a lot of friends in Ukraine,” Bivol said. “I have a lot of friends in Russia. My family is in Russia. I have a lot of friends everywhere, and I wish them only peace and only the best. It’s really sad for me. Every day I wake up and read the news and I hope it will stop.”

Bivol and Hearn both said they expect the bout to be held as scheduled, while realizing the world could change dramatically in two months. The four major sanctioning bodies in boxing haven’t yet attempted to stop Russian fighters from competing, but have refused to sanction title fights in Russia.


More AP boxing: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

10 mountaineers killed after avalanche in northern India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 10 trainee mountaineers died Tuesday after being swept away by an avalanche in the Himalayas in northern India, media reports said, as rescuers searched for 11 others missing. A group of 29 people was hit by an avalanche on a mountain peak located in the Gangotri range of the […]
1 day ago
People offer prayers near the statue of a lion, the mascot of Arema FC, outside Kanjuruhan Stadium ...
Associated Press

Indonesia police: Stadium exit gates too small for escape

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — The gates at the Indonesian soccer stadium where police fired tear gas that set off a deadly crush were too small and could only accommodate two at a time when hundreds were trying to escape, police investigators said Tuesday. Photos from the Malang stadium where 125 people died and hundreds were […]
1 day ago
FILE - Workers walk to the Lusail Stadium, one of the 2022 World Cup stadiums, in Lusail, Qatar, Fr...
Associated Press

Paris joins in TV boycott of World Cup games from Qatar

PARIS (AP) — Paris will not broadcast World Cup matches on giant screens in public fan zones amid concerns over rights violations of migrant workers and the environmental impact of the tournament in Qatar. It follows similar moves by other French cities, despite France going in as the defending champion. “There is the problem of […]
1 day ago
Kadokawa Corp. Chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Sept. 5, 2022. Kadokawa ...
Associated Press

Publishing executive charged in Tokyo Olympic bribes scandal

TOKYO (AP) — A top executive at a major Japanese publisher was charged Tuesday with bribing a former Tokyo Olympics organizing committee member. The charges against Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, a major figure in Japan’s movie and entertainment industry, are the latest in the unfolding corruption scandal related to last year’s Tokyo Summer Games. Kadokawa was arrested […]
1 day ago
Serbia's coach Marina Malkovic, right, talks with a referee during their game against Mali at the w...
Associated Press

Women to get more rest between hoop games at next World Cup

SYDNEY (AP) — Players at this year’s World Cup had a few concerns about the competition, including the compact schedule and the timing of the tournament, and the women took their complaints right to the top. FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis talked with many of the players during the course of the recently competed tournament. […]
1 day ago
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) misses a catch during the first half of an NFL fo...
Associated Press

Analysis: NFL isn’t passing the eye test on head injuries

What happened in Tampa was the last thing the NFL, its players and its fanbase needed three days after Tua Tagovailoa’s horrifying head injury called into question the league’s commitment to curbing concussions. Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate sat out the second half of Sunday night’s 41-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a […]
1 day ago
Canelo Álvarez picks Bivol, Golovkin for next 2 fights