By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso would make Eddie Hearn VERY happy if they chose his fighter Dmitry Bivol as their next opponent for May 7th.
Hearn promotes the WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs), and he thinks he would be a DANDY choice for Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) to face on the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend.
Bivol is an unlikely choice for Canelo because he would have an excellent chance of beating him. That right there rules out any possibility of Bivol getting the fight with Alvarez.
Since 2018, Canelo has been fighting gimmes strictly, and it would be out of character for him to fight a live dog in Bivol.
Canelo hasn’t let the cat out of the bag as of yet about his next choice, but there’s a strong belief that he’s going to disappoint the boxing public.
The name that keeps popping up as Canelo’s next opponent is WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu, a shaky belt-holder, who is unknown to casual boxing fans, but well remembered by the hardcore fans for his third round knockout loss to Tony Bellew in 2016.
If Canelo wanted to turn himself into a villain in the eyes of fans, he would pick Jake Paul and stick the fight on PPV.
You can only imagine the uproar that will occur if Canelo selects Jake as his next foe. Sean Jones isn’t putting it past Canelo. I mean, Alvarez has been disappointing fans consistently since 2018 after his bad experience against Gennady Golovkin.
The second clash against GGG took something out of Canelo regarding his willingness to get back in the ring with top echelon opposition.
Since the Golovkin rematch, Canelo has focused on capturing belts against paper champions at 168 and beating played out older fighters like Sergey Kovalev and Daniel Jacobs.
Since that fight, it’s been all softer opposition for Canelo. Heck, Canelo even stooped to the level of fighting his old sparring partner Avni Yildrim in 2021, a fighter that hasn’t fought in TWO years and was coming off a loss to Anthony Dirrell.
Yildirim is arguably on the same level as Jake Paul talent-wise, and Canelo had no problems fighting him.
That’s why you can’t rule out Canelo opting to fight Jake because he seems to be aiming for the lowest common denominator at this stage in his career.
Hearn wants Canelo vs. Bivol next
Canelo is in a bind here because he can’t turn to the 168-lb division and use that as a foxhole to hide from the quality opposition.
Canelo has no more paper champions at super middleweight to fight because he cleaned out the three British fighters and the American Caleb Plant.
If Canelo stays at 168, the boxing fans will expect him to defend against David Benavidez, and that would be a very, very hard fight for him.
The time for Canelo to have fought Benavidez was back in 2018 when he was still at the top of his game, more or less following his controversial win over Golovkin.
But now, after three consecutive years of fighting weak opposition in the form of Yildirim, Kovalev, Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, Plant, Rocky Fielding, and Callum Smith, Canelo’s skills have eroded to the point where he would likely be overmatched against Benavidez or David Morrell Jr.
“It depends on what Canelo wants to do and the division he wants to fight in,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show when asked if Alvarez will face WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. next on May 7th.
“I’ve been quite vocal that I’d like to see him [Canelo] fight Dmitry Bivol next, and then possibly Joe Smith and then [Artur] Beterbiev, then clean up 175,” said Hearn on wanting Alvarez to fight one of his Matchroom Boxing promoted fighters in Bivol.
“I think with Canelo, anything is possible. I think him and Eddy Reynoso will talk and come up with a plan, and we’ll look at the options. It’s really going to come down to what excites him [Canelo].
“Does Joe Smith excite him? Maybe, but Dmitry Bivol might excite him more because Dmitry Bivol beat Joe Smith comfortably when they boxed [in March 2019].
“That was a couple of years ago [three years], but still, he’s undefeated, Bivol, and he’s beaten Joe Smith already. It’s a fight that could be made quite easily,” Hearn said.
Not much science behind Canelo & Reynoso picks
“As I said, this is a really unique setup with Eddy [Reynoso] and Saul,” said Hearn. “It’s almost to the point where Eddy will drive around there and get on the phone and literally go through all the options, and they’ll go, ‘Him.’
“There’s not a lot of science that goes into it. It comes down to feeling and passion and legacy and drive. It’s something they want to do. I don’t think they’re interested in just taking a fight that doesn’t really do anything for them.
“I think he would pick Bivol over Smith,” said Hearn in predicting that Canelo would prefer to face WBA 175-lb champion Bivol rather WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. for May 7th. “It’s an accomplishment.
“But then, of course, the Joe Smith fight could follow. Everyone is putting their options forward, saying, ‘Would you like to do this?’
“I think that’s something that he [Canelo] will go through. I do expect him to make a decision quite soon.
“I know that Eddy responded to the Mike Coppinger stuff, saying they’re not negotiating, but we had conversations over the weekend that weren’t overly deep.
“I know that they’re thinking now of making a move in terms of their next fight, and it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks,” said Hearn.
Yeah, Canelo will decide soon because he has no choice, but his selection will be a disappointment. If nothing else, Canelo has become predictable in his career, and his choices will continue to upset fans.
Sean Jones believes Canelo’soppositition will get steadily worse rather than better. I’m expecting Canelo to choose Jake Paul or Makabu next because it fits the pattern that he’s shown with his opponent selection. If not them, Canelo will select the Jacobs vs. John Ryder fight winner.