Canelo sets out conditions for world title shot against Usyk
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Light heavyweight star Dmitry Bivol became just the second fighter to beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after a handy win over the boxing icon on Saturday. Almost nine years after Floyd Mayweather’s narrow win over ‘Canelo’, the Mexican superstar fell once again via decision in Nevada.
Bivol’s shock victory throws a spanner in the works for 57-2-2 Canelo, both in regards to his short and long-term plans. It was projected that a win this weekend would set the stage for a trilogy bout against Gennady Golvkin in September, but that bout no longer looks plausible.
Alvarez, 31, will instead focus his efforts on a rematch for the WBA (Super) light heavyweight crown. “Of course,” he replied when asked after the defeat whether he wanted the rematch. “This doesn’t end like this.”
“I’m sorry I ruined your plans [for a trilogy fight against] Gennady Golovkin, maybe,” said Bivol following his upset win. “Congrats to [Canelo], he’s a great champion and I respect him. But if you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You won’t achieve anything. I believe and my team believes.
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“I felt his power. As you can see from my arm, he beat my arm up but not my head. It’s better. He had a good speed and power. Maybe his mistake was he threw only hard punches. After hard punches, he relaxed and tired.”
Bivol unsurprisingly dubbed Saturday’s battle the “biggest fight of [his] career” and said the pro-Canelo crowd merely fuelled him to succeed. The undefeated 31-year-old was more than happy to agree to a second bout against one of the best boxers of this generation.
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“A rematch? No problem. Let’s talk about a rematch,” he continued. “I took this fight because I just wanted the opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity. I am ready for the rematch, I just want to make sure I win and am treated like a champion now.”
Golovkin, 40, was unlucky not to beat Canelo when they drew in a controversial first meeting in September 2017, then lost the rematch 12 months later. The window is running out for matchmakers to set up a trilogy while that fight still holds major appeal, but 20-0 Bivol won’t feel too apologetic about delaying any plans that may have been in the works.
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