Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol Odds & Prediction: Will Fight Follow Familiar Script?
Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images. Pictured: Canelo Alvarez
- Six months after becoming the first ever undisputed super middleweight division champion Saul "Canelo" Álvarez returns to the ring.
- Alvarez will take on the undefeated Dmitry Bivol for the WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
- Raheem Palmer shares his best bet below.
Alvarez vs. Bivol Odds
Six months after becoming the first ever undisputed super middleweight division champion with an 11th-round TKO victory over Caleb Plant, Saul "Canelo" Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) returns to the ring in search of another title.
He'll take on the undefeated Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) for the WBA light heavyweight title (at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Bivol comes off a dominant unanimous decision victory against Umar Salamov in December 2021 as a -2,000 favorite and now finds himself in the unfamiliar role as an underdog. He's making his fourth defense of his WBA lightweight title against Ring Magazine's No. 1 Pound-for-Pound fighter in Álvarez who could be looking towards a potential trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin should he take care of business on Saturday night.
Oddsmakers installed Álvarez as -385/+295 favorite before this line was bet up to where it sits now at -550/+400 with an over/under of 10.5 rounds, which is heavily juiced to the over at -290.
So where is the betting value on this highly anticipated light heavyweight title fight? Let's analyze both sides and find out.
Canelo Álvarez is Ring Magazine's No. 1 Pound-for-Pound fighter for a reason.
He has the total package: power, explosive combinations, a vicious body attack, counter punching ability, speed and the ability to pressure fighters and walk forward while still being defensively responsible. And being one of the hardest punchers in the sport, he's a complete fighter who many fighters struggle to survive 12 rounds with.
He's taken on all challengers, winning belts in four different weight classes — 154 pounds, 160 pounds, 168 pounds and 175 pounds. With a resume consisting of Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Álvarez has faced the best of the best.
And after becoming first-ever undisputed Super Middleweight champion in the history of boxing with an 11th round stoppage of Caleb Plant, Álvarez is taking on an even bigger challenge against light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
Álvarez has spent much of his time at super middleweight recently and is three years removed from his last fight at light heavyweight, an 11th round stoppage of former WBO champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019, a fight many would argue he was losing at the time of the stoppage. Nonetheless, with Álvarez moving up in weight, Bivol is the bigger fighter and he has advantages in height (6-foot-0 vs. 5-foot-7), reach (72 inches vs. 70.5) and frame.
Despite being the bigger fighter, Bivol is an undersized lightweight and is quick on his feet with the ability to box from a distance. He is a technically sound, savvy and skilled boxer with the reputation for being solid defensively and hard to hit.
According to CompuBox, Bivol has limited opponents to to just 5.4 punches landed per round, leading all active fighters with a +20.3 plus/minus rating in his favor. In comparison, Alvarez is fourth in this category.
Bivol also has a solid jab which can cause problems for Álvarez, something we've seen give him issues in past fights against Golovkin and Kovalev. If there's one way to slow down a skilled counter puncher like Canelo, it's by stopping them in their tracks with the jab. Bivol's movement and jab could allow him to stay out of range and he's second among all active fighters in jabs landed per round with 9.5.
All things considered, this isn't an easy matchup for Alvarez considering the combination of size and skill that Bivol possesses. I expect this fight to be extremely competitive in the early rounds, similar to the Kovalev fight.
Despite Bivol's jab, we have seen Alvarez neutralize the jab against bigger guys such as Smith. In addition, Bivol doesn't have tremendous punching power as he hasn't stopped anyone in his last six fights with his last stoppage coming in his WBA light-heavyweight title defense against Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round back in March 2018.
We know Alvarez has a respectable chin as he's taken shots from Golovkin and Smith, two of the hardest hitters in the sport.
Given Bivol's lack of power, Alvarez should eventually find his way inside and break him down with devastating counters to the body. While Alvarez may rank below Bivol in CompuBox's plus/minus rating, he lands 37.1% of his punches overall and 47% of his power punches and it will be interesting to see how Bivol responds to his power.
Alvarez vs. Bivol Pick
We've seen fighters like Plant and Kovalev give Alvarez problems early by controlling distance with the jab and keeping him outside, but ultimately it wasn't enough when Alvarez cut off the ring and put enough pressure on them to slow them down and eventually get the stoppage in the later rounds.
Ultimately this fight could follow the same script of those fights with Bivol holding an early lead and Alvarez dominating during the championship rounds.
With Alvarez moving up in weight and Bivol having solid movement, it's tough to imagine a knockout here but he should do enough to get the win, which should further push his legacy as one of the best boxers in the sport.
The Pick: Alvarez Points or Decision (-150 or better)