In his latest pursuit to strengthen his place as the best boxer in the world, Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will step back up to the light heavyweight division to take on the dangerous WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7, 2022. Bivol is undefeated in his professional career so far and will prove to be a very difficult and different challenge for the Mexican. Looking for value in the Canelo vs. Bivol odds? Read on to inform your Canelo vs. Bivol predictions.
A close look at the Canelo vs. Bivol odds
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
The 1X2 odds suggest this is a fight that Pinnacle is expecting Canelo to win, and the odds propose the Mexican has approximately an 80% chance of victory.
The Total Rounds is set at 10.5, with Over 10.5 rounds priced at 1.344*, which means Pinnacle is favouring the fight to go the full 12-round distance.
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las VegasBet: Canelo vs. Bivol odds
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Canelo vs. Bivol: What do the stats suggest?
Canelo has, in recent times, admitted that he feels that being so active over the previous 18 months has been enormously beneficial to his performances, and it would be difficult to argue with the Mexican on this statement, as he has been performing at arguably the best level of his career so far.
Canelo is by far the more experienced professional fighter of the two, having boxed 41 more fights than Bivol.
The stats suggest Canelo has the right to be the betting favourite in this fight despite being the boxer who is stepping up in weight. Canelo holds an advantage in power over Bivol, with a 68% knockout percentage to Bivol's 58%, with these knockouts coming at a higher level of competition.
A key positive for Bivol is that he holds a height advantage of three inches over Canelo and a two-inch reach advantage, so the WBA champion theoretically should be able to keep throwing his jab from far away and connect with the Mexican, a tactic that many believe is his best chance of victory over the 12 rounds.
However, Canelo is by far the more experienced professional fighter of the two, having boxed 41 more fights than Bivol, and at a higher level of competition. The multiple-weight world champion has boxed 288 more professional rounds than Bivol (436 to Bivol's 148), despite the pair being the same age (31).
The risk of betting against Canelo
An important thing that has to always be considered when betting on a Canelo fight is the potential implications of betting against the Mexican due to the vast amounts of money and global attraction that he brings to the sport.
If a lot of the rounds end up being closely contested then the judges will almost certainly side with the “cash cow”.
A “cash cow” is a boxer who can make their promoter and each person involved within their team extreme amounts of revenue through various avenues within the sport. Canelo is the number one “cash cow” right now. It is a dangerous betting strategy to bet against the “cash cow” and should only be recommended if you are convinced that the fighter you are betting on (in this case, Bivol) is a superior opponent (which, in this case, Bivol is not).
That’s because, if a lot of the rounds end up being closely contested between Canelo and Bivol then the judges will almost certainly side with the “cash cow” (Canelo). If you are betting on Bivol to win, then the Russian will need to clearly win the vast majority of rounds in the fight. Otherwise, the win will go to Canelo. As mentioned, it is worth factoring this into any analysis of a Canelo fight before placing your bets.
Canelo vs. Bivol: Where is the value?
Canelo will come into this fight with Bivol as the betting favourite by a big margin, and that is justly deserved after the Mexican’s recent run of dominating wins against mostly high-class opposition. The Mexican's victories have been so resounding that it is tough to make a case for Bivol to be able to win this fight, despite holding some physical advantages.
In Bivol’s last fight, he defeated Umar Salamov by unanimous decision, whilst before that, he defeated Craig Richards by unanimous decision also. Now, as boxing bettors we know that styles make fights but if Canelo were to have boxed these two opponents back to back, ask yourself the question: what percentage chance would you given for them both being knocked out by the Mexican superstar? You would probably have given Canelo close to a 95% chance of dismantling both inside the distance, right? That’s something Bivol could not do. He even ended up having a close fight on the final scorecards with Richards, to put things into perspective.
Canelo is a special fighter, and whilst Bivol is a very good fighter, great will almost always defeat good and this is why Canelo is being given an 80% chance of victory. Whilst this fight does provide an aspect of intrigue to previous Canelo fights due to it being at light heavyweight and the supposed physical disadvantages between the two, it is not something completely new to the Mexican. He will have weighed up his advantages and disadvantages against Bivol’s with his team even before the fight deal was signed.
Bivol possesses a slick jab and he uses his back leg as a spring to launch counters. He also possesses a very slick and efficient style all around, but simply throwing one-two combinations will not be enough to disrupt the rhythm of an elite fighter at the peak of his powers for 12 rounds. He will most certainly need to adapt his fighting style to be successful in the fight.
A slight worry for Bivol is that he hasn’t shown that he is capable of fighting on the inside in his career so far at an elite level, and it might be a tactic that Canelo and his team have worked on in their training camp. He might decide to exploit the Russian by fighting up close and on the inside rather than at a distance where Bivol is more comfortable.
To summarise the fight, Bivol has spent his entire career at light heavyweight and has continually boxed fighters who are strong heavy-hitters, so this is an advantage he will take into the fight. But he is yet to defeat a truly elite fighter, something Canelo has achieved multiple times in his career.
Just because the Russian hasn’t achieved this feat in his career so far doesn’t mean that he is incapable of it, but Canelo is in his prime and is performing at an elite level at present, so he should have enough skillset, boxing IQ, and power at the weight to take control over the fight from the middle rounds onwards and secure victory via a points decision or a stoppage victory between rounds 9-12.
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