Boxing’s pound-for-pound king and biggest active superstar is fighting for the first time since making history by becoming the first undisputed super-middleweight champion of the world with an 11th-round stoppage of Caleb Plant in November.
That remarkable milestone was followed by intense scrutiny and speculation over which weight the division-defying Mexican icon would target next, with a challenge for Ilunga Makabu’s WBC cruiserweight belt looking the most likely option.
However, an enforced Makabu mandatory meant a return to light-heavyweight instead, where Canelo previously won the WBO strap by beating Sergey Kovalev in November 2019.
Now he’s back at 175lbs to take on Bivol, the technically-gifted Russian who has held the WBA belt since 2017, defending it successfully on eight occasions.
Bivol last fought in December, when he outclassed compatriot Umar Salamov in a low-key affair in Ekaterinburg. He was previously taken the distance by Croydon’s Craig ‘Spider’ Richards on the Joseph Parker-Derek Chisora undercard in Manchester after 19 months out of the ring during the Covid pandemic.
Having signed a two-fight deal with Matchroom, another victory for Canelo here on Cinco de Mayo weekend would see him tee up a third fight with arch-nemesis Golovkin, who stopped Ryota Murata in a middleweight unification clash in Japan last month.
‘GGG’ is eager to settle old scores, having lost their second high-profile meeting in September 2018 and been denied what many people thought was a clear victory as the first bout was drawn one year earlier.
Watch Canelo Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol live on DAZN by clicking here.
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Canelo vs Bivol date, start time, venue and ring walks
Canelo vs Bivol takes place tonight, Saturday May 7, 2022 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It will be a familiar late night tale for British fight fans, with the main undercard not due to begin until 1am BST.
Ring walks for the main event are not expected until around 4am BST on Sunday morning, meanwhile.
As ever, these times are subject to change depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
Canelo vs Bivol fight card/undercard in full
Canelo Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol
Zhilei Zhang vs Scott Alexander
Montana Love vs Gabriel Valenzuela
Shakhram Giyasov vs Christian Gomez
Marc Castro vs Pedro Vicente
Elnur Abduraimov vs Manuel Correa
Alexis Espino vs Aaron Silva
Joselito Velazquez vs Marcos Sustaita
Fernando Angel Molina vs Ricardo Valdovinos
How to watch Canelo vs Bivol
TV channel: Canelo vs Bivol is being broadcast live tonight on sports video streaming service DAZN. Subscribe to DAZN for £7.99 a month.
The service can be viewed on smart TVs in addition to other devices such as computers, mobiles, gaming consoles and tablets.
Canelo vs Bivol fight prediction
Is this one step too far and one challenge too many for the iconic Canelo?
Despite his long inactivity before fighting Richards and some low-key performances on his resume, Bivol has superb technical qualities owing to his extensive amateur career.
His skills on that front are up there with the very best when he’s in rhythm, while his speed, power and natural size will surely pose problems on Saturday night.
There is a reason Eddie Hearn rates this as Canelo’s toughest fight outside of Floyd Mayweather, with many underestimating Bivol, who has reigned as a world champion for five years but is not nearly as celebrated as the ferocious Artur Beterbiev.
Having said that, Canelo is an absolute expert in wearing down opponents and pressuring them relentlessly as fights progress.
It is easy to see Bivol starting well here in a close contest, before falling victim to the same tactics that have served the Mexican so well in the past.
Canelo to win via unanimous decision.
Canelo vs Bivol weigh-in results
Here are the results from Friday’s weigh-in:
Canelo Alvarez 174.6 lbs vs Dmitry Bivol 174.6 lbs
Montana Love 140 vs Gabriel Valenzuela 138.6
Shakhram Giyasov 146.6 vs Christian Gomez 146
Marc Castro 134.8 vs Pedro Vicente 134.8
Zhang Zhilei 276.2 vs Scott Alexander 222.6
Canelo vs Bivol odds and betting tips
Canelo to win: 1/6
Bivol to win: 4/1
Canelo by decision/technical decision: 4/6
Canelo by KO, TKO or DQ: 11/4
Bivol by decision/technical decision: 6/1
Bivol by KO, TKO or DQ: 12/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change)