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Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Who is biggest threat to Canelo Alvarez? Bivol? Charlo? Golovkin?


Canelo Alvarez might be zeroing in on an opponent for May 7.

The undisputed 168-pound champion has fielded offers to fight 160-pound titleholder Jermall Charlo (from Premier Boxing Champions) and 175-pound belt holder Dmitry Bivol, with a second fight against another middleweight champ, Gennadiy Golovkin, in September (DAZN), ESPN is reporting.

All of those matchups are better than cruiserweight Ilunga Makabu, who Canelo reportedly had been targeting.

But who among the three potential foes has the best chance of beating the Mexican star, whose only loss came against Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather in 2013?

In this feature, Boxing Junkie ranks the three prospective opponents in order of how big of a threat they pose to one of the sport’s top fighters pound for pound.

DMITRY BIVOL (19-0, 11 KOs)

Dmitry Bivol (right) would have a size advantage over Canelo Alvarez. Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing

Chances of beating Alvarez: 45%
Background: Bivol’s obvious advantage is his size; Alvarez would be moving up to 175 pounds for the fight, as he did when he stopped Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to win a title in 2019. That’s not all the Russian brings to the table, though. He’s an excellent boxer who is difficult to hit cleanly, which has proven repeatedly against quality opposition. He defeated Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr. in succession in 2018 and 2019 to establish itself as one of the best fighters worldwide. He has not faced that level of opposition in his three most recent fights but he has remained undefeated. What about his power? He’s not a big puncher but his hands are heavy enough to keep the smaller Alvarez honest. And, unlike Kovalev at the time he fought Alvarez, Bivol is in his prime at 31 years old. Bottom line: Bivol would be the biggest threat to Alvarez since Daniel Jacobs in May 2019.

JERMALL CHARLO (32-0, 22 KOs)

Jermall Charlo’s jab could frustrate Alvarez. Carmen Mandato / Getty Images

Chances of beating Alvarez: 40%
Background: Charlo would have to move up in weight to face Alvarez, which would be a disadvantage on paper. However, the bigger of the Charlo twins brings formidable weapons into the ring. Jermell is more dynamic and punches harder than Jermall pound-for-pound but Jermall is the better, steadier boxer. He has one of the best jabs in boxing, which set up the power punches necessary to win rounds and could knock Alvarez off his game. And do not underestimate his ability to hurt opponents. He’s not a knockout artist but he does not play Patty Cake, either. No one – not even Alvarez – would be able to walk through his heavy punches. Plus, he also has an excellent chin, which could come in handy against an opponent who is a big puncher. Charlo might have the all-around ability and toughness to give Alvarez more trouble than some experts might believe.

GENNADIY GOLOVKIN (41-1-1, 36 KOs)

Could Gennadiy Golovkin (right) give Alvarez problems at 40? Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images

Chances of beating Alvarez: 35%
Background: Consensus is that it’s too late for Golovkin, who turns 40 on April 8. We’re not so sure. He has not looked at recent fights like the fighter who gave Alvarez hell two times and recorded 23 consecutive knockouts from 2008 to 2016, which might be attributable to wear, tear and age. At the same time, I wonder how motivated Triple-G was against Steve Rolls, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Kamil Szeremeta. You can bet he’d be at his best – whatever that is at this point – if he were to face his arch rival one more time. Golovkin drew with Alvarez in a fight most observers thought he deserved to win and then lost a close, majority decision to him a year later. The Kazakhstani obviously had the ability and style to push Alvarez to his limits. The question now is whether he has retained enough of that ability at 40 to push him one more time. I believe the fight would be more competitive than some might think.



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