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Dmitry Bivol: Canelo Alvarez is still a great fighter, I want to prove more in boxing and go undisputed

Dmitry Bivol doesn’t see Canelo Alvarez as overrated, and says he’s still hungry to prove himself even further to boxing fans.

Dmitry Bivol is hungry to prove even more after beating Canelo Alvarez
Dmitry Bivol is hungry to prove even more after beating Canelo Alvarez
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Dmitry Bivol has gained a lot of fans since this past Saturday, and not just because he upset Canelo Alvarez in their huge DAZN PPV main event, but because he has also come off as a very likable, humble fighter who’s still hungry to prove much more in the sport of boxing.

Speaking with Ak and Barak and the DAZN Boxing Show, Bivol (20-0, 11 KO) continued to showcase a laid back but very confident personality, giving Canelo credit for still being a great fighter and not trying to get too wrapped up in P4P-type conversations just yet, hoping only for more big fights to continue to prove his quality.

On Canelo receiving a lot of negativity for losing

“He moved up (in weight), and he still has four belts at super middleweight. He’s a champion in four weight classes. He’s a great fighter, he’s a legend still. Everyone has haters, and this is the time for Canelo’s haters. They’re hating now. But he’s still one of the best and I respect him and his team.”

On the rematch clause and his goals

“I wanted this fight to get more attention, to show my skills to many fans, to introduce myself to the boxing fans. Now I got it, and it’s not my goal to have a rematch with Canelo. I have a goal to have more belts in the light heavyweight division. ... It’s not the first thing I want to do — I have a goal to be undisputed. ... Yes, (Canelo has options) in the contract, I have to give him a rematch (if he wants it), but it’s not my goal. But I’ll give him a rematch, of course, if he wants. He gave me an opportunity and of course I’ll give him an opportunity. ... If he doesn’t take it, no problem, I go my own way.”

On what he wants changed in the rematch contract

“More money. I want to be the first (name) on the posters. Something like that, you know?”

On a rematch possibly being easier for him

“I’m not sure it will be easier. It will be different. It’s still hard. Maybe he will be more motivated.”

On how Canelo’s power compares to other light heavyweights

“He has a good shot, he has good power. He can compete against anyone in the light heavyweight division. Absolutely, he has enough power.”

On his defense taking away Canelo’s body shots

“My guard helped me, it saved my head, it saved my body. A lot of punches I took on my arm, the left hooks and body shots. When he punched on my arms, he’s wasting his power and energy.”

On Canelo targeting his left arm

“I have a bruise, big bruise. A little bit of pain, but I can still throw the jab. ... When I sparred in training camp, my sparring partners sometimes hit my arm. That was part of the plan, to hit Bivol on the arms and shoulder in sparring. So of course I expected it. I watched his fight with Callum Smith, and I knew.”

On the scoring of the fight

“When I heard 115-113 from all judges. For one second I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not my day today.’ But when I heard, ‘And still’ — yeah, they made the right decision. ... He won a maximum of four rounds, I think, for me.”

On his sparring in camp

“I sparred with Brandon Adams, he has a good left hook and body shots, good speed. His height is similar (to Canelo). And I sparred with a Georgian fighter, Niko — I forget his last name — he’s good, he has good combination work and a good left hook. And of course I sparred with Israil Madrimov, you know him. He’s really awkward with a good defense. He uses his body and legs, he’s really awkward and a good fighter with a good punch and left hook. Of course, I can’t find sparring partners just like Canelo, but I can find some with some skills like he has.”

(Editor’s Note: I think Bivol means Nikoloz Sekhniashvili but can’t be 100 percent. Size, style, weight would all fit.)

On there being a time frame for a rematch in the contract

“We should ask my manager (laughing).”

Manager Vadim Kornilov: “As far as I remember, there’s six months (from May 7) that the fight has to happen. There’s about a month that he has to exercise the option. But at the end of the day, it’s really up to Team Canelo right now, to see what they want to do and whether they want this rematch or not. Dmitry can just continue with his career if that’s not what they want.”

On what Dmitry thinks Canelo will do

“I don’t know what he’ll do, what’s going on in his head and with his team. But they will make the right decision, I’m pretty sure. I’m ready for their decision and I will respect it.”

On the Beterbiev vs Smith fight on June 18

“It’s an interesting fight. Beterbiev could win, of course, he has the better chance because he has the power and better boxing skills than Smith. He has many more amateur fights, and that makes you more skilled, gives you more experience. But Joe Smith still has power and a big heart. It’s an interesting fight. Of course, I want to fight the winner of the fight.”

On possibly fighting Canelo at 168 for all of his belts

“We can talk about it, you know, with the Canelo team. We can talk. It’s not 100 percent that I will fight at 168. ... I’m not 100 percent sure. Before coronavirus, I was sure (about making that weight). After coronavirus, I raised (my weight) a little bit, you know. Too much sitting at home, eating, no fighting (laughing).

On where he thinks he belongs on the P4P list

“Eh, I don’t like questions like this, to be honest. I don’t know. I just beat the pound-for-pound man, but I don’t feel like I took his place and, ‘Me! The pound-for-pound!’ I don’t think like that. I don’t know where I am. What do you think? What do the people think?”

“I need more good names (on my record). This is why I say I want to prove it, I want to take another fight for more belts. I want this because I don’t feel like, ‘Now I’m the biggest name in the world, I took his place.’ No. For me, I’m just another fighter, good fighter. But I can move forward and be better. ... If I take more belts, I prove more. If I beat Canelo again, I will stay on the same place, you know?”

On Canelo being better or as good as he expected

“He’s good. I expected that.”