With Dmitry Bivol beating Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night, a wrench has potentially been thrown into a lot of works, namely the planned September trilogy bout between Canelo and Gennadiy Golovkin, which could now take a backseat to potential plans for a rematch between Bivol and Canelo.
During Bivol’s post-fight press conference, Hearn was asked about the agreed-upon fight between Canelo and GGG, and whether that will still go on as previously planned.
“I think Canelo against Dmitry Bivol (in a rematch) is probably the biggest fight in boxing right now, but it’s going to be down to Canelo, and obviously we’ll speak to Dmitry and (manager) Vadim (Kornilov), but I can’t see (Canelo) not wanting to accept the challenge,” he said.
“I said in the build-up, it’s like Canelo wants to handicap himself and fight these big, great champions to test himself, and tonight it was maybe a bridge too far against a great light heavyweight world champion. But knowing Saul, I would think he would only want one fight, which is the rematch with Dmitry Bivol.”
If it goes down that way, and a 40-year-old Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KO) — who held up his end of the bargain by going to Japan and stopping Ryota Murata on April 9 — doesn’t get the massive payday against Canelo in a fight he’s been after for nearly four years now, it’s going to be hard not to feel pretty lousy for a guy who really doesn’t seem to have anything close to that big of a fight available anywhere else.
My opinion remains that Canelo-GGG 3 is still a huge fight, it could be a great way for Canelo to bounce back, and to further build to a rematch with Bivol, possibly in May 2023.
But my opinion won’t matter here at all. Canelo is a proud guy, and in his post-fight press conference I thought you saw the best and worst of that. The odds seem good that Hearn is right, that Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KO) will only have eyes for a rematch with Bivol (20-0, 11 KO), who said alongside his manager that he simply wants what he feels he deserves if they do it again.
That shouldn’t be hard to get, in all honesty; the rematch will be bigger than this fight, and from all we can tell, this fight was really damn big already. Bivol should be paid what he deserves and maybe then some if it comes down to it, because Hearn’s right, it’s going to be a massive fight.
We’ll see what shakes out, but this feels like something that might be decided more quickly than you’d expect. If Canelo truly only has eyes for the Bivol rematch, I wouldn’t expect him to delay a decision on exercising the clause, because the ideal date would be Sept. 17, just over four months from now.