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Eddie Hearn: Canelo vs Bivol rematch at 168 not agreed, but looks good, plan still for John Ryder first in May

Eddie Hearn says Canelo vs Bivol 2 at 168 is not set, but early signs are encouraging for September.

Eddie Hearn says Canelo vs Bivol 2 at 168 is not set, but early signs are encouraging
Eddie Hearn says Canelo vs Bivol 2 at 168 is not set, but early signs are encouraging
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There has been some chatter that Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol are all but agreed to fight a rematch in September, this time at 168 lbs where Canelo is undisputed champion, but while Matchroom Boxing promoter says that’s certainly not set, early signs are encouraging.

“The Bivol fight is not done, but obviously representing both fighters, we’ve got a good chance of getting that made. The key for Dmitry Bivol is, ‘Are you happy to take that fight at 168?’ The initial feedback is yes,” Hearn told The DAZN Boxing Show this week.

“Bivol’s got a chance to be undisputed out of the blue at 168. Some might even make him the favorite going into that fight, after the last performance.”

Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KO) lost to Bivol (21-0, 11 KO) in May 2022 at 175 lbs, a clear decision victory for the 32-year-old Russian, who followed up with a dominant November win over Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in Abu Dhabi.

Canelo last fought in September, going back to 168 and retaining his undisputed crown with a win over Gennadiy Golovkin, then underwent surgery on his wrist.

The plan has been for Canelo to return in May, and John Ryder — who has the interim WBO super middleweight title — has been the main target, which Hearn says is still the plan.

“Canelo Alvarez still wants to fight in May. The plan is still John Ryder, though there are some other options on the table, as well,” he said. “Canelo has a number of mandatories. Right now, he’s coming back to a situation where he’s coming off surgery. I feel like the mindset of Saul and Eddy (Reynoso) is, ‘We need to come back, make sure the hand’s all good before we go into probably the biggest fight of our career,’ which is the rematch against Dmitry Bivol.

“He’s the undisputed champion, he has mandatories to face. The mandatory that we would like him to take and the one that should be easier to make is John Ryder. That’s still the plan, and I expect we’re going through the various options in terms of the venue and the site. The UK, the Middle East, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, wherever that could be, Mexico.”

Asked if there was a leading venue in mind, Hearn noted the potential issues for U.S. TV time zones if you take Alvarez out of the country, but offered the idea of another big stadium fight, this time in Los Angeles.

“I like the idea of doing it at SoFi Stadium. He’s done a lot of fights the T-Mobile (in Las Vegas), I’d like to take him back to a stadium,” he said. “Last time in a stadium was the Billy Joe Saunders fight, it was incredible. Cinco De Mayo in California at the SoFi would be incredible. Mexico, of course, would be a historic event. Just unraveling where that fight’s going to take place.”

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