Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol both sounded supremely confident in themselves ahead of Saturday night’s fight on DAZN PPV from Las Vegas, with the pair meeting up for their final press conference this afternoon.
Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KO) will be challenging for the WBA light heavyweight title held by Bivol (19-0, 11 KO), who will be a notable underdog despite his status as an unbeaten and highly-respected titleholder.
“He’s a really good champion, a really good fighter. We know that. He has a lot of skills, a lot of amateur experience,” Canelo said of Bivol. “He’s a solid champion at 175. But I know, and I’m ready. I believe in my skills and I’m very confident with how strong I am.
“I like this kind of challenge, because I just want to make history. This kind of challenge is going to put me at the top in the history of boxing. I feel alive when I have this kind of challenge. I respect the boxing skill of Dmitry Bivol, but it’s my time. I feel in my prime, and I enjoy this kind of moment.”
Bivol will be taking a big step up not only in competition but in the scope of the event, as this is by miles the biggest fight of his career. But nothing about the Russian fighter suggested he has an ounce of nervousness going into the bout.
“I’m really glad that I’ve got my opportunity. I’ve asked my team for many years, I want to fight the best guys, and now I’ve got this fight,” he said. “I’m focused on the fight now. I hope we’ll make a great fight for boxing fans. I believe in me. I’ve had a long journey to this moment, and now I have to do my job.
“To be honest, every time I come to the ring, I believe in my victory. If you don’t believe in what you do, you’ll never win. I believe in my victory. Why not? I’ve been in boxing since I was five years old. When I was 16, I was a two-time amateur world champion. Now I have a belt, I have 19 fights, I’m the champion. Why not?”
Bivol was asked if he will have to use his natural size advantages to win the fight, replying, “In a fight like this, you have to use all of your advantages, use all the mistakes you open.” He’s already noted this week that while he is known for his excellent jab and technical skills, he won’t only rely on that.
As for Canelo fighting at 175 lbs for the second time in his career following his 2019 knockout win over Sergey Kovalev, the Mexican superstar again spoke about his desire to test himself.
“I beat all the champions at 168, so for now I’m OK at that weight,” he said. “I need to take other challenges for myself, not just for my history, but I need to feel that kind of challenge. To go up to 175, have the opportunity to win another title, it’s amazing for me.”
There was definitely an intensity to their face off, but it was a very professional intensity, and it’s clear there is great respect between the two.
“I want to keep my belt. I want to win. Of course, I respect him. He’s a great champion,” Bivol said. “This is much more of a challenge for me, not only just to keep my belt, but check my skills against one of the best fighters.”
“I know he’s going to bring everything and I like that,” Canelo stated. “The only thing I want is bring a really good fight. He’s very confident, I’m very confident. It’s going to be a really good fight.”
Bad Left Hook will have full live coverage and round-by-round updates for Canelo vs Bivol on Saturday, May 7, starting at 3:15 pm ET for the prelim undercard bouts and 8 pm ET for the main card.
Montana Love: “It’s another day in the office for us, just a venue change. … We know he, like any other Mexican, comes forward and is coming to fight. He tries to do the counter-punching and everything. It’s a good idea, just with the wrong guy. We’re going to stick to our game plan. We’re ready for whatever; a shootout, however he wants to do it. … This card wouldn’t be right if ‘Too Pretty’ didn’t put his drip on it. I’m probably one of the flyest fighters in boxing right now. I carry a different type of swag. I’m gonna entertain the fights. I know a lot of them will be booing, and a lot will be cheering as well. I’m not worried about that. I’m here to do my job, and we’re going to get it done.”
Gabriel Valenzuela (via interpreter): “This is going to be a really big test for me. I’m really motivated for it. I’m looking forward to getting the win and taking it back to Mexico. … It’s going to be a big night for Mexico, not just because it’s Cinco De Mayo, but we have a lot of friends on the card. Canelo is obviously the star, but it’ll be great motivation for me.”
Shakhram Giyasov (via interpreter): “I never turn down any challenges. This is just another challenges. I prefer to fight the best guys available. … My priority is always to please the crowd, for them to have fun watching my fight.”
Christian Gomez (via interpreter): “We’ve prepared really well. You’re going to see a different Gomez in this fight. We’re hoping to go in and get the victory.”
Zhilei Zhang (via interpreter): “First of all, I’d like to say I’m sorry for (Filip) Hrgovic’s loss. I send my condolences. My training camp has been focused on Hrgovic, and it’s very unfortunate. But I know my new opponent has never been dropped before, never been knocked out before. Saturday, I’ll give you something new.”
Scott Alexander: “I’m always ready to fight. I’m a fighter. I don’t mind him saying he’s gonna give me something new. I’ve been dropped, I got up. I’ve never been stopped. He can bring whatever he wants to show me new. My name is Scott Alexander, he’s never fought me before. This fight will be new for him, as well. … It’s definitely a winnable fight. I see weaknesses in everybody I fight against. But aside from his weaknesses, he showed a little heart, he showed he’s willing to do what he has to do to win. But I definitely see some weaknesses I’m looking to exploit.”
Marc Castro: “I’m grateful to be in this position again, to display my talents on a Canelo undercard. I’m ready to put on a show for all the fans. Last time was a good fight, and I’m here to show I’ve got skills and can compete with the best. … [On getting dropped last fight:] You learn every day on the job, like any job. I got dropped and I got up and showed I’ve got talent. That’s the reason I’m here. I’m going to be one of the best one of these days.”
Joselito Velazquez (via interpreter): “I’m really excited and full of emotion to be here. The division is hot, both flyweight and super flyweight. We’re not looking beyond this fight, but we’ve prepared really well and we’re going to show what we’re made of, and maybe in the future we can become world champion.”
Alexis Espino: “I’m super excited, I’ve had the best camp of my life. Coming off a draw, it puts more pressure on me to make a statement. I had a great experience in my last fight and I’m here to prove a lot.”
Aaron Silva (via interpreter): “It’s going to be a really good fight. You shouldn’t miss it, you’re going to see what we’re made of in Monterrey. I’m prepared and we’re going to win.”
Canelo vs Bivol press conference video
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