Canelo Alvarez could face Dmitry Bivol after Caleb Plant negotiations slow
Canelo Alvarez could be forced to pursue a new opponent in Dmitry Bivol after negotiations with Caleb Plant hit a snag.
The pound-for-pound king is looking to become undisputed champion at super-middleweight, with Plant holding the only belt not owned by the Mexican.
But according to ESPN's Mike Coppinger Alvarez could be forced to fight undefeated Russian Bivol after the initial deadline for a fight contract with Plant to be arranged was missed earlier this week.
“Anytime Canelo wants to fight, there’s a saga, and we know why because the guy he’s going to fight is hitting the lottery, the sweepstake,” said Mike Coppinger to Max on Boxing on who will Alvarez fight next.
"Canelo is steadfast; he wants Caleb Plant. That fight is still being negotiated, but they’ve hit a bit of a snag.
"I’m told the Plan-B is Dimitry Bivol, a title-holder at 175.
"Canelo has no problems going back to 175, where he beat [Sergey] Kovalev, but Plan-A remains Caleb Plant. But right now, we’re going to need an answer by mid…week.”
Alvarez was last seen in the ring in May whe he stopped Brit Billy Joe Saunders, rallying to produce a brutal eighth round stoppage with Saunders retiring on the stool.
His recent resume also includes Callum Smith and Avni Yildirim, with the No.1 ranked boxer fighting three times within a year and remaining the most active among fighters ranked in the top 10.
And Coppinger praised both Alvarez and Bivol, stating that this could be a top fight as the Mexican looks to conquer another top challenge and beat the division's best names.
“I think it is because Bivol isn’t recognised by anybody in America, really. He’s only known to use hardcore fans,” he said.
“He’s very tricky, he has a great jab, and he’s bigger than Canelo. So I would take my hat off to him as well.
“But Canelo has shown, I think he takes it very seriously his status as the biggest star in boxing, and he wants to take on the biggest challenges. I think that’s what we’re going to see once again.
“You got to love that about Canelo. That’s why we thought, ‘Hey, GGG.’ When GGG couldn’t get a fight with another middleweight star, we thought, ‘Canelo will fight him,’ and sure enough, he did, and they made two great fights, and Canelo beat him.”
A busy future lies ahead for the sport's biggest superstar, with YouTuber Jake Paul also calling out the top fighter as part of a 5-year plan for his career in the sport from YouTube stardom.
Since being defeated by Alvarez, former middleweight champion Saunders has considered retiring, but has allowed his dad to make the final decision after he suffered a severely fractured orbital bone.
Canelo could continue to work with Eddie Hearn, after a three-fight deal between the Mexican and Matchroom Boxing expired, but may depend on any potential stumbling block set out by Showtime in relation to their promotion of Plant.