Light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol is not as confident as he once was in his ability to drop down to 168 pounds and compete in that division.
Bivol cast some doubt on the idea that he would be able to participate in a rematch with Canelo Alvarez at the super middleweight limit. Bivol had originally floated the idea in response to a question shortly after his upset of Alvarez in a 12-round light heavyweight bout for Bivol’s WBA strap last Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Bivol won 115-113 on all three judges’ scorecards. Alvarez is still the undisputed champion at 168, and Bivol has suggested in the past that he would be able to make the limit somewhat easily.
But in a recent interview, Bivol admitted that losing weight is no longer as easy as it once was because of the sedentary habits he picked up during the global coronavirus pandemic, making him somewhat leery of committing to fighting Alvarez at 168.
“We can talk about it (fighting the rematch at 168), you know, with Canelo team,” Bivol said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “We can talk. It’s not 100% that I will not fight at 168. No, we can talk about it.”
“I’m not sure 100% (of fighting at 168),” Bivol continued. “Before coronavirus I was sure. After coronavirus, I [gained weight] a little bit. Too much eating…Eat, no fighting.”
Bivol went more than a year-and-a-half without a fight during lockdown. The Kyrgyzstan-born, Russian native fought Lenin Castillo in October of 2019. His next fight was with Craig Richards in May of last year.
Bivol, admittedly, looked subpar against Richards, as well as in his following fight with Umar Salamov. Bivol, however, believes those mediocre performances helped him land the fight with Alvarez.
A rematch between Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) and Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) depends on whether or not Alvarez decides to activate his rematch clause. If he does so, Bivol is obligated to give Alvarez another shot, be it at the 175-pound limit or at 168, where Alvarez would conceivably gain an advantage; the Mexican superstar has collected titles across four divisions but has fought the bulk of his career in and around the middleweight division.