Promoter Eddie Hearn has a hard time wrapping his head around the idea that Canelo Alvarez should be moved several pegs down from the top spot on pound-for-pound rankings.

Alvarez saw his lofty position on boxing’s fun, if often nonsensical, trivial, and utterly subjective, classification system, disappear from several outlets on the heels of his loss to light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol in their 12-round 175-pound bout on May 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Bivol defeated Alvarez by unanimous decision.

Hearn, who promotes Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) on a multi-fight deal, made it clear that he found Alvarez’s demotion “remarkable” because Alvarez was gunning for a title in a weight class for which he is not naturally suited, against an opponent who may very well be the division’s toughest fighter. Alvarez, who remains the undisputed champion at 168, has fought in and around the middleweight limit for the majority of his career.  

“I find the whole reaction remarkable really,” Hearn said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “Before the fight it was supposed to be an easy win for Canelo Alvarez. We all knew, everyone who knew boxing, knew how difficult this fight was.

“But I said time and time again Canelo Alvarez and [trainer and manager] Eddy Reynoso are searching for greatness. The problem with the sport of boxing is when people come out after and [say] he shouldn’t have taken that risk. It’s like what? What? What are you saying, that he should’ve had an easy fight? Or a fight that he couldn’t lose? It’s gonna get boring if Canelo stays at 160 or 168 and just keeps on defeating everyone. He has to do something outrageous…”

Hearn took aim at outlets such as ESPN and Ring magazine for demoting Alvarez. ESPN dropped Alvarez, who owns the top spot, to No. 4 on their rankings list; in turn, Terence Crawford, the WBO welterweight titleholder and three division champion, moved up to No. 1. Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) entered the rankings for the first time at No. 8. Ring magazine dropped Alvarez to No. 6.

“I listen to a lot of the soundbites from fight week and mine was he has no business being at 175 pounds,” Hearn said. “He has to handicap himself to get beat. I cannot believe, when I look at credible people like ESPN And Ring magazine, and I look at their pound-for-pound ratings and they drop him to six or seven. It is unbelievable, the response. It’s only going to make him hungrier.”

It was announced recently that Alvarez declined an immediate rematch with Bivol and will instead take on his bete-noir Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy bout on September 17 on DAZN pay-per-view.