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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 07: Canelo Alvarez reacts after WBA light heavyweight title fight against Dmitry Bivol at T-Mobile Arena on May 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bivol retained his title by unanimous decision. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Plenty to wonder about Canelo Alvarez future

Recent loss takes shine off Canelo Alvarez

Things didn’t go according to plan on Saturday night for Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez as his move up to light heavyweight hit a roadblock. Alvarez challenged and lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Dmitry Bivol, the WBA titleholder who put on a masterful performance. 

Bivol stymied Alvarez all night in the ring, but also Alvarez’s plans to hold belts in two different weight classes.  

Alvarez hadn’t lost in nine years, thus boxing fans and pundits treated this outcome as if it was a major upset. After all, Canelo was a 5- to-1 favorite over the relatively unknown Russian. This line ignored the fact that Alvarez had to move up in weight class to take on Bivol, a championship fighter who is four inches taller and is a naturally bigger fighter. 

Canelo said in a post-fight interview that he wants to exercise the rematch clause in the contract. 

Canelo absorbed punishment in the early rounds and was unable to mount a comeback when he was clearly behind, due to fatigue. Will there be a different Canelo in the ring if there is a rematch?

Who’s next up for Canelo Alvarez

What’s next for the Mexican champion? Is there fan interest in a Canelo-Bivol rematch? Or is an undisputed super middleweight title defense against Gennadiy Golovkin next? Is that Triple GGG trilogy fight even something fight fans want to see?

Canelo has been roundly criticized by a number of detractors who claim he has earned and defended belts against unknown, less talented and sometimes beyond-their-prime European fighters. 

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In Canelo’s last 13 fights, 11 have been against European fighters. 

(On a side note, Alvarez hasn’t fought a Latino fighter in five years- May 7, 2017- when he defeated Julio César Chávez Jr. by unanimous decision.)

These are just facts. This is not to undermine his career accomplishments to this point. He has captured titles in four weight classes and currently has all four super middleweight titles. 

In retrospect, fighting Bivol appears to be a major miscalculation on Alvarez’s part. However, it appears that Canelo’s opponents were carefully chosen to maintain his record, sell out stadiums and maximize television revenue. 

Many of boxing’s top fighters attempt to closely guard the record. The difference between them and Canelo, the pay-per-view king of boxing, is that Canelo has been an active fighter. 

More active than most champs

By way of comparison, top American welterweights Errol Spence, Jr. and Terrance Crawford have each fought four times since 2019. Canelo has nearly doubled their work, with seven fights in that same span. 

Will Canelo Alvarez be as active after the Bivol fight? What does this result do to the Canelo economy? What will the Mexican fans think of Canelo after this loss? Will they be as eager to spend money on traveling to a fight in Dallas or Las Vegas or even in purchasing pay-per-view events?

Previous Canelo Alvarez fights were available on the monthly subscription service DAZN, but this fight was on DAZN pay-per-view. Even if you had a DAZN account, you would have to shell out $59.95 plus tax for the fight. Will fans continue to spend that type of money on Canelo? 

The fight against an American world champion, Caleb Plant, generated 800,000 pay-per-view buys. When he fought last year in Arlington, the fight drew over 70,000 fans and a $9 million gate. There’s interest in Canelo, but what’s the interest after a loss?

Canelo has been the A-sid, and he’s known that, even going so far as telling opponents that he knows they are just trying to egg him on to get a “payday.”

Does that “payday” still exist for Canelo and his opponent, whoever that might be? 

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