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Does Canelo Alvarez Deserve To Stay as Top Pound for Pound Fighter After Loss to Dmitri Bivol?


PhilBoxing.com




Should Ukrainian heavyweight champion Oleksander Usyk takes over as the top Pound for Pound Fighter from Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, he has to thank a fighter from Russia which his country is fighting a war to resist invasion for making that possible.

Alvarez last weekend suffered only his second career defeat when he dropped a generously close unanimous decision to Russian WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitri Bivol in a failed try to win a second world title at 175 lbs. The identical 115-113 scores submitted by the judges did not reflect what live, television and online boxing audience saw as a complete domination and supremacy of Bivol. Indeed, one would be hard pressed to identify another round that Alvarez clearly won except for the 10th when Bivol was already on cruising mode to a comfortable win. One network even scored the fight 118-110 for Bivol which was nearer to what actually transpired in the match.

The Ring Magazine which had Canelo as its top Pound for pound Fighter would be hard pressed to keep him in there as its ratings board usually frown upon its top P4P Fighter losing dismally against particularly a fighter not rated in its top 10 Pound for Pound list as Bivol was.

The Ring immediately demoted its previous number one Pound for pound fighters as in the case of Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez who lost by knockout to Srisaket Sor Rungvusai in 2018 and Vasiliy Lomachenko who lost by unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez in 2019.

Josh Taylor who cracked the Ring pound for pound list with wins over Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez also went down in his recent ranking after a scrambling title defense win over Jack Catteral.

Will the Ring do the same with Alvarez?

Some observers said this is not likely as Canelo fought above his natural weight division which is super middleweight or 168 lbs limit where he has won and currently holds all four major belts. In fact he fought Bivol two divisions above the middleweight where he first won the Ring Magazine recognition as Pound for pound best fighter with his victory, controversial as it was, over Gennadiy Golovkin in 2019.

It is more likely that the Ring Magazine will keep Canelo on the top of its Pound for Pound rankings pending the result of the fight of its second best fighter Oleksander Usyk against Anthony Joshua in July which is actually a rematch of their encounter for the WBA, WBO and IBF unified heavyweight titles won by Usyk last year. The actual date and venue of that fight however has yet to be finalized in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which for a time took Usyk's attention from boxing. His wife also reported that Usyk has lost 10 kilograms during the first week of the invasion, a disturbing news since Usyk was essentially a blown up cruiserweight.

Other ranking bodies that have Canelo Alvarez as their top Pound for pound fighter as the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board (TBRB), ESPN, YouSports and World Boxing Network or WBN would have to come to grips with this Canelo question, too.

Spared from this issue is the Boxrec.com which has Tyson Fury as its top Pound for Pound fighter since last year. Fury fortified his position with a dominating knockout win over Dillian Whyte weeks before the Canelo-Bivol fight.

That Canelo recent loss may also pressure the Ring Magazine to review its top ten pound for pound list in view of the lingering questions about the continued non inclusion of Fury, the WBC and Ring Magazine lineal world heavyweight champion and fighters as Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta Tank Davis and the resurgent Nonito Donaire who is fighting Ring #4 Naoya Inoue in June.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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