Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol both sounded supremely confident in themselves ahead of Saturday night’s fight on DAZN PPV from Las Vegas, with the pair meeting up for their final press conference this afternoon.
Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KO) will be challenging for the WBA light heavyweight title held by Bivol (19-0, 11 KO), who will be a notable underdog despite his status as an unbeaten and highly-respected titleholder.
“He’s a really good champion, a really good fighter. We know that. He has a lot of skills, a lot of amateur experience,” Canelo said of Bivol. “He’s a solid champion at 175. But I know, and I’m ready. I believe in my skills and I’m very confident with how strong I am.
“I like this kind of challenge, because I just want to make history. This kind of challenge is going to put me at the top in the history of boxing. I feel alive when I have this kind of challenge. I respect the boxing skill of Dmitry Bivol, but it’s my time. I feel in my prime, and I enjoy this kind of moment.”
Bivol will be taking a big step up not only in competition but in the scope of the event, as this is by miles the biggest fight of his career. But nothing about the Russian fighter suggested he has an ounce of nervousness going into the bout.
“I’m really glad that I’ve got my opportunity. I’ve asked my team for many years, I want to fight the best guys, and now I’ve got this fight,” he said. “I’m focused on the fight now. I hope we’ll make a great fight for boxing fans. I believe in me. I’ve had a long journey to this moment, and now I have to do my job.
“To be honest, every time I come to the ring, I believe in my victory. If you don’t believe in what you do, you’ll never win. I believe in my victory. Why not? I’ve been in boxing since I was five years old. When I was 16, I was a two-time amateur world champion. Now I have a belt, I have 19 fights, I’m the champion. Why not?”
Bivol was asked if he will have to use his natural size advantages to win the fight, replying, “In a fight like this, you have to use all of your advantages, use all the mistakes you open.” He’s already noted this week that while he is known for his excellent jab and technical skills, he won’t only rely on that.
As for Canelo fighting at 175 lbs for the second time in his career following his 2019 knockout win over Sergey Kovalev, the Mexican superstar again spoke about his desire to test himself.
“I beat all the champions at 168, so for now I’m OK at that weight,” he said. “I need to take other challenges for myself, not just for my history, but I need to feel that kind of challenge. To go up to 175, have the opportunity to win another title, it’s amazing for me.”
There was definitely an intensity to their face off, but it was a very professional intensity, and it’s clear there is great respect between the two.
“I want to keep my belt. I want to win. Of course, I respect him. He’s a great champion,” Bivol said. “This is much more of a challenge for me, not only just to keep my belt, but check my skills against one of the best fighters.”
“I know he’s going to bring everything and I like that,” Canelo stated. “The only thing I want is bring a really good fight. He’s very confident, I’m very confident. It’s going to be a really good fight.”