Pound for Pound superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez returns to the ring this Saturday, as he has his eyes set on a second world title run at light heavyweight, as he looks to dethrone WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
Canelo is one of the most talked about names in the sport of boxing right now, winning multiple world titles across four weight divisions and being considered Pound for Pound number one right now. However, people believe that Bivol is being disrespected in this bout and could even be a banana skin for the Mexican.
Bivol had a stellar amateur career where he won 90 of his 101 fights. People were excited to see how he would fare in the pro game, and he adapted very quickly as he racked up a six fight knockout streak across 2014 – 2016 which ultimately landed him a shot at the WBA 'interim' title in just his sixth fight.
Bivol returned to his home country of Russia for his WBA 'interim' bout, as he took on the unbeaten Felix Valera. Bivol showed his power by dropping Valera twice, but Valera showed his grit and became the first man to take Bivol 12 rounds, but Bivol was correctly declared the winner.
Bivol continued to defend his 'Interim' title in both his home country and USA. WBA champion Badou Jack vacated his belt in 2017, which meant Bivol was elevated to world champion.
Bivol next faced Trent Broadhurst in Monte Carlo, this being his first world title defence. Bivol did not disappoint as he produced a beautiful one punch knockout in the first round that caused the world to notice how special he is.
? IT'S BIVOL TIME! @bivol_d is in the ring and ready to go ????
???? Live on Sky Sports Main Event pic.twitter.com/s3rX4fY8zc
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) March 10, 2019
Bivol then went and became the first man to stop Sullivan Barrera, as he was on course for a shutout victory but managed to close the show early in the 12th.
The next three years saw Bivol string together six unanimous decision victories together, including names like Jean Pascal and now WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. Bivol comes into the Canelo fight undefeated at 19-0, and will hope to implement his experience at his natural size over his opponent.
Canelo turned professional in 2005, at the age of 15. Canelo fought in his home country early on and was even dealt a split decison draw in his fifth pro fight against Jorge Juarez.
Five years on, that draw was well and truly in the rear view mirror, as Canelo was now 32-0-1 and challenging for the vacant WBC silver title. Canelo picked the belt after dropping Luciano Cuello in rounds one and two, before stopping him in the sixth. Canelo was now ranked number one at super welterweight with the WBC.
Six months later, Canelo won his first world title, as he outpointed Matthew Hatton in Anaheim to pick up the vacant WBC world title at super welterweight.
After three defences, Canelo was given a fight with veteran Shane Mosley. Canelo passed the Mosley test as he defeated him over 12. Canelo went on to add the WBA strap to his mantle as he outpointed Austin Trout, even scoring a knockdown in the seventh round.
Canelo had now earned the toughest task yet in his career, as he defended his world titles against the all time great Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather dealt Canelo his first loss, but this loss went on to create a monster in Canelo.
Canelo moved up to middleweight and soon became WBC champion as he defeated Miguel Cotto for the vacant belt. Canelo's next fight seen him defend his belt against Amir Khan. Canelo produced one of the biggest knockouts in boxing as he flattened Khan in the sixth.
Canelo returned to super welterweight for a shot at Liam Smith's WBO world title. Canelo picked up the victory before moving back to middleweight for a fight that everyone was clamouring for.
Canelo faced off with Gennady Golovkin in a dream fight. Golovkin had collected the WBC, WBA and IBF belts in the middleweight division and they were on the line. The pair delivered a classic, but controversially it ended as a draw. A year later Canelo defeated Golovkin in a rematch by a razor thin decision.
Canelo then became a three weight world champion, as he brutally dismantled Rocky Fielding in three rounds to gain the WBA super middleweight title. However, Canelo didn't stay at this weight for long.
IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs came next for Canelo, another huge name infront of him, Canelo dealt with Jacobs by winning via unanimous decision. Canelo then decided to climb the weights again.
Canelo ballooned up to light heavy for the first time, as he took on WBO champion Sergey Kovalev. Kovalev controlled Canelo well all fight, until the Mexican detonated a left hook and straght right combo to stop Kovalev in the 11th.
Canelo returned to super middleweight, and defeated WBA champion Callum Smith, this bout also had the vacant WBC strap on the line. After a mandatory defence of his WBC belt over Avni Yildirim, Canelo got a fight with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders. Saunders gave Canelo a lot to think about early, but Canelo landed a big shot which lead to Saunders picking up an eye injury leading to a stoppage win for Canelo.
Their was only one piece left in the undisputed puzzle for Canelo at super middleweight, and that was Caleb Plant's IBF belt. Canelo got the Plant fight in 2021, and after a fiery build up, Canelo stopped Plant in round eleven to become undisputed champion at super middleweight.
Canelo now climbs back to light heavyweight, however the trilogy bout with Golovkin is seemingly hanging in the balance, or maybe even a unification bout with Artur Beterbiev, so Canelo cannot afford to look past his tough challenge in Dmitry Bivol this weekend.
The fight takes place in T Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, and will be broadcast live on DAZN.