Tuesday, 17 May 2022 07:15

Eddie Hearn: Canelo likely will want Dmitry Bivol rematch at 175, not 168, responds to De La Hoya criticism and more

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn sat down with Ak and Barak for another interview on The DAZN Boxing Show, where he spoke more about what might come next for Canelo Alvarez, how soon we might know something, and his own thoughts on what he thinks Canelo should do.

On the reaction to Canelo’s loss to Dmitry Bivol

“I find the whole reaction remarkable, really. Before the fight, it was supposed to be an easy win for Canelo Alvarez. Everyone who knew boxing knew how difficult this fight was. But Canelo Alvarez and Eddy Reynoso are searching for greatness all the time. The problem with the sport of boxing is, when people come in after and say, ‘Oh, he shouldn’t have taken that risk.’ It’s, like, what? What are you saying? He should have had an easy fight or a fight he couldn’t lose?

“It’s gonna get boring if Canelo Alvarez at 160, 168 and just keeps on defeating everyone. He has to do something outrageous to get beaten. I listen to soundbytes from fight week, and mine was, ‘He has no business being at 175 lbs.’ He has to handicap himself to get beaten. And 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. But it’s only going to make him hungrier.”

On what he expects Canelo to do next

“There’s two clear options now. One is to have the undisputed fight at 168, the trilogy with Gennadiy Golovkin, and then rematch Dmitry Bivol, because let me tell you, there is no way he is not rematching Dmitry Bivol. Or you go straight into the Dmitry Bivol fight.

“You go back to the GGG fight, before the Bivol fight when we were talking about Canelo-GGG it was, like, ‘That’s an easy fight for Canelo now,’ and you feel like if Canelo Alvarez would’ve beaten Bivol, he would’ve been a huge favorite going into that fight. Now, remarkably, there are question marks over Canelo Alvarez. ‘Could GGG beat him in the trilogy?’ That fight becomes a bit more competitive.

“This week is moving week for us to sit down with Saul and Eddy Reynoso and say, ‘What do we want to do?’ Personally, I’m happy with either. The GGG fight is still probably the biggest fight in boxing. The Bivol fight is so dangerous, so tricky — Canelo would go into the Bivol fight an underdog for the first time in his career.”

On Oscar De La Hoya’s Tweet to Canelo

“We don’t have any say over who Canelo Alvarez — I’d love to pretend we have the power to decide what Canelo Alvarez does. Him and Eddy Reynoso will make all the decisions, and they wanted to chase greatness.

“I think it’s a bad look for boxing when Oscar basically says, ‘Look, I would’ve given you easier fights where you couldn’t get beat!’ He doesn’t want easier fights! He’d rather retire!”

On Canelo after the fight with Bivol

“After that fight, I went back to the hotel with him. He was absolutely heartbroken. ... The next morning, we went out and played golf. I walked probably eight or nine holes with him, and we just walked the whole way, talking. I saw a wounded lion, which is exactly what you want to see. He was very, very sad, very upset. That’s what you want to see. If it didn’t matter, if he didn’t care, if his heart wasn’t broken, that’s when it’s probably time to go. And he’s miles from going. I said to him, ‘What do you want to do?’ And he said, ‘I want to get back as soon as possible.’ But I think he also wants to map out the future as soon as possible. It’s Gennadiy Golovkin in September, or it’s Bivol in September, but if it’s Gennadiy Golovkin in September, it’s Bivol after, because he ain’t letting that go.

“And it doesn’t matter — you talk about Oscar’s comment, it doesn’t matter what I say or what anyone says. It just matters what Saul and Eddy Reynoso says. They feel they can beat (Bivol), and if they feel they can beat him, if he feels he can avenge that defeat, that fight is happening.”

On what he would do if it were his decision

“I’m a little bit biased, because I just love the Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy. And now I think it’s even more intriguing because he’s coming off a defeat. If he was to lose to Gennadiy Golovkin, where does he go? You’re talking about losing at 175, losing at 168, you’re not longer a world champion — of course, he’s Canelo Alvarez, but still, back-to-back defeats like that. So all the pressure right now is actually heaped on Canelo Alvarez.

“You don’t know what defeat is going to do to a man like that. We know he suffered one years ago to Floyd Mayweather, but he was a young, young, young man. Can he bounce back (now)? Is he affected by that? Is his confidence gone? All these different (things).

“But also, I would love to see the (Bivol) rematch. I think if I was advising him, or if he actually listened to what I thought — he’ll ask me my opinion, but we don’t make the decisions — I would probably go GGG and then Dmitry Bivol, and we’d give Dmitry Bivol a big fight in September or October. Whether that’s the Buatsi-Richards winner, Callum Smith, (Zurdo) Ramirez — but the rematch is a mega-fight.

“The two biggest fights in boxing right now, actually, are Canelo against GGG and Canelo against Bivol rematch. Of course AJ-Usyk as well, but these are really the biggest fights in boxing.”

On Bivol possibly fighting the Beterbiev-Smith winner

“I mean, that’s — now you’re talking too much sense. It’s very difficult because Canelo’s not gonna want to lose the opportunity. For Canelo now it’s not about becoming undisputed at 175, it’s about beating Dmitry Bivol, belt or no belt. It’s another dimension to the way this guy thinks. He’ll just be thinking, ‘I don’t want to lose that opportunity.’ He probably doesn’t want to see Beterbiev against Bivol because he doesn’t want to lose the chance to rematch Bivol, even though after that performance, I would say Bivol is a big favorite against Beterbiev, to be honest with you. But it’s a great fight, and we’ll see how (Beterbiev) gets on against Joe Smith.”

On the sense that he favored Canelo over Bivol

“You have to be real. The last thing I want to be — I love Dmitry Bivol, I think he’s a great guy, but I was ‘Team Canelo’ for that fight. I’m not into, like, pretending that I’m not. Like, he gets beat and then jumping up and down with Bivol. I was upset because I wanted Canelo Alvarez to win. And no disrespect to Dmitry Bivol, because I got him the opportunity I always promised I’d give him, but I have become very close to Saul, close than I am to Dmitry Bivol.

“I still respect (Bivol), still do a great job for him, and although we joke, (Matchroom’s) Frank Smith is with those guys on a day-to-day basis. It’s a bit awkward, and I hate doing fights where you’ve got two fighters in a fight. But at the same time, if I’m upset, you’re gonna see I’m upset. I think people like that. If I’m happy, you’re going to see me jumping around everywhere. If I’m upset, you’re gonna see it on my face.”

“I always said to (Bivol), ‘I promise you will get your shot and the rest is up to you.’ And by the way, I was delighted for Dmitry Bivol. As much as I was upset for Saul, I was delighted for Dmitry, because he’s a fine young man and deserved to show his greatness.”

On weights and rematch possibilities at 168

“(Bivol) can do (168), and the amazing thing is, Bivol would have agreed to fight at 171 (for the first fight). No problem. Bivol would have done the rehydration clause, no problem. Canelo didn’t want it. He said, ‘If I’m going to challenge myself at 175, it’s gotta be real.’ But no one gives him credit for that, either.”

“I don’t think Saul will want (the rematch) at 168. He lost at 175, he will want the same conditions in the rematch.”

On Usyk vs Joshua 2

“I’m hopeful this week we’ll get it done. July 23 in the Middle East is for sure the frontrunner right now. It’s not done, it’s not signed, but we are, what, nine, 10 weeks from that fight now? It’s ready. It’s time to get that fight announced and let these boys start bashing up sparring partners and getting ready for the unified world heavyweight championship. You can expect an announcement. ... Maybe around (our) weekend shows, if not very early next week.”

On possibly attending Kambosos vs Haney on June 4

“I won’t be attending Kambosos-Haney because we have (Ogawa-Cordina) the same night (in Cardiff). But I will be in Australia a couple of weeks after that, because we’re ready for our first show in September in Australia. We’ll have it announced soon, very excited about that. But I will be watching (Kambosos-Haney) and hoping Devin Haney can do the business.”

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