Sports

Craig Richards defends Canelo Alvarez as he chases Dmitry Bivol rematch

Richards takes on south London rival Buatsi on Saturday (Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom)

Craig Richards insists it’s too early to pass judgement on whether or not Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has bitten off greater than he can bite competing within the light-heavyweight department as he seeks a rematch towards Dmitry Bivol.

After unifying the super-middleweight department in 2021, Canelo sought extra glory at light-heavyweight towards WBA champion Bivol previous this month.

While the Mexican famous person tasted luck at 175lbs towards Sergey Kovalev in 2019, he was once picked aside by means of Bivol in Las Vegas who boxed fantastically to transform simply the second one guy after the good Floyd Mayweather Jr to overcome Canelo.

Crystal Palace fighter Richards took on Bivol in what was once his first crack at international identify gold remaining 12 months, giving the Russian a more difficult exam than Canelo controlled regardless of falling at the fallacious finish of a unanimous determination defeat.

Richards has earned late credit score for his efficiency that night time towards the person who conveniently beat Canelo, extensively considered the pound-for-pound absolute best within the recreation.

Bivol surprised the boxing international by means of beating Canelo on 7 May (Picture: Getty)

The 32-year-old is taking a look to take an enormous step again against every other identify shot towards Olympic medallist and fellow south east Londoner Joshua Buatsi on Saturday on the O2 Arena with that bout additionally serving as an eliminator for Bivol’s WBA identify.

Canelo’s loss has led many to query whether or not he can mirror his dominant luck at light-heavyweight with Richards suggesting the Mexican will have to temporarily be informed he can not bully opposition like he was once in a position to doing in decrease weight categories.

Buatsi and Richards collide this weekend (Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom)

‘It’s nonetheless just a little too early to pass judgement on [if Canelo can truly compete at light-heavyweight] however I feel and it additionally is determined by the fighter he’s going to combat,’ Richards advised Metro.co.united kingdom.

‘Styles makes fights. Bivol, as well as being defensively very good, he has very fast hands and a good jab and I felt like Canelo might struggle with that because he won’t be capable to bully him.

Richards got here up quick towards Bivol remaining May (Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom)

‘Light-heavyweights are hard to bully, everyone can punch. Everyone has got skills, everyone has got speed. You can’t simply are available in and assume you’re going to dominate. Depending on who he fights will dictate whether or not or now not he’ll fight.’

Bivol was once made to paintings for his win over ‘Spider’, securing a 118-110, 115-113, 115-114 issues win in Manchester remaining May. While Richards got here up quick, it proved the Londoner is conveniently at house a number of the elites of the department. He hopes victory towards Buatsi on Saturday will put him again not off course for every other international identify crack prior to lengthy.

‘I have been getting that good feedback after what we have seen him [Bivol] do to Canelo,’ Richards stated.

‘I’m the one that has driven Bivol the nearest, we had an excessively shut combat and there was once just one or two rounds in it. I put that right down to me staring slowly too, going during the gears just a little too slowly.

‘But that is in the past, I have got to look forward and focus on getting back there so I can dominate the sport.’


MORE : ‘We can still mix it up!’ – Joshua Buatsi hopeful Anthony Yarde combat can observe south London derby towards Craig Richards


MORE : Canelo Alvarez needs rematch towards Dmitry Bivol and says he didn’t need to lose combat

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