Canelo Alvarez says he rates Dmitry Bivol above Artur Beterbiev ahead of Saturday's fight - DAZN

LAS VEGAS — You hear fighters quite often say they will compete against anyone at any time. When you hear or read the statement, you want to believe them. Why wouldn't you? Fighters take the ultimate risk every time they step through the ropes or enter the cage. The head and body aren't made to be hit. But when you see fighters make those comments and then turn around and face someone else, you start to question whether they were ever sincere. There is one competitor you believe when they open their mouth. 

Enter Canelo Alvarez, who looks to become a two-time light heavyweight champion on Saturday, as he challenges WBA (super) light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol from T-Mobile Arena, live on DAZN PPV in the U.S. and Canada (and with a DAZN subscription in most other regions).

"I fight everybody," Alvarez told a small group of reporters, including DAZN, on Wednesday. "I don't f—ing care."

Adding in Saturday's clash with Bivol, out of Alvarez's 14 fights, 10 of those have been him challenging for a championship. Those bouts have come against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Gennadiy Golovkin (twice), Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, and now Bivol. 

Heading into fight week, people have been dismissive of Bivol. Looking at how the 31-year-old fights and his resume up to this point, it's nothing to sneeze at. Bivol went 268-15 as an amateur, won two world championships, and won a bronze medal at the 2008 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. Since turning professional, Bivol is 19-0 with 11 knockouts and has defended his WBA belt six consecutive times.

Yet, according to Bet MGM, those statistics are thrown out the window as Bivol is a significant underdog to retain his title. Alvarez doesn't believe in what the oddsmakers and the majority of the public are saying about Bivol in that he's nothing more than a speed bump on the road to immortality. With a deadly severe stare and tone, Alvarez says he believes Bivol is the best light heavyweight in boxing, not unified titlist Artur Beterbiev. 

"I think he's a better boxer. He have more skills than Beterbiev," Alvarez said. "Beterbiev's a really good fighter; strong, always go forward. But I think Bivol is a really good fighter with a lot of experience."

Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) makes the jaunt up to 175 pounds for the second time. Previously, Alvarez scored an 11th-round knockout over Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 to capture the WBO strap. Bivol isn't Kovalev, though.

Bivol might not have the power Kovalev or the feats, but he's got a couple of things that separates them. Bivol is a southpaw with an excellent jab, is a great defensive fighter, is more patient, and has a more substantial amateur pedigree. On paper, this is one of Alvarez's most demanding tests to date overall and his most significant threat since the two Golovkin fights in 2017 and 2018. 

While not many understand how good Bivol is, Alvarez does and knows this journey to light heavyweight will be more challenging than the first time around over two and half years ago. 

"The fighter (Bivol) is different," Alvarez told DAZN. "The fighter (Bivol) bring more challenge for me. With Kovalev, I feel different. I became heavy, stronger, but with Dmitry Bivol, it is going to be more difficult because he's strong, young. He's a really good fighter."

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