Manchester boxing legend Ricky Hatton believes Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has found himself in a similar situation to British star Anthony Joshua.
Last September, Oleksandr Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO heavyweight titles.
Joshua would later exercise an immediate rematch clause, with the second bout targeted to take place on a date in July. Joshua did have the ability to go in another direction, but wanted revenge on Usyk.
Last weekend, Canelo was outboxed over twelve rounds by WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
There is an immediate rematch clause that Canelo is able to exercise, but he’s yet to exercise that option.
Canelo was already scheduled to face Gennadiy Golovkin in a trilogy fight in September – and he may very well still go in that direction.
Hatton feels Canelo’s pride will lead him to take a second fight with Bilov.
“The decision on the night was not in doubt but Canelo wasn’t overpowered in there either, he didn’t take any heavy shots so I think he will be desperate to put that right in a rematch,” Hatton said to Metro.co.uk.
“He has cleaned up below at super-middleweight, there are no more challenges left for him there – once you reach the top of the mountain like he has done, there isn’t much point going back especially when there is no one really there to touch him. If Canelo is the fighter I believe him to be, he will want to do it again.
“It reminds me of the situation with Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. In their first fight, AJ clearly lost but he didn’t take a drilling, he wasn’t put down by heavy shots. People believe that if AJ can apply new tactics in the rematch he will have a lot more success and Canelo might be thinking he can maybe do the same.
“He didn’t get a good hiding in there and that will encourage him. I’m sure he is thinking there are things he can do differently and he will certainly want another charge at that light heavyweight title. You never want to go back over old ground. He will think in the back of his mind he will get the beating of him.”