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Canelo Alvarez’s fight against Dmitry Bivol on Saturday in Las Vegas will akin to a home game for him.
That was obvious at the weigh-in Friday afternoon in front of T-Mobile Arena, the venue for the fight. A few thousand fans — seemingly all of them rooting for the Mexican star — gathered as mariachi music blared in the background on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Alvarez was touched by the support.
“I feel proud, I feel proud to represent my country this weekend. I feel very, very excited,” he said after he stepped off the scales.
The business at hand came off without any hitches, as both fighters weighed in under the 175-pound limit. Bivol, the WBA champion, came in at 174.6, Alvarez 174.4.
The weigh-in was uneventful aside from the large, enthusiastic crowd.
The fighters engaged in the obligatory stare down, with neither of them blinking. They then warmly wished each other well and stepped away.
The crowd wasn’t as hospitable to Bivol, as they made their allegiance clear when the fighters were interviewed afterward.
The fans chanted, “Mexico! Mexico! Mexico,” as Bivol was being interviewed. He pumped his fist to the rhythm, smiled and said, “The people motivate me. … All the time in boxing I’ve won many times. Why shouldn’t I win this time?”
Alvarez’s good sportsmanship extended to his interview but he didn’t hesitate to make a prediction.
“I like this kind of challenge,” he said. “Expect everything from me, like always. I’m going to try my best, do my best in the ring. And, of course, we’re going to win.”
Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) will be making his fourth defense since he was elevated to “super” champion in October 2019. He has fought as a light heavyweight his entire career.
The Russian last fought in December, when he easily outpointed Umar Salamov in Ekaterinburg.
Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) will be fighting at 175 for a second time. He stopped Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to win the WBO title in November 2019. He later vacated the title and moved back down in weight.
He’s coming off an 11th-round stoppage of Caleb Plant in November, which gave him all four of the major 168-pound titles.
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