Dmitry Bivol apparently has a low opinion of Canelo Alvarez’s bargaining maneuvers.

The WBA light heavyweight titlist from Russia criticized the Mexican superstar for seemingly employing “bait and switches” and demanding unreasonable catchweights.

Bivol was expected to face Alvarez, the undisputed 168-pound champion, last this fall in a rematch of their fight last year, which Bivol won by unanimous decision. But the two sides failed to come to terms, prompting Alvarez to seek another opponent. Alvarez then engaged cruiserweight titlist Badou Jack but those talks fell through as well. In the end, Alvarez signed a multi-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions last week, effectively ending his relationship, in the short-term, with Matchroom Boxing, which has promoted the majority of Alvarez’s fights for the past couple of years. Now, the frontrunner to face Alvarez in the fall is WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo.

In a recent interview, Bivol facetiously pointed out how Alvarez seems to have a pattern of telegraphing one fight before pivoting to another.  

“To be honest, it’s interesting how they’re (Team Canelo) promoting fights, how his team is doing,” Bivol told FightHubTV. “I remember after my fight against him, there were a lot of rumors that he’s gonna fight [unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr] Usyk, that he want to fight Usyk, Usyk, Usyk. We said, ‘whoa, against Usyk?’

"Then he was fighting against [Gennadiy] 'Triple G' [Golovkin]. Now we were hearing that he was gonna fight Badou Jack, it’s close, it’s gonna happen. And suddenly it’s Charlo. You know, it’s good promoting.”

Bivol also balked at Alvarez’s demand for a catchweight against Jack. On Twitter, Jack publicly declared that he had turned down the Alvarez fight because Alvarez had demanded an unreasonable catchweight of 180 pounds and also wanted to insert a rehydration clause. Jack weighed 199 3/4 pounds for his last fight against Ilunga Makabu to win the WBC cruiserweight title.

“He’s right,” Bivol said of Jack’s complaint. “What’s his weight? His weight should be 200 pounds. Why should it be less? If you want to fight for this belt, you should be more than 175 and less than 200. This is your limit. Why we should make [other] limits. There are no belts for this [imaginative] limit.

“What about Canelo? Of course, he has enough excuses to fight against guy like Badou Jack. But Badou Jack has power. It’s an interesting fight if it’s at 200 pounds. But if this fight is something in the middle, it’s not fair. This is what I can see.

“It’s not good,” Bivol added. “If you want to fight against a cruiserweight, you should be ready that he’s a real cruiserweight.”

Bivol is expected to return to the ring in the fall. He has not fought since defeating Gilberto Ramirez last November.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.