Canelo Alvarez appears to be leaving no stone unturned in his preparations for Dmitry Bivol.   

The Mexican superstar has brought in former light heavyweight tilist Oleksandr Gvozdyk into his training camp as a sparring partner, according to a recent report by ESPN Deportes. Alvarez is set to challenge Russia's Bivol, for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title, May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The 34-year-old Gvozdyk, a native of Ukraine and bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympics, was regarded as one of the top light heavyweights in the sport for the years that he was active, from 2014-2019. His most notable win was an 11th-round stoppage of Adonis Stevenson in Quebec City in 2018; the bout ended tragically as Stevenson suffered a brain bleed and was rushed to a hospital where was placed under a medically induced coma. Stevenson has since made a remarkable recovery.

Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) announced his retirement in the summer of 2020, nearly nine months after his grueling 10th-round technical knockout loss at the hands of IBF, WBC 175-pound Russian kingpin Artur Beterbiev.

While the Ukrainian is stylistically different from Bivol, Gvozdyk’s size, power, and reliance on using distance and straight punches should make him a more-than-adequate sparring partner for Alvarez. As a professional, “The Nail” rarely went the distance in his bouts.

Gvozdyk has spoken fondly of Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), the current undisputed 168-pound champion, suggesting in a recent interview that Alvarez would even have a good chance of defeating Beterbiev. Eddy Reynoso, the trainer and manager of Alvarez, said recently that they would be interested in fighting the winner of the Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. light heavyweight title bout this summer, if, for whatever reason, Alvarez is not able to fight Gennadiy Golovkin in a third fight in the fall; Golovkin has locked in his participation of the trilogy by defeating Ryota Murata last Saturday in Tokyo by ninth-round TKO.

“Canelo always shows that he’s capable of taking [hard] punches against Triple G (Golovkin),” Gvozdyk told FightHubTV in January. “Beterbiev, he’s strong, he’s coming forward. In my opinion, he is underestimated as a boxer and overestimated as a puncher. This is my opinion. I fought the guy. But don’t get me wrong. He hits really hard. But you can stand those punches.

“But I think Canelo definitely will be able to stand those punches. Canelo’s skills, canelo’s defense, elusiveness, I think those will be crucial in their fight.”