By Allan Fox: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe says he doesn’t view Dmitry Bivol as an elite fighter in the true sense because he lacks the skill set, and his best win came against a smaller guy, Canelo Alvarez, who was injured & had an “off night.”
Ellerbe states that in his view, fighters like Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson & Terence Crawford are elite fighters, but NOT Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs). Unfortunately, those three have never beaten any prime-level talented fighters during their careers.
Bivol certainly showed an elite-level skill set in his victory over Canelo and his wins over Jean Pascal, Gilberto Ramirez, and Jean Pascal.
There’s no question that his skills & resume are greater than Tank, Shakur & Crawford because those guys have largely been spoon-fed their entire careers.
Crawford’s only career win against a high-caliber fighter is Errol Spence Jr., who was weight drained and just a shell of his former self since his car crash in 2019.
Tank Davis’ best wins:
Leo Santa Cruz
Is Bivol an elite fighter?
Are Crawford & Tank David more proven than Bivol?
“My definition of elite is different from maybe the Webster definition. When I say ‘elite,’ I think of Bud Crawford, Tank Davis, those types of fighters. That’s just my opinion. He’s a very, very, very good fighter,” said Leonard Ellerbe to Cigar Talk when asked about his previous comment about Dmitry Bivol not being an elite fighter.
“He’s [Bivol] a top fighter, but were we calling him elite before he beat Canelo Alvarez? That’s just a question. People were saying he was an average fighter, but did Canelo have an off-night? Did he beat all his opposition the way he beat Canelo Alvarez?
“Okay, so he beat Canelo, but Canelo had an off night. I believe that he had an off night. I would have never fought him,” said Ellerbe about him believing that it was a mistake for Canelo to have fought Bivol last year.
“I think it was a bad decision to fight him because he’s big, and he’s a lot bigger, he’s a lot bigger. From a matchmaking perspective, that was just a bad matchup, I would say.
“From my understanding, Canelo was injured in that fight. I mean, coming into the fight. I don’t know, and I’m not going to make no excuses for no all-time great. Canelo didn’t make no excuses to the best of my knowledge,” said Ellerbe.
“Bivol was the better man that night, but again, I stand on what I said. I’m not going to back off of it. I don’t think that he’s an elite fighter. I’m not trashing him in any way,” Ellerbe said.
‘Elite’ label thrown around
“I think he’s a very, very good fighter, but when I think of elite, I think of the Buds and the Tank and Shakur. Shakur is an elite fighter. Those kinds of guys because they have elite skills, they have elite skill sets,” said Ellerbe.
Is Bivol’s win over Canelo enough to classify him among the elites?
“He’s [Bivol] good. A lot of fans got mad, but I don’t care. That’s my opinion. What are we saying?” said Ellerbe when reminded about Bivol’s wins over Joe Smith Jr. and Jean Pascal. “He beat them with one-two, one-two. Okay, that’s just that’s just my opinion.
“I guess the sport is so watered down now that word ‘Elite’ is thrown around out there a lot because to be elite, you got to be a complete fighter. I’m not saying I’ve seen any weaknesses with the young man [Bivol], but it’s nothing about him that’s really like, ‘Wow,’ but that’s just me.
“I have a little different mindset than others have. I just don’t throw around those words ‘Great” and “Elite” because you got to remember I’ve worked with the best to ever do it. I know what elite is. That’s why my standards are a little higher than most. most just like they see stuff, and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s like
okay,” said Ellerbe.