By: Waqas Ali
Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is close to having a done deal with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as negotiations hang in the balance.
The date has been confirmed for November 2nd by multiple sources and after having just beaten British fighter Anthony Yarde the past weekend, Kovalev wouldn’t mind a fight so soon with one of boxing’s biggest and most attracting fighters in the modern era.
Kovalev, also known as ‘The Krusher’ was in a crucial contest against the young Englishman Yarde as he was hit hard and stunned in round eight.
Time came to the rescue for Kovalev.
He came back strong in round ten with punches of his own and landed an overwhelming 41 of 92 punches – 49% of which were power punches.
The bout came to a halt in round 11 when an exhausted Yarde was dropped from a left jab and unable to beat the count.
In summary of the bout, Kovalev utilized his jab well and maintained his activity throughout the middle and later rounds. One must keep in mind that Yarde at one point took a massive deep breath in round five around the 41-second mark.
Kovalev still had the crushing control of command despite out-boxing Yarde in the fight.
But in terms of the bout with Alvarez that is getting all the mainstream attention and hype, what weight are we looking at and what do the numbers between the two tell us?
Kovalev, 36, has not ruled out the weight in either the super-middleweight or light-heavyweight.
“It depends on the weight,” his trainer Buddy McGirt told Sky Sports.
Considering the fact that he had just beaten Yarde and is looking to fight Alvarez in just 10 weeks, time is minimal.
“It is perfect timing. He is fine,” McGirt said.
Kathu Duva, promoter of Kovalev had dismissed the idea of weight being part of the negotiations. She told World Boxing News: “A catchweight has never been mentioned,” before stating private negotiations with Golden Boy would be kept out of the media.
By the numbers, Alvarez in his last 12 fights threw around 43 punches per round – landing 45.7% of his power punches.
His defence is highly underrated, as his opponents have landed just 7 power shots per round which is far below the average middleweight.
His selective output of punches and lateral movement limits his opponent’s chances of landing anything clean or effective.
Alvarez, 29, has improved tremendously well since his first and only loss to Floyd Mayweather back in September 2013.
Kovalev, on the other hand, throws around 52 punches per round with a connect rate of 30%. This is similar to the average fighter in his weight class that throws and connects the same.
He also has the height (6 foot 0 inches) and reach (72 inches) advantage over Alvarez who is 5 foot 9 and has a reach of 70 ½ inches.
Alvarez has won titles in three weight divisions but has never fought as high as light-heavyweight, where Kovalev plies his trade.
Both fighters carry exceptional power and are ranked number one by Boxrec in their respected weight classes.
This would certainly be a match that would get people’s attention and perhaps in many people’s minds, it would be a last-minute lottery ticket win for Kovalev fighting the biggest name in boxing today.
The skills, stats and support from their respected cultural communities of the Ukrainian and Mexican fans are humongous. It would be massive selling point. Either in Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena or the T-Mobile Arena would be very profitable.