By: Hans Themistode
With the news of current Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) deciding to move up in weight and challenge WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs), it has left everyone with an opinion.
Giving a full breakdown of this fight is a difficult one. Canelo has never campaigned at the Light Heavyweight division. How will his body hold up now that he has decided to move up not one, but two divisions? With that being said, Kovalev has been in several wars as of late, Canelo could be catching the current champion at just the right time.
One man who has his own opinions on this contest is former trainer of Kovalev, John David Jackson. He and Kovalev had a successful run together before parting ways back in 2017. Kovalev may not be the fighter he once was but he is sill a hand full for anyone.
“It’s still a bit of a risk,” said Jackson. “The last thing that will leave Kovalev is his punch and he can box when he wants to.”
Make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous fight for Canelo as he will have a four inch height and two inch reach disadvantage. Still, even with those advantages for Kovalev, Jackson see’s an avenue that Canelo could take to victory.
“Canelo and his team are smart so they’ll look too close that distance as soon as possible because Kovalev has a good jab. If they don’t then they’ll be in trouble. Once Canelo gets inside than its going to be trouble for Kovalev. If you watch him closely he doesn’t really have an inside game. Kovalev really has a hard time keeping guys off of him. His body is weak. Whenever you see a guy drinking after a fight than you know he has a problem. Canelo is a very good body puncher. Even the young kid Yarde was going to the body well but he just got caught. At this stage in Kovalev’s career, it’s hard to teach a guy with just one training camp how to fight on the inside. Once Canelo gets in close it’ll cause a lot of problems for Kovalev.”
When the news of this fight taking place broke, it wasn’t surprising to anyone. What was a shock however, was that there is no weight clauses. Even Jackson was a bit stunned by it but he also acknowledged that Canelo is a fighter who doesn’t need or want those advantages.
“A lot of guys in the history of boxing have jumped up and down in weight, but they would typically have weight clauses. What that does is, it helps the smaller fighter who is coming up. With Canelo he’ll fight you at your weight. You have to give him a lot of credit for that.”
As for who Jackson expects to win this contest, he was slightly hesitant, but he anticipates Canelo to be successful in his endeavorers at the Light Heavyweight division.
“I think it’s a tough matchup for Canelo but I think he’ll pull it off. Sergey is older, his life outside of boxing is terrible, he’s been in a lot of wars and he doesn’t seem like he is as passionate and hungry anymore. I think this fight is his cashing out fight.”