By: Hans Themistode
Fight fans must be drooling on themselves at this point. We are just a few days away from arguably the biggest fight of the year as Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) is moving up two weight divisions to take on WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs). Everything is going down at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Canelo comes into this contest with disadvantages in weight, height and reach. Yet, he is perceived as the favorite in this contest. It’s difficult to argue against it as Kovalev just isn’t the same fighter he once was, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get it done Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Main Events Promotions Twitter Account
These are the keys that will lead Kovalev to the upset victory over Canelo Alvarez.
Jab, Jab, Jab and Jab Some More
Canelo is a terrific boxer, he truly is. If we are just looking at them from a boxing standpoint, it isn’t hyperbole to say that Canelo has him beat in that department. With that being said however, Canelo is giving up two inches in reach and a ridiculous four inches in height. In order for Canelo to get his offensive game going he is going to need to get in range.
Although he has great head movement, a consistent jab will frustrate him to no end. Kovalev still has one of the best jabs in the business. In fact, he recently knocked out Anthony Yarde with in his last contest with a jab in the 11th round. If Kovalev can keep that jab pumping all night, it will lead to his biggest victory ever.
Use Those Legs
Canelo Alvarez is almost the perfect fighter at this point. He has great power, excellent timing, impregnable defense and a killer instinct to boot. But the keyword is almost. The one glaring hole in his game is his inability to move. He is still a flat footed fighter.
Plenty of fighters who could move such as Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather have given him trouble. Kovalev already has a reach advantage which will force Canelo to come forward, if the WBO titlist can land his shots and use his legs to move around the ring, it will be a strategy that Canelo has shown that he has no answer for.
Get Back To Being The Krusher
Before Sergey Kovalev stepped into the ring against Andre Ward in back to back contest in 2016 and 2017, he was knocking everyone out. Even in the first contest with Ward, Kovalev managed to score an early knockdown. Since linking up with new trainer Buddy McGirt, Kovalev has turned into more of a boxer rather than the feared puncher he once was.
The change in his approach has made sense and it still does for this contest, but Kovalev needs to somewhat revert back to his old self. Winning a decision over Alvarez isn’t the easiest thing in the world and Canelo does possess one of the best chins in all of boxing, but Kovalev needs to get his attention and discourage him from the very beginning.