By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be the host site for the next fight of Canelo Alvarez, arguably boxing’s biggest star in the sport today. He will be jumping up two weight classes to face Sergey Kovalev for Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight Title.
The co-main event of the evening will be a lightweight fight between Ryan Garcia and Romero Duno. Garcia was able to resolve his issues with Golden Boy Promotions in time to fight on the co-main event of this card.
Other fights on the undercard include an IBF Junior Middleweight eliminator between Bakhram Murtazaliev and Jorge Fortea and a WBA Interim Women’s Flyweight Title Fight between Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza. Other boxers on the undercard include Blair Cobbs, Carlos Ortiz, Evan Holyfield, and Tristan Kalreuth.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Ryan Garcia (18-0) vs. Romero Duno (21-1); Lightweights
Ryan Garcia was able to resolve his promotional issues with Golden Boy Promotions and land himself as the co-main event in one of the biggest cards of the year. The opportunity isn’t lost on Garcia.
“This is a big moment for me.” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going to show that I’ve reached another level on November 2nd.”
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Duno, a Filipino born fighter, is three years older than Garcia at twenty four years old. However, he will be giving up about three inches in height and two inches in reach to Garcia. Both boxers have decent power. Garcia has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Duno has stopped sixteen.
Both boxers are also extremely active. Garcia fought once in 2019, four times in 2018, and six times in 2017. Duno fought three times in 2019, 2018, and in 2017.
Both boxers didn’t accomplish much as an amateur on the international stage, but both were successful on the national level as an amateur. Garcia is a former US National Gold Medalist and Duno won local titles in the Philippines. Garcia is also a former ESPN Prospect of the Year.
Garcia has beaten the likes of Jose Lopez, Braulio Rodriguez, Carlos Morales, Jayson Velez, and Fernando Vargas Parra. Duno has beaten the likes of Ivan Delgado, Juan Antonio Rodriguez, Kuldeep Dhanda, Gilberto Gonzalez, Yardley Cruz, and Christian Gonzalez. His lone loss was to Mikhail Alexeev in 2016.
This bout represents Garcia’s toughest fight of his career, but Duno isn’t an elite level opponent. It’s a good stepping stone fight for Garcia as he angles for bigger fights in the future, and it’s a fight that he should walk away as the victor.
Sergey Kovalev (34-3) vs. Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2); WBO Light Heavyweight Title
Canelo Alvarez looks to make history as he attempts to capture a world title in a fourth weight class when he faces Kovalev. At a recent press conference he stressed that he’s motivated and recognizes the difficulty in moving up weight classes.
“I’m very grateful to all the fans as always. I’m very motivated here, it’s an honor for me to share the ring with a fighter like Kovalev who I met in 2012. Now we’re about to make history. I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my professional career. I will give the best in the ring and that day we can yell “Viva Mexico!””.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Canelo is in the midst of his athletic prime at twenty nine years old while Kovalev is nearing the end of his at thirty six years old. Kovalev will have a significant height and reach advantage on Saturday. He is four inches taller and has about a two inch reach advantage.
Kovalev and Canelo both are fairly active. Kovalev already fought twice in 2019, twice in 2018, and twice in 2017. Canelo has fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and twice in 2017.
Kovalev has the edge in amateur experience. He is a former Russian National Champion as an amateur while Canelo turned pro as a teenager.
Kovalev has losses to Eleider Alvarez and Andre Ward. His loss to Alvarez is a loss he later avenged. He has defeated the likes of Anthony Yarde, Igor Mikalkin, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib MOhammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Cedric Agnew, Ismayl Sillah, Nathan Cleverly, Cornelius White, Gabriel Campillo, and Lionell Thompson.
Canelo’s lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather. He has draws with Gennadiy Golovkin and Jore Juarez. He already has a hall of fame resume and has defeated the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Rocky Fielding, Gennadiy Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, and Miguel Vazquez.
Kovalev’s weakness is his ability to take body shots while one of Canelo’s strengths is his attacks to the body. This is an intriguing bout and Canelo may be jumping up too high in weight to face Kovalev, but he’s facing Kovalev at a moment in his career when he appears to be on a downward trajectory.
They previously met and sparred with each other, and Canelo must have seen something during that session to believe he can jump up in weight to challenge Kovalev. For that reason, this writer feels Canelo will win on Saturday.