Tag Archives: kovalev

Sergey Kovalev is Moving Up To The Cruiserweight Division

Posted on 02/13/2020

By: Hans Themistode

When a fighter decides to move up or down in weight, almost every single time it is out of necessity. Either he has gotten older and he has filled out his body more which essentially makes cutting weight more difficult, or the competition has simply gotten too stiff and it’s now time to move down. 

In the case of Sergey Kovalev, his reasoning seems to stem from having nothing left to prove at the Light Heavyweight division. He may have been knocked out in his last ring appearance against Canelo Alvarez, but before that, he was a three time world champion and at one point held three of the four major belts in the division. 

There wasn’t a single pound for pound list that did not include the name Sergey Kovalev near the top of it. Now, at the age of 36, Kovalev is clearly not the fighter he once was. The nickname that fans had grown accustomed to calling him, the “Krusher” no longer fits him. 

Many believed that Kovalev would take the career high payday he received from Alvarez and ride off into the sunset. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. 

Kovalev wants one more title run. Matchups against WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol and unified champion Artur Beterbiev would still generate buzz, but that isn’t the direction Kovalev is heading towards. 

The former unified champ is tired of killing his body to make weight and instead, has opted to move up to the Cruiserweight division. 

Outside of the Heavyweight division, the jump from 175 to 200 is the largest in terms of weight in the entire sport of boxing. Kovalev has always been a great fighter at 175, but he wasn’t never a big man. He has a slender build but does still seem to have great power. 

Kovalev is incredibly audacious in his decision to move up in weight, but it could lead to his detriment. The extra pounds that Kovalev would be afforded could be to his benefit, but when listening to how his trainer Buddy McGirt wants to approach his new weight class, it could leave you scratching your head.

“He’s going up to cruiserweight,” said McGirt. “We’ll start training in about a month. As long as we go to 185 [pounds], we’re good. No more than 185,” McGirt said. “He can come in at 180 and beat those guys. He’ll be light, and that’s OK. I think he’ll be better at that weight.” 

Only time will tell if Kovalev’s move up in weight was a sagacious one.

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DAZN’s Stands Defiant In Face Of Canelo-Kovalev Criticism

Posted on 11/07/2019

By: Sean Crose

You have to give this to DAZN…the streaming service is honest. While many companies would try to pull some PR shenanigans after disappointing a good amount of customers, DAZN has literally expressed no concern whatsoever for sowing dissatisfaction among a considerable amount of it’s clientele.

After it delayed last Saturday’s Canelo-Kovalev match for 90 minutes in order to appeal to MMA fans who were watching a card of their own, I decided to reach out to DAZN for an explanation.

The streaming service got back to me Tuesday. The individual I emailed didn’t respond to my questions directly, nor did anyone else at DAZN. I was merely referred to some quotes DAZN rep Joe Markowski had given to Steve Kim, who happens to write for ESPN (which broadcast last weekend’s MMA card). The quotes, such as they are, make it clear DAZN is happy it delayed the fight for an hour and a half on Saturday. What’s more, Markowski added absolutely nothing conciliatory towards those who paid for what was literally poor customer service. Sure enough, my question to DAZN about how some perceived their weekend strategy went unanswered.

Which brings us to a simple fact – DAZN is not only disinterested in individual consumer satisfaction, it isn’t afraid of that disinterest being public knowledge. Perhaps the streaming service received such a windfall from all those MMA fans this past weekend that it no longer feels it needs to play nice. Or perhaps it’s just an operation straight out of a Dickens’ novel. Either way, its coldness is notable. Imagine, if you will, a McDonald’s in Brooklyn being shut down by a health inspector and the company responding with “hey, we made millions around the world that day, so who cares about a handful of customers in lower New York?”

Although it hasn’t released exact figures on last weekend’s subscriptions, there’s little doubt DAZN had its reasons to do what it did. It’s obvious, for instance, that the streaming service expected Canelo to face Gennady Golovkin a third time after it coughed up a fortune to show both men’s fights. Canelo’s reported refusal to play along must be beyond frustrating. DAZN can’t be faulted fordoing what it takes to make a profit, after all. According to Sports Illustrated, the numbers indicate that the vast majority of Canelo fans live on the west coast. Those viewers weren’t inconvenienced the way the rest of the country was by DAZN’s weekend delay.

All of this makes DAZNs actions a bit more understandable, sure. But those actions are still inexcusable. The complete unwillingness to express empathy for unhappy customers is quite telling. Poor customer service is a slippery slope. If you get away with it once, you’ll most likely try it again. And that sort of thing takes its toll. As does arrogantly ignoring and insulting an entire demographic. Businesses and politicians have tried it before. All it takes is a Google search to see the results of such actions.

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Canelo vs. Kovalev: About that Hour and a Half Wait

Posted on 11/04/2019

By: Sean Crose

It may well have been smart business for the DAZN streaming service to make paying customers wait half an eternity to watch this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez -Sergey Kovalev fight. It might also make sense for restaurants to first serve patrons who pull up in the most expensive looking vehicles, no matter how long less lucrative seeming clientele have been waiting. Business is business, after all, and no one says a business has to pay an ounce of respect to those who purchase its product. People are free to spend their money elsewhere.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account

Yet it appears DAZN doesn’t believe boxing fans will take their business elsewhere. Either that or the service already feels its foray into boxing is a dud and it’s time to use its resources to appeal to fans of other sports. Regardless, DAZNs decision to wait until a UFC fight ended before airing one of the top boxing events of the year has made clear what it thinks of boxing fans.

And that isn’t much.

Even UFC kingpin Dana White seemed stunned at it all, so blatant was DAZN’s ass kissing of the UFC fans it hoped to lure in to watch a late night boxing match. He was right to seem stunned. It was stunning stuff, so stunning that pictures of Canelo and Kovalev lounging about until the UFC card concluded made their way across the internet.

Not that DAZN had seemed to care. Rather than apologize or make nice with subscribers, the service reportedly boasted afterwards that putting the main event on freeze for ninety minutes paid off. Needles to say, an email to DAZN has yet to be returned (Boxinginsider will notify readers if DAZN responds).

In the meantime, boxing nuts shouldn’t be surprised if DAZN pulls a similar stunt again in the near future. Again, a business isn’t required to respect its customers. And, as things stand, DAZN is apparently feeling its act of what was essentially poor customer service paid off. Besides, sometimes you can see the writing on the wall. It was obvious for a while, for instance, that HBO had tired of boxing.In this case, it certainly doesn’t seem like the folks at DAZN are in love with boxing’s core fanbase.

On the bright side, the Canelo-Kovalev fight proved to be a success. Kovalev, the bigger man and defending WBO light heavyweight champion, flustered Canelo for round after round until the Mexican star caught his man and ended things abruptly late in the fight. Impressive stuff. If only fans got to watch the match sooner.

Much, much sooner.

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What’s Next for Sergey Kovalev?

Posted on 11/04/2019

By: Hans Themistode

Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) may have lost his WBO Light Heavyweight title, but he isn’t the washed up fighter that many are proclaiming him to be. On November 2nd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Kovalev was stopped in the 11th round in his contest against Canelo Alvarez.

Thoughts of retirement are prevalent at this moment, and for good reason. He just isn’t who he used to be. With that being said, he still has a bit left in the tank.

Photo Credit: Main Events Twitter Account

Take a look at who Kovalev should fight next in what could be the final fight of his career.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk

With Oleksandr Gvozdyk also coming off a knockout loss which resulted in him losing his title in his last contest, both of these former champions need each other at this point. There won’t be a belt on the line in this one, but this contest would still hold plenty of intrigue.

Gvozdyk in particular, wants to bounce back to show that he is still a championship level fighter. Kovalev on the other hand could vault back to near the top of the division with a big win.

Marcus Browne

Marcus Browne is yet another opponent that shares something similar with Kovalev. They are both coming off stunning stoppage losses. In the case of Browne, he lost both his WBA interim title and his undefeated record at the hands of Jean Pascal in his last contest.

Browne presents Kovalev with a respectable name and a beatable one as well. As long as Kovalev isn’t completely over the hill, he should be able to win this contest handily.

Dmitry Bivol

With Sergey Kovalev no longer in possession of a title it must feel like foreign territory for him. For years he has held a piece of the Light Heavyweight championship. At the age of 36 he is clearly past his prime and on his way out. What better way to end his amazing career, than with a contest against one of the best fighters in the weight class.

Dmitry Bivol is considered the second best fighter that the division has to offer by most. Kovalev might be long in the tooth, but he is still experienced and can take advantage of the flaws that Bivol currently has. This bout will also give Kovalev the chance to win another world title. It may not be the contest it would have been several years ago, however, it would still be a high quality matchup.

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Canelo vs. Kovalev Round by Round Results: Canelo Crumbles Kovalev in the 11th

Posted on 11/03/2019

By: William Holmes

The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s DAZN fight card featuring Mexican Superstar Canelo Alvarez facing off against Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev.

Canelo jumped up two weight classes to face Kovalev, and many felt this fight carried a lot of risk for Canelo. The undercard ended before twelve, but executives at DAZN decided to wait until the conclusion of the UFC pay per view main event before starting the fight between Canelo and Kovalev.

Unfortunately for fight fans that meant a long gap in between the co-main event and main event of the evening.

The three national anthems for the evening, the Russian, Mexican, and American anthems, were finally sung at 12:57 AM Eastern Time. Kovalev entered the ring first to a muted response and Canelo entered second to a much more enthusiastic crowd.

Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account

The following is a round by round recap of tonight’s main event.

Sergey Kovalev (34-3) vs. Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2); WBO Light Heavyweight Title

Round 1:

Kovalev looks significantly taller than Canelo inside the ring, but Canelo looks to be in incredible shape. Kovalev comes out with his jab and keeps it in the face of Canelo. Canelo is keeping a high and tight guard. Canelo lands a short body shot. Canelo is showing some good head movement. Kovalev’s right hand misses a few times. Canelo misses with a jab. Canelo misses with a two punch combination. Kovalev lands three straight jabs. Good straight right by Kovalev. Kovalev is effective with his reach so far. Canelo ends first round with a short left uppercut, but not enough to win the round.

10-9 Kovalev

Round 2:

Kovalev is active with his jab early on. Kovalev gets hit with a glancing left hook. Kovlave lands a few hard jabs in the face of Canelo. Canelo really had good head movement. Kovalev lands a short left hook to the head of Canelo. Canelo lands a short left hook to the body of Kovalev. Kovalev is throwing a large number of punches. Canelo lands a good hook to the body of Kovalev. Canelo gets tagged with a check left hook. Kovalev is touching Canelo and moving. Canelo lands a good right counter on Kovalev. Canelo lands a hard jab. Kovalev is outlanding and out throwing Canelo, but Canelo is starting to look more confident.

10-9 Kovalev, 20-18 Kovalev

Round 3:
Kovalev comes out firing his jab in the face of Canelo. Canelo lands a good jab. Canelo lands a good counter right and follows it with a jab. Kovalev is very active with his jab. Canelo lands a short check left hook. Kovalev is picking his chances to throwing his straight right hand. Canelo lands a good counter left and Kovlaev replies with a counter combination. Canelo is having some difficulty closing the distance against the repetitive jab of Kovalev.

10-9 Kovalev, 30-27 Kovalev

Round 4:

Kovalev comes out the aggressor against Canelo. Kovalev gets moved backward from a left hook by Canelo. Canelo lands a good left hook to the temple of Kovalev. Kovalev has throwing over 100 more jabs than Canelo at this point in the fight. Canelo is beginning to walk Kovalev down, and is able to land a good right to the body of Kovalev. Kovalev lands a good left hook the body of Canelo. Canelo seems focused on landing to the body. Kovalev is a little wary of Canelo’s power but still more active. Closer round.

10-9 Canelo, 39-37 Kovalev.

Round 5:

Kovalev comes out at the start of the fifth round sticking behind his jab. Canelo appears to have an edge in power over Kovalev. Canelo lands a good stiff jab on Kovalev. Canelo lands a heavy left hook to the body of Kovalev. Canelo is really starting to dig into his punches. Canelo is pressing the pace and action this round. Kovalev lands a short right but takes a hard shot to the body afterwards. Canelo partially blocks a right uppercut from Kovalev. Kovalev lands two good shots to the body and Canelo goes upstairs with a left hook. Kovalev with another good right to the body. Close round, but Kovalev more active.
10-9 Kovalev, 49-46 Kovalev.

Round 6:

Kovalev is sticking his jab in the face of Canelo. Canelo loads up and lands two hooks to the ribs of Kovalev. Canelo lands a short jab. Canelo does not appear to be bothered with the power shots of Kovalev. Canelo lands two more hard shots to the body of Kovalev. Kovalev is unsuccessful in tying up with Canelo. Canelo lands a good pull counter straight right on Kovalev. Canelo lands a good straight right followed by a left hook to the head of Kovalev. Canelo digs in two more hard hooks to the body of Kovalev. Kovalev takes a deep breath near the end of the round.

10-9 Canelo, 58-56 Kovalev

Round 7:

Kovalev paws his jab at the face of Canelo. Kovalev is leading with his left hook. Canelo sticks out a short jab in the face of Kovalev. Canelo lands another sharp jab. Canelo lands a counter left hook. Kovalev unable to tie up with Canelo again. Canelo with another crisp left hook to the body of Kovalev. Canelo lands a short right to the chin of Kovalev. Canelo is bullying Kovalev around the ring. Canelo lands another short straight right hand. Canelo is definitely landing the harder punches on Kovalev. Good two punch combination from Canelo. Good round for Canelo.

10-9 Canelo, 67-66 Kovalev

Round 8:

Kovalev flicking out his jab and lead left hooks to start the round. Canelo lands a good short jab. Canelo landing heavy shots to the body again. Canelo is blocking a lot of Kovalev’s punches. Kovalev is doubling and tripling up his jab. Kovalev ducks under a counter right by Canelo. Kovalev is backing up Canelo around the ring. Some fans are whistling right now. Kovalev has Canelo’s back against the ropes.
10-9 Kovalev, 77-75 Kovalev

Round 9:

They touch gloves at the start of the round. Kovalev doubling up his jab in the face of Canelo. Canelo lands a good counter left hook. Kovalev lands a good combination on Canelo upstairs and Canelo answers with a counter to the body. Boos and whistles from the crowd again. Kovalev touches Canelo twice upstairs cleanly. Kovalev lands a good counter right on Canelo, and Canelo lands a left to the body. Canelo lands some good power shots on Kovalev while Kovalev jabs at the face of Canelo. Canelo lands a good right hook to the body then a right to the head of Kovalev. Canelo isn’t throwing enough combinations but is landing some power shots.

10-9 Canelo, 86-85 Kovalev

Round 10:

Lots of close rounds at this point. Canelo looks to be fighting with a little more urgency. Kovalev touching and moving with Canelo. Canelo has Kovalev backed to a corner and lands a good straight right hand. Kovalev eats an over the top right hand. Canelo is moving Kovalev around the ring. Kovalev is throwing a high number of punches but a lot of them are range finding punches. Kovalev jabs to the body. Canelo looks a little frustrated. Some boos from the crowd again.

10-9 Kovalev, 96-94 Kovalev

Round 11:

Canelo starts off round with a good two punch combination. Canelo lands a right uppercut to the body. Canelo looks like he is pressing the pace more this round. Canelo lands a short straight right hand. Canelo tags Kovalev with a right uppercut followed by a right hook. Kovalev circling away from Canelo. Canelo flicks out and lands a jab, and follows it with a whistling left hook. Kovalev lands a good rising left hand. Canelo lands a hard right hand, and Kovalev wraps a right hand around the guard of Canelo. Canelo lands two hard shots to the body. Canelo lands a vicious two punch combination and Kovalev crumbles to the ground.

The referee immediately waives it off as Kovalev is badly hurt.

Canelo ends it in stunning fashion.

Canelo wins the WBO Light Heavyweight Title by KO at 2:15 of the eleventh round.

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Garcia Impresses On Canelo-Kovalev Undercard

Posted on 11/03/2019

By: Sean Crose

Rising welterweight Blair Cobbs improved his record to 13-0-1 on the Canelo-Kovalev undercard at the MGM Grand in Vegas Saturday night. The scheduled 12 rounder was no walk in the park for the Vegas native, though, for the 11-5 Carlos Ortiz was able to drop his man in the 1st. Cobbs was able to get back to his feet and perform well…well enough to drop Ortiz in the 6th. The ring doctor then advised the referee to stop the proceedings in between rounds.

Fans were next treated to a women’s match which featured as much real blood as it did bad blood. Seniesa Estrada, 10-0, was no fan of Marlen Esparza, 7-1. Needless to say, the feeling seemed to be mutual. Although the two fighters gamely traded shots throughout the competitive match, a savage accidental fifth round headbutt changed the entire nature of the bout. With blood streaming down her face, Estrada fought as well as she could. Still, referee Robert Byrd wisely stopped the fight after the ninth, leaving matters in the hands of the judges.

Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account

They gave the nod to Esparza by a wide margin. Even with the win, Esparza refused to speak well of her opponent after the fight. So much for sportsmanship.

The final fight on the undercard saw rising star Ryan Garcia face Romero Duno in a lightweight affair. The 18-0 Garcia was looking to impress, considering his last fight was cancelled. Yet Duno was looking to impress, as well. A win over a rising star, after all, can be a true career booster. Yet Duno was simply not to shock the world on Saturday. For Garcia looked absolutely ferocious in completely wiping out his opponent in the very first round.

At least Garcia was gracious in his post fight interview, in contrast to Esparza after the previous fight. “All respect to Duno,” he said. “He came out to fight. He came in shape.”

Earlier in the evening, Bakhram Murtazaliev, 17-0, bested the 20-2-1 Jorge Fortea via decision.The Russian fighter is now in line for an IBF junior middleweight title fight.

Another junior middleweight made his mark on the undercard when Evan Holyfied, son of heavyweight great Evander Holyfied demolished Nick Winstead, 0-2, in just over 16 seconds He may not reach his father’s Olympian heights, but it was still an impressive debut for young Holyfield.

The entire undercard was covered live by DAZN.

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Bernard Hopkins Talks Canelo-Kovalev

Posted on 11/01/2019

By: Sean Crose

“Have a good fitness coach.”

That’s Bernard Hopkin’s advice for any fighter hoping to move up in weight to attain ring glory. His other piece of advice: “Be yourself. Being yourself got you here.” Hopkins knows that which of he speaks. After making himself undisputed and unquestioned king of the middleweight division, the Philadelphia fighter moved up to light heavyweight and won four or five titles in that division, as well (including the lineal). Now retired, the Golden Boy Promotions power player might be someone Canelo Alvarez should pay attention to. For not only is Canelo moving up to light heavyweight this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Vegas, he’s facing former Hopkins’ foe, WBO champ Sergey Kovalev.

Then again, the likeable Hopkins is very open about the fact that he lost to Kovalev in their 2014 bout. “I would be a bad example,” he says good naturedly. “He has to be aware that he (Kovalev) is the Krusher.” Still, Hopkins is nothing if not a keen study. “You can’t keep your eyes off the guy,” he says of Kovalev. “You can be doing well and get hit with one shot and it changes the game.” Perhaps most importantly, Hopkins believes Canelo should be aware “he’s trying to enter someone’s house,” that house being the light heavyweight division. As for Kovalev? “He’s just waiting with a big shotgun for someone to come in.”

None of this means Hopkins isn’t pulling for his guy to win on Saturday (Canelo is Golden Boy’s star fighter). Hopkins sees Canelo as a protégé who is now set to avenge his loss to the hard hitting Russian. “Revenge is so sweet,” he says, “you know that?” From Hopkin’s perspective, a Canelo victory would be sweet indeed. “I didn’t get you,” Hopkins says hypothetically, “but my protégé got you. My son got you.” No matter how the fight turns out, however, it’s clear Hopkins is in a good place.

“Personally, it’s the fun part that I can sit back and watch,” he says. “I love what I do. I love the sweet science.” There’s a lot to love when interesting matches like this weekend’s come around. “Both guys equally have their own (strong) traits,” says Hopkins of Canelo and Kovalev. “Both of those styles coming together, it’s like pizza and cheese.” It’s clear when talking to Hopkins that he admires the passion both men have for the sport. “Neither of these guys,” he says. “has a surrender bone in their body.”

Although he hasn’t involved himself with either fighter much heading into the weekend (he’s now on the business side of things, after all), Hopkins offers a unique insight into the workings of a major fight. He also offers a humorous take on the fight game. When asked if he has spoken recently to Kovalev, the man long known as B’Hop offers a snappy retort: “All I can say to him is why’d you hit me so hard?”

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Canelo vs Kovalev: Who Faces The Most Pressure?

Posted on 11/01/2019

By: Hans Themistode

Pressure comes with just about everything in a normal everyday life. For professional athletes, that pressure seems to come twice as strong and a lot more often.

Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs), will attempt to win another world title in a fourth weight class. It won’t come easy as he will take on WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) in front of his rabid fan base at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo Credit: Sergey Kovalev Twitter Account

With both fighters facing arguably the biggest test of their careers, the question now becomes, who faces the most pressure in this contest?

To be fair, both fighters face pressure, there is a lot on the line for them. Still, the pressure will be extraordinarily higher for one of them. With Canelo jumping up two divisions to make this contest happen, he has received a great deal of respect for it. Boxing has become accustomed to weight jumping. Great fighters from a smaller weight class love to test their abilities against someone who is not only skilled, but also bigger and stronger.

Normally in the case of the smaller man, the pressure is off. Whether he is expected to win or not, he always has the “excuse” of going against a much bigger man. Let’s go back in time and take a look at both sides of the table in which the bigger and smaller man was expected to win.

Roughly 16 years ago, a prime Roy Jones Jr was absolutely running through his competition. Montell Griffin, Virgil Hill and even the great James Tony could do anything against Jones. Growing tired of no one giving him a good fight, Jones moved up to challenge then Heavyweight champion John Ruiz.

It was a contest that Jones was favored to win, but not without a serious fight on his hands. Most oddsmakers at the time of this contest had this bout roughly 2-1 in favor of Jones. By far the closest betting odds in his career up to that point. There was a reason for that. Ruiz may not have been the best Heavyweight in the world, but he still was in fact a Heavyweight. Jones would go on to win but a loss would not have been shocking in the slightest. He faced absolutely no pressure although he was widely regarded as the best fighter in the world at that time.

Let’s take a look at a more recent example.

Four division champion Mikey Garcia made a ton of headlines when he repeatedly called out the now unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. It was a head scratching move. Garcia was always viewed as one of the best fighters out there but was also considered entirely too small for Spence.

Unlike Jones Jr, Garcia was mostly viewed as having virtually no shot at winning the contest. When the two actually met in the ring, it was a mismatch as Spence won every single round. It may have been a one sided contest but rest assured, Spence was the one dealing with the pressure. The thought of the much smaller Garcia taking down arguably the most feared man in the division was unthinkable.

Now let’s fast forward to today.

The storylines surrounding Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev have been the same. The bigger man in Kovalev isn’t quite what he used to be, and nothing other than a victory for the smaller Canelo is to be expected.

Although this might be true to most, it is certainly hard to agree with.

Sergey Kovalev has been a Light Heavyweight champion twice over in his career and at one time was a pound for pound star as well. The argument can easily be made that once retires he will be a hall of famer. Even at the age of 36, Kovalev is still considered by most to be the best at the Light Heavyweight division.

Canelo is a great fighter, and a win for him is to be expected, but for Kovalev, having the advantage in just about every category outside of age, he can’t afford to let his smaller opponent come and make a name for himself in his division courtesy of his own. Many of you probably won’t agree, but the pressure is on Kovalev.

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Andre Ward and Others Believe Canelo is Making a Mistake Bulking Up

Posted on 11/01/2019

By: Hans Themistode

Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) is on his way to making history. He will look to win another world title in his fourth weight division when he moves up 15 pounds to challenge WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs).

It’s a big risk for Canelo, but a calculated one. Kovalev was once considered the boogeyman of the division. He didn’t just beat whomever was placed in front, he knocked them out. His cloak of invincibility has since been removed thanks to Andre Ward in back to back victories. The latter resulting in a stoppage win.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account

Still, Kovalev is a dangerous opponent for anyone.

Canelo is a fast, slick and powerful boxer. His foray into the Light Heavyweight division is an unexpected one, but it is a choice that many believe he can do successfully.

If you have taken a close look at Canelo lately, you will notice that he looks considerably bigger than normal. With the Mexican born super star needing to make up the weight difference between himself and his adversary this Saturday night, he has decided to bulk up to help in his efforts.

“I will be on weight at 175 pounds. That’s what I’m going to weigh, 175 pounds. God willing, that’s what we’re working on,” said Canelo. “I’m lifting more weights. I hadn’t lifted that much previously. A lot of reps but not that much weight. So I’m lifting more weights, eating more carbs, eating protein.”

The move to put on more mass seems like a logical one. Canelo will already be at a disadvantage in terms of height and reach. If he can come in around at least the same weight as Kovalev on fight night, than that could negate some of the advantages the Light Heavyweight champion will already possess.

Although it does make sense, count the former consensus pound for pound best fighter in the world, and two time Sergey Kovalev conqueror Andre Ward amongst those who believes that Canelo is making a mistake in adding so much mass.

“If I had to choose, I’m going to go with Canelo late, or by a decision,” said Ward when asked to give his prediction on the fight. “But here’s the thing about Canelo: I’m hearing a lot about Canelo bulking and building. That’s the wrong thing to do. He’s gassing at his regular weight. So, I made that mistake in my first fight with Kovalev.”

The words of Ward does have a considerable amount of merit to them. Not only was he able to look better than he did in his first encounter with Kovalev the second time around, but he was also able to stop the one time unified champion when they met that aforementioned rematch.

“Putting on too much mass, and making the mistake of thinking I had to look the part instead of being myself. In the second fight, I went back to my roots, and said I’m going to look the way I look, and my weight is going to fall where it’s going to fall. And I was a lot faster and a lot stronger, and I got my spring back.”

Although Ward does lean towards Canelo to pull off the victory, he does seem to go back and forth as he can see both sides having plenty of success.

“I think Canelo is making a mistake. He looks real wide, and he’s already a thick dude and he’s looking real wide. I don’t think that’s a good idea. So if he comes in there looking like that, then he’s probably going to get hit more than he normally does. I’m giving you a lot of back and forth, but that’s how it’s playing out in my head. There’s a lot of things that can happen. One minute I can see Canelo late, and then the next minute I can see Canelo fading and Kovalev doing better than you thought he was going to do down the stretch,”

Echoing the sentiments of Ward is the current trainer and father of former two division world champion Danny Garcia, Angel.

“He’s looking a little sluggish with too much muscle. You’re talking 178, but these guys come in at 190 and 195,” said Angel. “They’re like heavyweights. Those are big guys. What is he going to come at? 190 at his height? Remember, he’s going to weigh in at 178. He’s going to eat that night, recover, and he’s going to be at 190, bro. For his size, will he be able to handle that weight? Pushing that weight around.”

For Angel, it isn’t just a matter of Canelo putting on too much weight, but he is also concerned with the toll this sort of fight could take on Canelo’s life after boxing.

“I like Canelo, and like him as a fighter, I don’t know what they’re trying to do to him. Is he going to have a life after this? Kovalev is a big guy. He’s comfortable there. I’m not saying Canelo can’t be comfortable. I’m just saying, why? He’s got all the belts. Why does he need more belts? Is it going to make him better? How about your mind and your brain?”

Both Ward and Angel make valid points. Will Canelo have the same spring in his step that he normally does? And will he be able to withstand the sort of punishment that is certainly heading his way Saturday night?

Canelo Alvarez is the favorite to get his hand raised come fight night and for good reason, but will that victory come with a heavy price?

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Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev, Garcia vs. Duno Fight Preview

Posted on 11/01/2019

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.

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How Canelo Knocked Out The Myth Of “The Perfect Record”

Posted on 10/31/2019

By: Sean Crose

One thing that cannot be denied is that Floyd Mayweather Jr had himself one hell of a boxing career. Fifty wins. Zero defeats. A masterful defense. Underrated power. The ability, perhaps above all, to always remain cool under fire. No matter what one thinks of the brash former pound for pound king, there’s no arguing he was good at his job. Scratch that. He was magnificent at his job. Some people argue Mayweather fought his best opponents past their primes, or that he became too choosy as time went as to who his ring foes would be. Perhaps the naysayers are right. Perhaps not. The one thing that’s hard to debate, however, is that Mayweather gave contemporary fans a false impression of what an undefeated record symbolizes. Not that it was Mayweather’s fault.

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos

Mayweather simply, and intelligently, used his hard earned record as a promotional tool. Who in their right mind wouldn’t use a record like Mayweather’s as a selling point? No, the fault really didn’t lie with Mayweather. It lay at the feet of hype driven fans who, well, were unevenly influenced by hype. Because of the “perfect record” vein of fandom, many terrific fighters risked losing deserved respect and earning power simply by losing a single match. Fortunately, there’s every indication the “perfect record” phenomena is coming to an end. And the boxing world can thank Canelo Alvarez for that.

For it was Canelo, the rising young red haired star from Mexico, who faced and lost to Mayweather in one sided fashion back in 2013. Rather than sit back and simply be an L in Mayweather’s resume of W’s, Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions, kept on plugging along. Even more importantly, Canelo – under the tutelage of his father/son trainer duo, the Reynosos – continued to develop as a fighter. Today, the Mayweather loss seems like an old memory, the L on Canelo’s resume barely recognized. Such is the career trajectory and hard earned popularity of Canelo that even another loss on his record (perhaps to the likes of Gennady Golovkin) certainly wouldn’t put a dent in his image or earning power.

Yet it’s more than wins and popularity that keep Canelo at the top of the boxing game despite an imperfect record. It’s the fighter’s willingness to challenge himself. For instance, when the 52-1-1 star steps into the ring in Las Vegas this weekend to face Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight championship, he won’t be facing any soft touch. Sure, the 34-3-1 Kovalev has had his own share of losses. He’s also getting a bit long in the tooth. He’s skilled, though, Kovalev, and also extremely dangerous. Make no mistake about it – this weekend should be no walk in the park for Canelo. And that kind of risk taking only adds to his clout.

Even if he were to lose to Kovalev, Canelo would still be held in high regard. As well he should be. A loss to Kovalev wouldn’t harm Canelo’s reputation. Nor would it likely do much damage to his earning power and popularity. Canelo has seen to that by proving a loss is generally just that, and that there’s more to a career than a bad night…or to…or three…or…

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Canelo Alvarez’s Keys to Victory Against Sergey Kovalev

Posted on 10/31/2019

By: Hans Themistode

The moment we have all been waiting for is almost here. Canelo Alvarez will look to make history when he moves up two weight divisions to take on WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Even with Canelo having so many disadvantages, many believe he will walk away with the victory this Saturday night. Canelo is rightly favored in this contest, but it is still a dangerous one for him if he isn’t careful.

Let’s take a look at the keys that will lead Canelo Alvarez to victory over Sergey Kovalev.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account

Attack The Body

This is obvious isn’t it? There’s a reason why Canelo Alvarez has jumped at the opportunity to take on Sergey Kovalev even though he sits two weight divisions above him. Kovalev, although still a great fighter, has a perceived weakness to the body.

“That’s a weak point that he has,” said Alvarez during a recent interview. “We’re going to try to penetrate with the impact to the body.”

Out boxing a much taller and bigger fighter could prove to be too difficult. However, if Canelo can effectively attack the body, he should see plenty of success on Saturday night.

Up The Tempo

Sergey Kovalev isn’t known for having the best gas tank in the world, ironically enough, neither does Canelo. Still, Canelo has worked hard on his conditioning over the years and the results have shown. Kovalev has a tendency to fade late during fights but it might be even more glaring during this contest.

Kovalev is less than three months removed from a tough and grueling fight with Anthony Yarde. He surely hasn’t fully recovered from that contest and Canelo needs to take full advantage of that. If the smaller Canelo can push the pace, we could see Kovalev gas out much earlier than usual.

Fight On The Inside

Fighting on the inside doesn’t necessarily mean to attack the body as previously mentioned. It simply means that Canelo needs to keep this fight in close quarters and not allow Kovalev to fight on the outside where he could possess too many advantages.

For as great as Kovalev has been over the years, he has never developed an inside game. Fighting on the inside is where Canelo shines. If he can force the contest to be fought close as opposed to from long distance, then this will be a fight that he dominates.

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Canelo Alvarez Vs Sergey Kovalev: Will Canelo Accomplish Boxing History or Will Kovalev Be Too Much For Canelo?

Posted on 10/31/2019

By Rich Lopez

This Saturday will be the Superfight we have been waiting for. Canelo is stepping up two weight classes to the light heavyweight division to face the dangerous Sergey Kovalev. Kovalev’s WBO title will be on the line and he will be making his second defense of the title. Many fans expected a catch weight in this fight, but the good news is there will be no catch weight.

What is at stake for both fighters?

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO’s), of Russia, was once the man in the light heavyweight division and once held the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles. After two losses to Andre Ward (one of them by knockout) and a knockout loss to Eleider Alvarez, it seemed that Kovalev was finished with his career. However Kovalev made a comeback this year. He defeated Eleider Alvarez in a rematch to regain the WBO Light Heavyweight title and then he knocked out top rising contender Anthony Yarde in the 11th round. As much as Kovalev would like to fight the likes of Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev in unification bouts, how can he say “No” to a Canelo fight? Not only will Kovalev score the biggest payday of his career but he has a chance to beat the best pound for pound fighter in the game. Beating Canelo will put Kovalev in the top pound for pound rankings where he once was.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO’s), of Mexico, is boxing’s biggest star at the moment. He has been a top fighter for about eight years now and is still only 29 years old. He has already won titles in three different weight classes (super welterweight, middleweight, and super middleweight). He is also the current Lineal Middleweight champion which matters the most. Canelo will be chasing history and if he wins, he will become the 4th Mexican to win a title in a fourth weight class. Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Jorge Arce were the other fighters that accomplished this already. To me, Canelo is the best fighter in the world pound for pound. Some critics might argue that Terrance Crawford or Vasyl Lomachenko are the best fighters in the world. Either way nobody can argue that Canelo is in the top three at least. If Canelo wins on Saturday, I believe there will be no doubt that Canelo is pound for pound the best fighter in the world.

The big questions going into the fight:

Will Kovalev be too big and strong for the smaller Canelo? Will Canelo catch Kovalev at the right time? Can Canelo take the hard punches of Kovalev? Will Canelo be too quick for Kovalev? All of these questions will be answered on November 2nd.

Who wins?

I believe the fight will start In Kovalev’s favor. Kovalev will use his height and reach to his advantage. Kovalev has a good jab and this will be a problem for Canelo. Canelo is a good boxer but will have a tough time getting in to land his punches. As we get into the mid rounds, Canelo will make adjustments and work the body. The body shots have been Kovalev’s weak spot. From there I think Canelo will break Kovalev down and I don’t think the 36 year old Kovalev will be able to pick up a second wind. I think many will pick Canelo by decision but I’m going to be bold and say Canelo wins by a 10th round TKO in a great fight.

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Sergey Kovalev’s Keys to Victory Against Canelo Alvarez

Posted on 10/30/2019

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.

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Mayweather or Kovalev? Which is The Tougher Fight For Canelo Alvarez?

Posted on 10/30/2019

By: Hans Themistode

Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 35 KOs) has never been known as the type of fighter to duck anyone. He’s only 29 years old but his career has spanned 14 years, nearly half his age.

Too many fighters are criticized, and rightly so, for opting to fight lower opposition. Canelo has never had that issue as he has fought just about everyone.

There is a hidden trick in boxing that isn’t so well hidden.

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account

Fighters have a tendency of avoiding the best competition. Let’s not cast aspersions on everyone. There are several fighters who not only ask for big fights, but they do there best to make it happen. But make no mistake about it, there are numerous boxers who would like to get an easy payday and face an easy opponent.

Canelo Alvarez however, is a fighter who has always looked to face the best out there.

At the age of 22, facing the likes of future hall of famer Shane Mosley, although past his prime, is never an easy thing to do. Yet, Canelo made it look easy when they matched up. Fights against Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Daniel Jacobs and two matchups against Gennadiy Golovkin has made his resume ridiculous at this point.

Canelo has defeated all of those aforementioned fighters. With hall of famer after hall of famer littered across his resume, Canelo has always rose to the occasion. Well, almost. There is one fighter who simply outclassed him when they met in the ring.

Floyd Mayweather.

The now retired all time great boxer absolutely schooled Canelo, but to be fair to the Mexican born super star, Mayweather has beaten everyone that has come across his path.

To the credit of Canelo, he has grown into an even better fighter since that loss to Mayweather.

At this point, to name Mayweather the best fighter he has fought in his entire career is obvious. But is Canelo’s November 2nd, opponent Sergey Kovalev, actually the best fighter he will have ever stepped into the ring against?

On the outside looking in, this question would seem like an easy one wouldn’t it? Mayweather is a talent like no other. His boxing ability is second to none. Canelo just couldn’t do anything against him. With that being said however, he did have certain advantages coming into that contest. He was close to 15 years younger than Mayweather and he was also the much bigger man.

For as well as Mayweather boxed, Canelo was in no serious trouble of being knocked out during that contest.

In the case of Kovalev, the WBO Light Heavyweight champion can end the night with one single punch. Kovalev has grown accustomed to knocking out much bigger men. He is also used to taking huge shots from them as well.

At one point he wasn’t just considered the best fighter in the Light Heavyweight division, but he was also a common staple amongst every pound for pound lists. Losses to Andre Ward (twice) and Eleider Alvarez has certainly knocked out off plenty of the shine off Kovalev but if you think he isn’t a dangerous fighter anymore than you are sadly mistaken.

Don’t be confused by Kovalev’s boxing ability either, he is one of the best in that department. Let’s not forget that Kovalev was boxing on par, if not better, than another all time great fighter when they met in back to back contest in Andre Ward.

Everything seems to be clear. Kovalev is a great fighter, but is he the best fighter Canelo has ever faced?

No, although he might be the most dangerous, he isn’t the best. That distinction still belongs to Floyd Mayweather.

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