Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev will fight for Alvarez’s WBO light heavyweight title on February 2nd at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The two previously met back in August of 2018 when Alvarez stopped Kovalev in seven rounds to take the WBO strap. The bout will be televised on ESPN+ in the USA and on BoxNation in the UK.
Tale of the Tape – Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2
|Eleider Alvarez||Sergey Kovalev|
|Record||24-0-0 (12 KOs)||32-3-1 (28 KOs)|
|Reach||75 1/2″||72 1/2″|
Fight Breakdown – Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2
Eleider “Storm” Alvarez is one of the most underrated champions in boxing right now. With a good chin, excellent counterpunching ability, and great defensive skills, it was not a huge surprise to see Alvarez become the WBO champion last year. Alvarez has wins over Isaac Chilemba, Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal, and Kovalev. He enters this fight as the betting favorite.
For years, Sergey Kovalev was known as the boogeyman of the light heavyweight division. His concussive power and aggressive style (which earned him the nickname “Krusher”) were on full display in his dominant wins over names like Nathan Cleverly, Jean Pascal (twice), Bernard Hopkins, and Isaac Chilemba. But now, after two controversial losses to undefeated American Andre Ward and the TKO defeat to Alvarez, does Kovalev still have enough left in the tank to become a world champion again?
Kovalev is clearly past his best. That cannot be debated. His stamina and punch resistance have gone downhill over the past few years, but he still possesses world-class power in both hands. In my opinion, Kovalev’s best bet in this fight is to use his jab to close the gap and then throw as many punches as possible when at close range. For Alvarez, he should try and keep the fight on the outside where he can use his faster, longer jab to his advantage. Like in the first fight, if he can frustrate Kovalev for a while, eventually opportunities for big counters will open up.
Also on the card, Richard Commey (27-2) and Isa Chaniev (13-1) will fight for the vacant IBF lightweight title. WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (24-0) will also be on the card against Carmine Tommasone (19-0). Both of these title fights will be shown on ESPN.
Prediction – Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2
I predict a mid-round TKO victory for Eleider Alvarez. Kovalev has been working with new trainer Buddy McGirt for this fight, and he has supposedly focused more on defense, but at this point I do not believe Kovalev has the speed or endurance to cause Alvarez any problems. I think there is a good chance this fight ends sooner than the first.
Kovalev has a puncher’s chance of course, but against a smart, tough, hungry fighter like Alvarez, it will be hard to land the big punches needed to take his title back. This may be the last fight (or at least the last notable fight) of Kovalev’s great career.
Does Sergey Kovalev have more than a puncher’s chance? How many rounds do you think the fight goes? Comment below with your opinion.