Sergey Kovalev dominated Eleider Alvarez over twelve rounds on Saturday night (really Sunday morning), winning by unanimous decision at The Star in Frisco, Texas. With the victory, Kovalev regained the WBO title which Alvarez took from him via TKO last year.
Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2 – Fight Recap
The first round of the fight saw Kovalev come out applying pressure, with Alvarez moving around the ring. Neither fighter was able to land much in the first, though there were some grappling moments that seemed to frustrate Alvarez a bit. Kovalev seemed to really settle in in the second round. He would begin to significantly outwork and outland Alvarez, using his high work rate and power to force the champion to cover up often.
The rest of the fight would continue in a similar fashion. Kovalev, often portrayed as a slugger and a bully, was outsmarting and outboxing Alvarez. Whenever Alvarez would try to walk down Kovalev, the Russian veteran would use excellent footwork to move out of range. Alvarez’s decent body attack (which included a few obvious low blows) and a handful of well-placed power right hands did little to slow down the challenger. Kovalev would close out the fight winning the last few rounds decisively. CompuBox had Kovalev landing 213 punches to Alvarez’s 111.
I scored the bout 119-109 for Sergey Kovalev. The “Krusher” was in control for the vast majority of the fight and never really allowed Alvarez to gain any sort of momentum. Official scores were 120-108 and 116-112 (x2) for Kovalev.
Without a doubt, new trainer James “Buddy” McGirt played a huge part in Kovalev’s dominant win. Not only was he able to go twelve rounds without gassing out, but Kovalev threw over 800 punches and showed excellent footwork and much-improved defense; his conditioning and gameplan were great. The threat of Kovalev’s power was what kept Alvarez turtled up and hesitant for most of the fight. Halfway through the bout, it seemed as if Alvarez knew he was not going to be able to outbox this version of Kovalev, and he resorted to solely looking for a knockout which never came.
Following the fight, Kovalev (33-3-1) stated that he would like to unify with one of the other light heavyweight champions. The new WBO champ specifically mentioned WBA champion Dmitry Bivol and IBF titleholder Artur Beterbiev (both of whom are fellow Russians) as possible opponents.
Other Notable Fight Results
- Oscar Valdez TKO7 Carmine Tommasone
- Richard Commey TKO2 Isa Chaniev
- Teofimo Lopez KO7 Diego Magdaleno
- Sergio Garcia UD12 Ted Cheeseman
I am definitely surprised that Sergey Kovalev was able to perform that well against a tough, tricky opponent like Alvarez. Kovalev’s chin held up well, he threw plenty of punches, and he was light on his feet. Credit to Buddy McGirt for helping Kovalev resurrect his career for what seems to be one final run.
At age 35, I believe it only makes sense that Kovalev go after the other champions at 175 pounds. In addition to Bivol and Beterbiev, there is also Ukrainian Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who knockout long-time WBC champion Adonis Stevenson last year to win the belt. If Kovalev cannot secure a fight with the aforementioned titleholders, he could opt to face fellow ESPN fighter Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, an undefeated super middleweight champion who will most likely end up at light heavyweight this year.
What do you think of Kovalev’s win? Does he stand a chance against the other champions at 175? Where does Eleider Alvarez go from here? Comment below with your opinion.