Sergey Kovalev vs Saul Alvarez

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Sergey Kovalev vs Saul Alvarez
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Saturday, November 2, 2019
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Rounds Scheduled: 
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Titles at Stake: 
WBO Light Heavyweight World Title (Kovalev's 2nd defence)


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Champion97's picture


Canelo is in his prime, is a young veteran, doesn't have too many miles, shouldn't age too badly. Kovalev is old, almost stopped in his last fight, and I think 2-3 months between big fights, is definitely too soon.

Kovalev's resume is good, beat Pascal twice, Hopkins (albeit a 49 year old), Eleider Alvarez, but Canelo's resume is better, beat Cotto, Lara, Jacobs, and Golovkin.

Kovalev isn't inexperienced over 12, but Canelo is a veteran over 12, knows how to pace himself, has built his stamina.

Canelo has a granite chin, I don't think he's been down, Golovkin hit him with his best shots, and the chin held up. Kovalev has vulnerabilities, he tires after 6 rounds, can't take body shots, has a vulnerable chin, been down at least 4 times, been hurt bad, he came apart against Ward and Alvarez, was on the brink against Yarde, and it always seems to be round 7 or 8 that it all goes wrong for him.

Canelo is 5'8, average for 140-147, he is stocky, probably a natural light middle, not small at 160, size wasn't an issue against Jacobs or Golovkin the second time, but he's small at 168, so he's very small at 175, he is at a big size disadvantage.

I'm interested to see how Canelo deals with the size, he needed time to adapt to 160, he'd need time to adapt to 168, but I think he is simply too small adapt to 175.

Kovalev isn't big for 175, Ward said he's not that strong, but he's not small, is fairly strong and extremely dangerous at 175, is a career light heavy. Kovalev must be much the physically stronger, and Canelo won't hit nearly as hard at 175 as at 160.

Canelo took Golovkin's power, but Kovalev might hit harder at 175 than Golovkin at 160, and even if not, Kovalev has top level power, and is 2 weights above Golovkin, so Kovalev can hit Canelo a lot harder than Golovkin could. If Canelo takes a great right hand on the chin, and holds up, I'd say he has the best chin in boxing history, but I think Kovalev hurts him if he lands, it's a very high risk fight for Canelo, and if Kovalev lands, early, Canelo might go. I think Canelo will respect Kovalev's power, I think Canelo is too intelligent, too experienced, and has too much to lose, to make the mistake of being easy to hit.

Kovalev has a great jab, he only has 2 inches of reach on Alvarez, Jacobs has more reach than that, but Kovalev uses it very well, and reach aside, Kovalev's jab is a good weapon. Canelo must respect Kovalev's power, but that might make it easier for Kovalev control him with the jab, because Canelo won't be aggressive.

Canelo is a great body puncher, I think his power is overrated, but he hits quite hard and does a lot of damage to the body. Kovalev is weak to the body, Canelo has to be patient, Kovalev is hard to get on the inside against, but later in the fight, as Canelo closes the distance, he can attack the body, still, I think he will struggle to land body shots early because it will be a stand off, and even if Canelo isn't getting hit clean, he won't get inside the jab, because he won't be able to push the pace like he did against Golovkin, at the risk of walking into Kovalev's right hand.

If this goes late, and Kovalev hasn't made Canelo tire first by making him work harder or knocking a lot out of him, then he'll be more tired, and that's when Canelo will be able to close the gap more easily, and land attack the body. Canelo never hurt Golovkin, but Kovalev is much less durable than Golovkin, more miles, been stopped, dropped, unlike Golovkin, but I think Canelo won't hurt him with a single head shot, due to the size he needs volume, body shots.

I think if Kovalev hurts Canelo early, makes him gun shy, stops him working the body and pushing the pace, keeps it at his pace with his jab, that's his best chance to win.

I think Kovalev will hurt Canelo bad in the early rounds, have a great start, knock him down at least once, maybe twice, test his survival skill and recovery, but given Canelo's chin, resistance at 29, and experience, I don't think he'll be stopped, and Kovalev will punch himself out. I think Canelo will recover faster from being hurt than Kovalev will from punching himself out, and that's when he can hurt Kovalev to the body, walk through or slip the jab, work on the inside.

I think Kovalev will come apart in the late rounds, the body shots will be his undoing, and Canelo will bring the attack up to the head, attack in variety to head and body, I don't think Canelo will be able to knock him over with a single shot, and he will be tired, but Kovalev's tank will be empty, and Canelo will chip away at the body, round after round, and he will stop Kovalev late.

Shades of DeLa Hoya vs Pacquiao

I don't know why everybody's dismissing Kovalev's chances. We still have yet to see how Canelo's going to handle an elite opponent who is much bigger than him. It will be interesting to see how he handles the power up at this weight.

Additionally he's always had a tough time dealing with a good jab.

That being said Canelo is much quicker, younger and has a far better chin.

Honestly I could see this going either way, neither outcome would shock me terribly.

Kov only has 6 weeks to prepare right now...that date is way too soon

Champion97's picture

100% agree, but he isn't going down to a catchweight, let's see what the rehydration clause of there is one, if it's 185 or less, I'll agree with what you were saying at least to an extent, but if it's 190 or more, does Canelo get credit from you?

He'll get some credit from me of course, but I don't think I will pick Kov to win if he has such little time to prepare for Canelo. I will have to wait and see in what kind of spot Kovalev is mentally and physically before making a pick. He didn't really get to rest and recover from his last fight. He even said it himself that he wanted more time to rest and recover from the Yarde fight but that the money was too much to turn down. That sounds worrying. Sounds like a cash out mentality

Gold's picture

Boxers used to do this all the time, guys fighting 2-3 times a year is a modern invention of promoters

Sure but they didn't fight top comp after top comp...Canelo is arguably the #1 p4p fighter in the world. Only having 6 weeks to prepare for him and not really getting to rest and recover from your last fight, which was physically a hard one where he almost got KOd, can be very damaging for an old fighter like Kovalev.

Gold's picture

Not true, especially if you go back far enough. Saying Kovalev has six weeks isn't true either, it is a ten-week turn around between Yarde and Canelo. Kovalev knew there was a very good chance this fight would be next, he wasn't just sitting around and got the call. Pernell Whitaker had an eleven-week turn around from facing Hurtado to De La Hoya. In the fight versus Hurtado, Whitaker got put on the floor twice, was down on the cards, and had to knock Hurtado out to win, but he looked very good versus Oscar and many people thought he won that fight.

Kov hasn't been in the gym yet, so yes it is 6 weeks to prepare. By your logic Canelo has 6 months to prepare for the fight. So how is that fair?

Gold's picture

You know the details of Kovalev and Canelo's camps? Not at all what I am saying, they both have known the fight may be coming up for the same amount of time. A lot of guys do eight-week training camps, and some even do six-week camps. Kovalev just had a training camp and a fight so he won't need the extra time to get sharp as he would otherwise.

Champion97's picture

This is not personal in the slightest and I agree with you on the weight topic in this fight, but I agree with Floyd on this. Do you not think Groves physically needed more than the 3-4 months he had to recover after the Froch KO?, why do you think he looked so drained against Rebrasse and Douglin? And why do you think fighters get suspended after tough fights? The reason is, because there are more safety regulations now than there used to be, and just because fighters did something in the old days, doesn't mean it wasn't much more dangerous than how the sport is now, doesn't mean it won't be a factor, and the although fighting so often didn't seem to be an issue for fighters in the old days, that is only because they were all doing it, you are only in against your opponent, if both fighters come back too soon, we don't see the evidence in the fight, same when both fighters are old, both being small and inexperienced at a weight.

In my opinion, at world level, fighters should fight twice a year, simple as that.

Gold's picture

What's the comparison between Groves and Kovalev? I already gave a near 1:1 comparison between Whitaker and Kovalev, and how Whitaker looked good on the short turn around. My point with saying that old fighters used to do it is that it is physically possible, now people act like boxers need 4-6 months between each fight. I've seen many trainers criticize the current structure of boxers fighting 2-3 times a year because they aren't as in shape and sharp as they would be if they were more active.

Champion97's picture

The comparison is that both fight too soon after a damaging loss, having not had the time they need, to rest, in an era when fighters take the time they need, to recover from tough fights. Yes, but being weight drained and still fighting is physically possible, what I'm saying is, Kovalev needs more than 3 weeks to recover properly, and 6 weeks is a short camp, so for those reasons, 2-3 months is not enough, his resistance, ability to stay strong in the fight will be compromised, and if it was the old days, Alvarez might also be coming off a tough fight, with 2-3 months between fights, so it wouldn't matter in a competitive sense. They do need that amount of time in some scenarios, Joshua needs 6 months between the Ruiz fights, Thurman should not fight against at least until January, because think how long it takes to recover, and have a good camp, mentally prepare as well.

Gold's picture

Ok, well Kovalev took damage but he won, he didn't get sparked like Groves. Kovalev is not a big LHW, and despite having to make weight twice in a shorter period of time, he'll be in better condition for the Canelo fight because he's been so physically active. Joshua does not "need" six months between the Ruiz fights other than to lose muscle mass and improve his strategy. Sugar Ray Robinson got put through the ropes and was saved by the bell versus LaMotta in their second fight when he lost, rematched him three weeks later and won. Again, I've given a very close comparison between Whitaker and Kovalev but neither of you have answered to it.

Champion97's picture

He took more damaging shots in the fight than Groves against Froch, we can make arguments for either, but the scenarios are similar, both damaging fights, and it goes back to the issue that fighters need time to recover before camp. I think that's like saying a weight drained fighter will be in better shape because they've worked hard, Kovalev would be in just as good shape if he'd fought, found a good balance for 3 months, started camp im decent shape, had a 12 week camp. Come on man, he was concussed, he needs a lot of time for the brain to heal. Yes, against a Lamotta who had also fought 3 weeks earlier, Robinson took more damage, but he wouldn't have won against a fully rested and trained Lamotta. What comparison?, I need to read your post again.

Gold's picture

We're just going to have to agree to disagree because we are too far apart on the subject, hopefully it will be a good fight despite what the naysayers think.

Yeah I do, a buddy of mine on the web interviewed Kov and he told me that. He said Kov has only been having time off since he fought Yarde and hasn't started training seriously

Gold's picture

Can you link me to the interview? As I said, not unheard of for guys to do six-week camps coming off a short layoff, but not ideal.

Champion97's picture

That's a good point you make about Whitaker, he was behind in that fight, maybe he would have beaten De la Hoya clearly had he had more time, maybe it wasn't a factor in that case for whatever reason. It is possible that like just having a lot of miles and maybe or maybe not being shot, being drained because a fight is too after the last fight isn't an inevitable problem, but still a potential issue, because like I said before, Groves is an example, fighters get suspended after tough fights for a reason.

Kovalev is going to get destroyed by Canelo. I'm no Canelo fan (not a hater either) but there's no way in hell that Kovalev will be ready for him come Nov 2nd after the war he was in against Yarde less than a month ago. Now, if this fight were in like say May of next year then I'd give Kovalev a little bit of a chance or of at least hanging in there the full 12 with Canelo but with such short notice for a fight of this magnitude, no way. As of right now, I say Canelo stops Krusher inside of 9 rounds.

GoldenAgeComics's picture

I like canelo but I would rather he fought smith at middleweight and this move up against Kovalev is some stupid ass shit.

I am mad the Smith fight isnt happening right now.

albertocastany's picture

This fight is totally worthless if there is a rehydration clause. The promotional team has been really quiet about this, and has made sure media don't ask that question during press conferences. They never give a direct answer.
With a rehydration clause, we might end up with a Kovalev performing like Chavez Jr when he faced Canelo. I really like Kovalev and I like watching him fight. If there wasn't a rehydration clause, the fight would be interesting.

Chris M95's picture

I really hope their isnt them clauses or same day weight stipulation for fight day or some shit, I would pick Kovalev by SD without them weight stipulations

Can't see Canelo visiting the canvas champ. He must have one of the best chins in boxing. I've always thought Kovalev's 'power' is more down to timing than sheer weight of the shots, if that makes sense. I think Kovalev will just be trying to keep Canelo at the end of his jab, touching him and keeping the distance rather than the usual ramrod jab all the time. The moment Canelo gets inside to land those sickening body shots it's over for Kovalev. That could take a while as Kovalev may need to tire for Canelo to take those risks.

I can see this ending between 6-8. When Kovalev hits canelo and it doesn't shift him, I see Kovalev losing heart and Canelo starting to close the distance round by round. Kovalev won't be able to take the body shots. Eventually Canelo will put the combinations together to stop the fight by TKO.

All that said, I am surprised to see Kovalev as such a big outsider for this fight with it being at light heavy.

Champion97's picture

I don't disagree he will stop Kovalev, I agree the body shots will destroy him, and I agree, Canelo has a granite chin, Golovkin couldn't hurt him, but, look at Kovalev's career and the power he has proven to have against Pascal and Cleverly, those in particular because a cruiserweight Bellew couldn't drop Cleverly, and Bivol, Browne, Eleider Alvarez couldn't drop Pascal, Cleverly and Pascal's chins are underrated because of Kovalev's power, do you disagree Kovalev has top level power and is a devastating puncher even considering that?

Yes that makes sense, but I strongly disagree on that, because doing damage with timing more than power isn't something you see as early in the fight as early as we've seen Kovalev do damage, yes he has great timing, otherwise the right hand would never have got near Ward, but no, look at the weight behind Kovalev's punches when he fights, there is always a reaction from his opponent, he has made opponents feel the power early, he doesn't do damage with one isolated shot, like Lomachenko against Crolla and Martinez, which was more about timing than power, he gets his opponents respect very early, every power shot he lands is heavy.

Fair play if you are proven right, I agree about the outcome, but I think Canelo is going to have to walk through hell to get there, not saying he isn't prepared to do that, but he proved against Golovkin that he could do that. Do you believe Golovkin hits harder at 160 than Kovalev does at 175?, and I'm talking about sheer power, because I don't, there isn't a lot in it, but either way, it is much harder to take Kovalev's power than Golovkin's because he is a good 2 weights bigger than him, he isn't big for 175, Kovalev, but Golovkin is not big for 160.

To be fair I don't think any of those light heavy's you mentioned are big punchers but is Kovalev a devastating puncher that that possesses top level power? Yes. What I mean is, he may keep on the jab more and keep the power shots in his locker initially, trying to pace himself better. Obviously, Kovalev will always carry power but as he's got older, I wonder if he still has the confidence to go for the really big shots. Take Eleider and Yarde for example, the only time he had Eleider in trouble was in the 12th of the second fight due to an accumulation of shots. Same with Yarde, no 1 shot bothered him but he was out on his feet due to the same accumulation.

I think the first fight vs Eleider changed Kovalev, for the better in terms of his longevity. It taught him that he can't just go for knock outs early like he used to. He hasn't got the stamina when they don't just bowl over. And we know Canelo can take heavy shots for 12 rounds. For canelo it's just a case of choosing the right time I think. He will have to walk through some shots but if he times it right they probably won't have the same spite in them as the 1st round.

Regarding GGG/Kovalev, hard to say. I think GGG has more 1 punch KO power but I don't want to do Kovalev a disservice. Clearly both throw heavy shots. I don't think Kovalev will have Canelo in serious trouble at any point in the fight but the only way he does is through accumulation, rather than 1 punch.

Mayweather is always the example I go to with Canelo. For all Mayweathers brilliance, it was his power that was most underrated. He broke Canelo's heart because he wasn't prepared to walk through those spiteful shots that he couldn't see coming. The difference is that Kovalev won't be able to do that for 12 rounds.

Champion97's picture

Which light heavies?, Alvarez and Bivol or Pascal and Cleverly? Because Alvarez and Bivol are decent punchers, especially Alvarez, and Bivol has the output, Pascal and Cleverly's power is irrelevant, I'm talking about their chins, and what I was saying was, they have solid chins, but it is easy to think they don't, because Kovalev has the power to knock anyone out. How does that disable him from hurting Canelo?, it takes one clean power shot, the jab can set it up. He does, he just doesn't waste gas in the tank any more. That's because he wasn't putting much into his shots against Alvarez, to pace himself for the 12 rounds, and against Yarde, he was being patient, using his jab, and if the knock out comes, if comes, Yarde was hurt bad in rounds 8 and 10, which is when the opening was there for Kovalev, and he got Yarde out of there.

Canelo can take heavy shots for 12 rounds? How heavy? That's like saying is a piece of string long enough. I agree on Canelo, and yes, Kovalev's power will fade, but if Canelo gets caught early, like Golovkin caught him, he is in trouble, and Kovalev will hit as hard in round 4 as in round 1, in all liklihood.

I disagree, but it's close either way, both are heavy handed, but let's say it's even, Kovalev is doing more or less the same damage to 175lb fighters as Golovkin is doing to 160lb fighters, do you not think for Canelo, taking Kovalev's power is a much bigger ask for that reason? I strongly disagree, I think the opposite, and I think it's accumulation he won't have in this fight, his best chance to dictate terms with the jab, and/or to hurt Canelo, and I think if that right hand lands, Canelo goes down.

It wasn't about that, he mentally broke him because Canelo couldn't hit his opponent, Mayweather is a natural 135-140lb fighter, against a fighter with the chin of Canelo, who is probably a natural 154lb fighter, with a granite chin, at 152, Mayweather didn't hit hard at 147, so how was he going to hurt Canelo?, he didn't hurt him and Canelo wasn't intimidated, he just got mentally broken by being schooled like that, it was a great learning fight for him, it was experience he needed. Did I say Kovalev would be strong for 12 rounds?, I've said before, Kovalev is a 6 round fighter, my prediction is Canelo late, I'm not saying Kovalev won't blow a gasket, I'm saying before that happens, if he can land the shot, he can KO Canelo, and I think he puts Canelo down.

SalTnutZ1's picture
Guy Incognito's picture

Quite hard to predict the outcome of this one. Kovalev is older and slower, but bigger and stronger. Canelo is smaller, but quicker, more durable, and has an impressive chin. Canelo's performance against Fielding impressed me, but Kovalev is multiple levels above Fielding. My prediction is that Kovalev will be too big and strong for Canelo and will be able to keep the younger quicker Mexican away with his superior reach. Both will be experiencing difficulties here. Kovalev could tire late or get hurt by Canelo chipping away at the body, but Canelo could be hurt by one of Kovalev's bombs. Kovalev will probably win a relatively close decision, or maybe even a late stoppage if he boxes well. You can't be too sure of the result with this one. But I fear Canelo may have bitten off more than he can chew this time. Kovalev is like a bigger and scarier version of Golovkin, who nearly beat Canelo twice.