So, for the first time since the two fights with Ward, Kovalev will find himself facing an opponent many give a good chance to win when they meet Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Mark G. Etess Arena at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Kovalev tried to land his powerful right hand, and Alvarez worked off the jab. Kovalev was virtually defenseless as Alvarez closed in and finished him with another combination that put Kovalev down for the final time. "But right now, after what just happened, it's just too soon to say when that might be".
Kovalev didn't attend the press conference, but posted a message on Instagram from the back of an ambulance. That was followed by an eighth-round knockout in the June 2017 rematch, in which Ward appeared to break Kovalev mentally as much as he had physically.
Kovalev got up quickly, but he was unsteady and Alvarez rocked him with a jab and an uppercut. Kovalev dominated the next two rounds, all to set up the shock that would come in the seventh.
In Kovalev's first fight back after the Ward debacles, he knocked out Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in the second round in November to win one of the belts Ward had vacated upon his retirement. "I can't stop smiling right now because [on Saturday], the whole world will know who Eleider Alvarez is". He hasn't fought the same level of competition as Kovalev, but you don't remain undefeated through 23 fights without having some skills, and Ring Magazine now ranks Alvarez fifth among all light heavyweights. Alexander's inability to step on the gas or change gears if things get rough would have been disastrous for him if these two fought in their primes, but I'm more willing to take Alexander's consistency over Berto's desperation come fight night. I will try to do my best for boxing fans, for people who watch our fight. He now holds the WBC silver light heavyweight title, but most view the "silver" belts as somewhat of a sham.
It was another test for young Dmitry Bivol, the light heavyweight division's top young star at the moment, but he passed the test that was Isaac Chilemba with flying colors. Bivol cruised to a decision victory in a fight many have prematurely labelled a "snoozefest".
In any case, Alvarez finally has his title fight, and it should be an interesting one.
Said Michel: "We are convinced that Eleider has all the tools and everything it takes to come back to Montreal with the WBO world title in his luggage".
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After the fight, Kovalev was taken to the hospital to get checked out.
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) started off fast and utilized his elite boxing skill to keep Kovalev off balance. I assume he got exhausted.
But first up is the serious business of Alvarez. "He was great for six rounds and then he faltered. It's not the biggest fight in my life, but it's a big for me because it's the next chapter in my boxing career".