Sergey Kovalev 33 (28 KOs)-3 (2 KOs)-1 gets his revenge over Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez 24 (12 KOs)-1 (0 KOs)-0 winning back his WBO Light-Heavyweight title by unanimous decision at the The Ford Centre at the Star Frisco Texas on ESPN+.

The term schooling is often thrown around in boxing, but Sergey Kovalev really did put on a clinic in a fight where he was coming into the rematch as an underdog. If there were conversations about whether the result of the first fight was a result of a freak punch Kovalev’s display on Saturday does add some weight that it was Kovalev’s mental state and gameplan that was his downfall first time round.

With new trainer Buddy McGirt Kovalev seemed to have much greater success than in the first fight boxing at range and in truth it looked like Alvarez was intimidated by Kovalev’s power. If it hadn’t been for the first fight it would have been easy to say that Alvarez had been a rabbit in the headlights, but I think it had more to do with Kovalev’s more conservative use of range and punishing Alvarez with hard sweeping right hands when Alvarez looked to land. This had two outcomes, the first was that Kovalev looked the boss in there winning rounds adding to his confidence, but the second was that it kept Alvarez in his place on the back foot and crucially not throwing punches. In the first fight Alvarez did much more than just land a right hand in the 7th, he out jabbed Kovalev and when on the inside did fast work to the body that had some bearing on Kovalev slowing down. From the 6th round onwards Alvarez seemed content on sitting back and waiting on the right hand to land, but it didn’t. Kovalev controlled the range and when Alvarez did throw that right, there was no setup, no jabs and so the punch was seen a mile off, also resulting in Alvarez losing balance.

The way the fight played out was mainly due to Kovalev’s trainer and just better conditioning as I assume he took the fight more seriously than the first, but it was also due to perhaps overconfidence on Alvarez’s side, by seeing the result to the first fight rather than how he got there he looked to have lost his identity and maybe fallen in love with his power. It will be a tough lesson for Alvarez who at 34 is no spring chicken and losing his title after waiting so long for just his shot will be a tough one to take, but he is in the mix in a great division and should get another title shot in time. As for Kovalev, the win puts him amongst the killers in the division once again, but with three wins and three losses in his last six and an assault charge hanging over him the Krusher’s final chapter to his career is anything but certain but his win at the weekend does at least put him on the right path for now.

On the undercard Oscar Valdez 25 (20 KOs)-0-0 gets a 7th round TKO win against previously undefeated Italian Carmine Tommasone 19 (5 KOs)-1 (1 KO)-0 with Teofimo Lopez 12 (10 KOs)-0-0 also getting a 7th round KO victory against Diego Magdaleno 31 (13 KOs)-3 (2 KOs)-0.


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