This Saturday we have one of the most intriguing match ups of 2019 as Canelo Alvarez steps up 2 weight divisions to face the once feared Sergey Kovalev. The last 5 weeks in boxing has been whirlwind with many fight of the year contenders and I expect this to live up to its expectations once again.
Canelo vs Kovalev
Before the fight was announced this was very much a fight most were surprised by, especially from team Canelo who have tended to protect their fighter over the years. However, after Kovalev’s vulnerabilities came up with his fights with Ward and thereafter it’s no wonder any fighter would want to take on the fight with once feared Russian.
Canelo is definitely daring to great by stepping up 2 weight divisions from his natural division and would be the first boxer to make that jump since Bernard Hopkins and win a world title. It doesn’t happen that often in boxing – middleweight-light heavyweight, so I do have respect for the Mexican taking a gamble here.
Since the fight was confirmed a lot of people have been very confident Alvarez would get a straight forward win and comparing the potential outcome to what he did to Rocky Fielding when he stepped up to super middleweight. We all know Canelo will try to target the body against Kovalev, but trust me when I say this as amateur boxer myself – no one likes to be hit to the body constantly or hard! I very much doubt Canelo would like to be hit there too, for me its more about the pain tolerance when a big body shot lands there and Kovalev hasn’t been hit there enough over the year to really take it well enough. (Just watch the Ward fights)
The Mexican has been having trouble with his own promoter and most likely Oscar De La Hoya. This is probably because DAZN are putting on the pressure to set up the third fight withh GGG and as much as Canelo may not want that fight, the pressure from the company that have given him a $365 million deal last year he may need to finally take it for 2020.
This has no doubt resulted in him taking this fight instead and maybe show DAZN he is over the GGG situation and wanting to move on to bigger things. You do have to wonder if the disturbances from this disagreement with Golden Boy has affected him mentally on the lead up to this fight.
For Kovalev, I honestly believe this to be the perfect opportunity for him to get his last big payout and win before he retires. I’m very much in the Kovalev camp for this fight and I do truly believe he can win this weekend. It’s going to take the Russian everything for this, but this is a weight he has been fighting at for all his career so will extremely comfortable.
Canelo on the other hand has had to beef up a lot for this fight and having all that extra weight will not do him good in my opinion as we know Alvarez has gassed out at points in some of his other fights at a lower weight.
In my recent article about how Kovalev beats Canelo, I went over four areas for the Russian. Use his weight to his advantage, his jab, not fighting on the inside and train for the KO. If Sergey can do all of these I do think he has a good chance of being the second man to beat Canelo. Otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised by another point decision for Canelo.
My prediction – well I guess you can tell where I’m leaning towards, but I honestly think people are looking past Kovalev’s strengths and the fact he is a natural light heavyweight. Yes Canelo will try take out the Russian with body shots, but I just can’t see how he can get past Kovalev piercing jab. Canelo also isn’t known for trying to fight on the inside to attack the body like Andre Ward did, so will be interesting to see his tactics to get close enough. It’s a bold one from me, but I’m going for Kovalev TKO.
(Make sure to watch the tactical overview video further below)
I have to admit the undercard isn’t the greatest, with Ryan Garcia being the biggest name to appear on the list. Garcia arguably comes against his toughest opponent to date in Romero Duno, but will be expected to get another solid win.
Nonetheless here are the main undercard fights on display:
Ryan Garcia vs Romero Duno – WBC Silver lightweight title and WBO NABO lightweight title
Bakham Murtazaliev vs Jorge Fortea – Super welterweight contest
Seneisa Estrada vs Marlen Esparza – WBA world flyweight title
Canelo vs Kovalev takes place this Saturday 2nd November at Madison Square Garden.
You can watch the fight on DAZN – US/Canada and on Sky Sports in the UK.
I’ll leave you with Lee Wylie’s incredible tactical overview of Canelo vs Kovalev (Below) to help you try decide who will come out victorious this weekend:
Enjoy the fight and thanks for reading.
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