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Canelo to topple Kovalev? Get Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev tips

Leigh Copson 29 Oct 2019
Canelo Alvarez & Sergey Kovalev meet on November 2 (credit:Javier Rojas/Pi/Zuma Press/PA Images)

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev predictions for Saturday, November 2. Canelo Alvarez will move up two weight classes in his bid to become a four-weight world champion, but can he dethrone WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev? Read on for our betting tips & guide to the big fight.

Road To Alvarez v Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez cemented his status as the number one middleweight fighter on the planet in May when he successfully retained his WBA (Super), WBC and Ring Magazine titles while also adding the IBF belt with a decision win over Daniel Jacobs in Las Vegas. ‘The Miracle Man’ made a fight of it, but the judges ruled it 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112 in favour of Canelo and immediately following the contest there were calls for the Mexican ace to take on WBO title-holder Demetrius Andrade in a bout that would determine the undisputed middleweight champion. Alvarez himself spoke of his ‘motivation’ to become the first Mexican boxer to hold all four major titles in one division, hinting that a bout could happen in the near future, but those hoping to see a Canelo-Andrade showdown saw their hopes dashed when it was announced who  the 29-year-old would take on in his 56th professional bout.

Instead of staying in the middleweight ranks to take on Andrade or long-time rival Gennady Golovkin, Alvarez is stepping up no less than two weight classes to challenge WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. And if he is successful he will become only the fourth man in boxing history to win world titles at 154lbs and 175lbs. So can he topple veteran Kovalev?

The 36-year-old Russian could be forgiven for winding down his career at this stage in his career, but instead he is poised to fight for the third time this year and he has not had a three-fight year since 2016. That year he saw his reign as WBA (Super), IBF and WBO champion come to an end at the hands of Andre Ward via decision, and when he attempted to regain those crowns several months later he was this time stopped by the talented American inside eight rounds. Kovalev rebounded with a couple of TKO successes against Eastern European opponents before losing a world title fight with Eleider Alvarez in August of last year, but he once again resurrected his career in February when he bested Alvarez over 12 rounds to become the WBO champion, and this past summer he fended off the challenge of rising British star Anthony Yarde to retain his belt.

Fighting in his native Russia for the first time in over three years, Kovalev dominated the first several rounds of the contest but appeared to be in serious danger of losing the bout when Yarde rocked him badly in the eighth round. The home favourite was somehow able to survive the scare though and from there he took control of the contest again as the challenger began to fade badly. Yarde needed the bell at the end of the 10th, which rang prematurely, to save him from a stoppage loss, but he had no such fortune in the 11th. Kovalev landed a trademark straight left hand that sent a battered and weary Yarde crashing to the canvas, forcing the referee to wave it off to the delight of the crown in Chelyabinsk.

Despite his advancing years the WBO champion had proven that he is still a force to be reckoned with, but can he now do what only one man has done before and beat the man many consider the pound-for-pound number one fighter on the planet, Canelo Alvarez?

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev Tips

Of course, the big question surrounding this fight is whether or not Alvarez is biting off more than he can chew by stepping up two weight classes. Kovalev was hurt by Yarde back in August and that once rock-solid chin has shown some vulnerability, but will Alvarez have the power to trouble Kovalev and make him think twice about his attacks? We will not find that out until the opening bell, but there is one area where we do know that the challenger should have an edge going into this contest.

Not only has Kovalev been showing signs that his punch resistance is on the wane, his stamina can also be called into question. He may have sparked out Yarde late on and may have gone 12 rounds when beating Eleider Alvarez to regain his title, but at this point in his career it is difficult to see him keeping up with the pace that Canelo will set. That means he almost certainly has to come out all guns blazing here, but if the challenger can weather that early storm, which I think he will, it will go downhill for Kovalev after the first few rounds.

Alvarez is likely to operate with some degree of caution for the first couple of rounds and use his footwork and movement to prevent Kovalev from landing big shots while he is at his sharpest, and as the rounds wear on Alvarez will move through the gears and fire off with body shots that will further empty the champion’s gas tank. I am not convinced that he will have the finishing power required to get the job done inside the distance, but he will pull away on the judges’ scorecards to unanimously get the nod from them after the full 12 rounds.

What The Experts Are Saying

Former two-weight world champion Andre Ward speaking to Max Kellerman on ‘Max On Boxing’: “There’s a lot of variables, but right now I’m leaning towards Canelo Alvarez. Sergey Kovalev is no longer the Krusher. He’s simply Sergey Kovalev. He by himself is still a dangerous guy. He’s still tough, but it’s only for the first half of the fight. If Canelo Alvarez doesn’t go overboard, and try and put on an enormous amount of weight and mass, I think he’s going to wear Kovalev down. Everybody knows, Kovalev cannot take it to the body nor does he know how to defend himself when someone comes inside. I can see Canelo stopping Kovalev late, somewhere around the 11th or 12th round, because Kovalev is in his mid-30s. This is a cash out fight for him. I’m sure he’s going to try to win, but he’s not the Krusher anymore. It’s as simple as that. He’s had tough fights. He’s had a tough lifestyle outside the ring. I’m leaning towards Canelo for a late round stoppage.”

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev Tale Of The Tape

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev Stats

Canelo AlvarezTale of the TapeSergey Kovalev
52 (32 KOs)Wins34 (29 KOs)
1 (0 KOs)Losses3 (2 KOs)
391Total Rounds173
5' 8"Height6' 0"

What The Fighters Said

Canelo Alvarez: “The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned, and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing. That’s also why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years. Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”

Sergey Kovalev: “In order to be the best you have to beat the best. I have always tried to fight the toughest opponents in my division, but many have ducked me throughout my career. Canelo wanted to fight me; to step up to higher weight and challenge for my belt. I will be ready.”

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Canelo to topple Kovalev? Get Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev tips

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