Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, 14,490 boxing fans came out to witness Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) take on Sergey Kovalez (34-4-1) in his attempt to become the newest 4 Division World Champion. This fight was more challenging than anticipated for Canelo due to the height and reach of Kovalez. It was interesting to see how that size advantage would play out through the course of the title bout.
Interestingly enough the fight was delayed for the UFC match between Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz being held at Madison Square Garden. I’ve heard various rumors as to why the Canelo vs Diaz fight was delayed, though the best explanation was that DAZN and ESPN+ overbooked their time slot and some fans of either app would’ve missed the fight they were looking to tune into. to mixed reviews, the fans in attendance of the Canelo vs Kovalez fight was forced to wait nearly 2 hours before their fight started.
Luckily, they did air the Masvidal vs Diaz fight in the MGM Grand Arena for us to enjoy during the wait. However, I encountered mixed feelings on whether they should’ve delayed the fight for a competing fight across the country. Where I enjoyed being able to see the MMA, especially since they delayed the boxing match, others weren’t so pleased with the delay. I was not able to get a=feedback from either boxer on this delay.
Because of the delay, the fight started after 10pm PST and after the singing of three different National Anthems, both fighters started somewhat sluggishly as you may have imagined. The size and arm length posed a problem for Canelo early and often. Kovalez used his jab relentlessly to effectively keep Canelo at a distance for many of the early rounds. Canelo kept his mind on the breaking down the bigger Kovalez by frequently going to the body with thunderous body shots. As he remained the aggressor throughout the fight trying to take the fight to Kovalez.
Though I had Canelo behind on my scorecard, I never thought Canelo would be given a loss, simply due to his status in Boxing. Just when this thought popped in my head, Canelo caught Kovalez with a vicious left hook and then followed up with a right hook to the temple that crumpled up Kovalez in the 11th round. No standing * count was needed after that winning combination from Canelo, as Kovalez remained momentarily unresponsive after the knockdown.
This win made Canelo the 25th Boxer in history to hold World Title in four different weight divisions and the second to win World Title in the Welterweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. This was a toughly contested right up until the knockdown as Kovalez had done an excellent job avoiding the punch, and if it landed, he managed to escape danger.
“It was a very close fight because he was defensive, he was closing up his guard,” Canelo said. “All he was doing was trying to establish points, but we knew what was coming. Inevitably it would come, and everything came out the way we had planned. I’m very thankful. This is just a step in my career, in my history, and all I ask of you is to be patient because Canelo will make history. That’s a guarantee.”
“The plan overall was patience, that was it – to have patience. We knew it was going to be five, six rounds and it was going to take some time for me to get him. But honestly, he’s a great fighter. I’m new at this weight, new in this division. Much credit to him, he’s a great fighter, but we stuck to our game plan. It was delayed a little bit but overall it was successful.”
“It was a very close fight because he was defensive, he was closing up his guard. All he was doing was trying to establish points, but we knew what was coming. Inevitably it would come, and everything came out the way we had planned.” When discussing his future, Canelo said this “the plan was to go down to 160, 165, but why not – maybe 175 again.”
“We have to see what happens. We have to do what’s best for us. We have to look for the best fights, the big fights, but give the victories to Mexico.” Canelo added this about a potential third fight with GGG: “It’s not a challenge to me. We’ve fought 24 rounds and I beat him. It’s not a challenge for me, but if it represents business, why not?”
It will be interesting to see what weight division Canelo chooses to fight at next. WBC Middleweight (160 lbs.) Champion Jermall Charlo is waiting for him, WBC Super Middleweight Champion (168 lbs.) David Benavidez is available and/ or IBF Super Middleweight Champion (168 lbs.) Caleb Plant I’m sure would live to fight him. Additionally, Artur Betebiev the Light Heavyweight (175lbs.) Champion could be another option. Which fight would you like to see take on? Please share your thoughts on Canelo Alvarez and his options by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or by following me on Twitter at “Voice of the Fans” for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, we certainly appreciate you for making our voice your choice!