When it was revealed that Canelo Alvarez and his team were negotiating a fight against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev months ago, some people were surprised at the notion of Alvarez moving up two weight classes for the bout.
Even after the initial negotiations failed and Kovalev returned home to Russia for a mandatory title defense, Alvarez was keen on fighting the three-time light heavyweight champion. After Kovalev won his last fight in August, negotiations quickly resumed and Alvarez's light heavyweight debut was soon secured for November.
But the decision to jump to light heavyweight had actually been presented to Alvarez long before he unified the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs in May. During a recent media call, Alvarez was asked by Fightful when did he considered going to 175 pounds and revealed that he had thoughts about moving up before that dominating performance against Jacobs.
"We decided that after the last fight. Obviously we had thought about it before the fight with Jacobs because media asked, they asked if it was possible to be moving up to 175 pounds, and it didn’t sound bad, and then we started to think about it. But first, of course, we had to pass the first challenge, which was against Jacobs, and then we decided to move up in weight," Alvarez said.
Alvarez is coming into the fight against Kovalev as the favorite, despite never having actually fought at light heavyweight at any point in his pro career. Part of the reason some pick Alvarez to win is the fact that Kovalev had a moment in his last fight in August when he struggled against Anthony Yarde and was nearly stopped by the British challenger who was infamous for not sparring even once to prepare for the fight. Alvarez said he hasn't seen that fight between Kovalev and Yarde but is still supremely confident in his ability to win.
"No, he’s a great fighter, and he’s taking a big risk to be moving up two weight divisions, but we believe in ourselves. We believe in our capabilities to win the world title, and we do this with the conviction that we have the tools to accomplish this," Alvarez said.
Now, if Alvarez does in fact defeat Kovalev and win the WBO light heavyweight title, he will have accomplished something perhaps unseen since the first half of the 20th century: holding a title in three weight classes at the same time.
The Mexican superstar not only holds the WBA's "Super" version of the middleweight world title (as well as being the WBC Franchise champion, though not considered an actual world title by many), but the WBA's secondary super middleweight title as well. There are plenty of attractive fights to make in any of the three weight classes Alvarez would have titles in, from a trilogy fight against IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin to WBA "Super" super middleweight champion Callum Smith or even newly-crowned IBF and WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev down the road. However, a decision on what weight class Alvarez will compete in after fighting Kovalev is a decision that has yet to be made.
"No, the truth is, no [we haven't made that decision]. We are focused on 100 percent on this fight. Afterward we’ll see what follows. We are 100 percent focused on this fight, and we’ll have to see what comes after," Alvarez said.
Alvarez vs. Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title will take place on November 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed on DAZN. Fightful will have live coverage of the entire event.
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