In what will end up being a night remembered for the wrong reasons, Canelo Alvarez completed his mission to win another world title with an emphatic knockout victory over Sergey Kovalev.
After a slow, sometimes sluggish, start from the Mexican, he pulled off a brilliant combination of punches to knock out Kovalev late in the 11th round to capture the WBO light heavyweight title.
The fight opened up with Kovalev utilizing his jab to its fullest, keeping Alvarez away from his body and limiting his offense. Alvarez struggled mightily to get within range, but did manage to occasionally sneak in a body shot and hook to the chin.
Despite Kovalev throwing the jab hundreds of times in the first half of the time, he failed to really hurt Alvarez with the jab that has secured him wins over Anthony Yarde and Eleider Alvarez. Starting with the second half of the fight, Alvarez started to break down Kovalev as the two fighters landed cleaner and better shots upstairs.
But Alvarez ended everything late in the 11th round with a sudden burst of punches that immediately knocked Kovalev out. Alvarez scored a right and left hook to stagger Kovalev and the Mexican landed the final blow with a straight right to Kovalev’s chin, sending him to the ropes and forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Although Kovalev was by far the more active fighter, throwing 745 punches to Alvarez’s 345, Alvarez was more efficient and outlanded Kovalev 133 to 115. At the time of the knockout, Alvarez was up 96-94 on both Dave Moretti and Julie Lederman’s scorecards while Don Trella had the bout tied at 95-95. Fightful had Kovalev winning 96-94 on its scorecard from its live coverage page, which can be seen at this link.
Now the question for Alvarez is what weight class will he fight next. Aside from the WBO light heavyweight title, Alvarez also holds the WBA “Super” middleweight title and the WBA “Regular” super middleweight title. In a post-fight interview, Alvarez said the plan all along was to probably go back to either middleweight or super middleweight, but will have to think about it after getting some rest.
The event was also marred by a horrible wait after the co-main event, roughly 90 minutes as DAZN wanted to wait until after UFC 244 had wrapped up. For a full breakdown of UFC 244, check out Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp live review of the show at this link.