Fightful Boxing Newsletter (9/12/19) Table Of Contents:
- Is Canelo Alvarez’s next fight done? (Page 1)
- KSI-Logan Paul 2 Finalized (Page 2)
- Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell Review (Page 3)
- Erislandy Lara vs. Ramon Alvarez Review (Page 4)
- Boxing News And Notes (Page 5)
- Gervonta Davis vacates WBA super featherweight title (Page 6)
- Fightful Boxing Rankings (Pages 7-8)
- Jose Ramirez Out For Remainder Of 2019 After Surgery (Page 9)
Is Canelo Alvarez’s next fight done?
Canelo Alvarez’s move to light heavyweight to challenge for Sergey Kovalev’s WBO world title is all but official after the two sides appear to have agreed to terms to a fight.
The two are set to face off in the main event of a DAZN card on November 2, more than likely at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, though the location isn’t fully set in stone. The Nevada State Athletic Commission does have November 2 at the MGM Grand reserved for a Golden Boy Promotions card headlined by Alvarez, but the exact venue could always be changed. What does appear to be set in stone is that it will take place in Las Vegas.
A fight between the two has been in the works for months, but after talks stalled during the summer due to Kovalev’s camp not being fully satisfied with the money being offered to him.
That was the main issue that delayed the fight and allowed Kovalev to fight mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde on August 24 in Russia. Not only was Kovalev not happy with the money offered to him, but even if he were to take what was offered to him at the time, there was still the matter of paying Yarde and promoter Frank Warren a substantial step-aside fee.
But with Kovalev emerging victorious against Yarde, negotiations with the Alvarez camp resumed and there was a feeling from all parties involved that the fight will be made. There are a couple of interesting things to note about the November 2 date.
That date also happens to be the date for UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden and with a loaded card headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal, that card could potentially be give ESPN the highest pay-per-view buyrate ever since pay-per-view events were ESPN-exclusive. That will definitely make a dent on the Canelo vs. Kovalev viewership, but it won’t be as bad as some may fear.
Boxing, when competing against UFC, isn’t hurt too bad if a show’s main event is an attractive one. Think back to March 2018 when a fight between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz had to compete directly with UFC 222, headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya. Despite competing against UFC and an HBO Boxing card at Madison Square Garden, Wilder vs. Ortiz still averaged more than a million viewers on Showtime, which is a rare feat for the network. While the UFC 244 main event is far more eye-catching than the UFC 222 show, the parallel does still exist and those that want to see Alvarez take on Kovalev will still watch.
If we’re talking about recent history, things don’t look so promising for Alvarez as far as boxers looking to move up two weight classes for a title fight. In the last few years, the likes of Amir Khan, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Mikey Garcia and Kell Brook have all moved up two weight classes and all have failed. With Alvarez, however, things are different.
Unlike the aforementioned fighters, Alvarez would be the one to be favored in the matchup against Kovalev. If we’re talking strictly on the styles matchup between the two, this fight is almost taylormade for Alvarez to win.
Kovalev, as great as he has been in 2019 since bringing on Buddy McGirt as his trainer, still has glaring flaws, mainly in how he reacts to getting hit in the body. Looking back on the fight against Yarde, Kovalev was perhaps at his most vulnerable whenever Yarde managed to string together several body combinations.
Seeing as how Alvarez is unafraid to attack the body from the early going, Alvarez is capable of stopping Kovalev if Kovalev can’t shake off the early body shots that will be thrown at him. The one thing that Kovalev has going for him is having McGirt in his corner as Kovalev has been effectively rebuilt into a technically sound boxing machine who beats opponents utilizing the jab. The jab was what won the fight against Yarde for Kovalev, but it is by no means a guarantee that it will work as well against Alvarez.
For starters, Alvarez is leagues above Yarde as far as boxing skills are concerned and Alvarez is more than capable of adapting on the fly and working around Kovalev’s jab. What will decide if the fight lasts the distance or merely a few rounds is if Alvarez attacks the body before Kovalev can get into a rhythm with the jab.
The buildup to this fight will center around Kovalev still being a stalwart of the light heavyweight division and this being perhaps the most unique challenge of Alvarez’s career. In some regards, that is true given how the success rate for fighters moving up two weight classes and immediately winning a world title in the last 20 years is extremely low. But if Alvarez does pull off the win against Kovalev, it isn’t like it will be the most significant win of his career. As great as Kovalev has fought this year, he is 36 years old and his Achilles heel, succumbing to body shots, is what Alvarez perhaps excels the most. It will certainly be a nice feather in Alvarez’s cap when it is all said and done, but not what will define his career when he’s beaten the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley throughout his career.
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