Eleider Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev Preview Feb. 2nd
Former world light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia will trying to reclaim the WBO belt this Saturday, Feb. 2nd when he meets unbeaten Eleider Alvarez of Colombia in a rematch. The 12-round bout will be taking place in Frisco, Texas and can be seen live in the USA on ESPN+ while fans in the UK can catch it on BoxNation and those in Canada can see it on pay-per-view. Their first fight took place back in August when Alvarez stopped Kovalev in the seventh round to take the title while Kovalev was in front on all three of the judge’s scorecards.
Alvarez vs Kovalev Betting Odds
- Sergey Kovalev +139
- Eleider Alvarez -159
Kovalev is a former WBA and IBF champ who regained the vacant WBO title by stopping Vyacheslav Sharbranskyy in the second round in November, 2017 and then stopped Igor Mikhalkin in the seventh round last March. The former champ is now 35 years old and has lost three of his last five bouts. He lost his titles to Andre Ward by a highly-controversial unanimous decision by scores of 114-113 across the board in November, 2016. He then lost by premature stoppage in the eighth round of their rematch seven months later.
Kovalev still has an impressive impressive mark of 32-3-1 though along with 28 Kos to his name and has fought 150 rounds since turning pro in 2009. His draw came against Grover Young via a technical two-round decision in 2011 when Young couldn’t continue after an accidental foul. There’s no doubt the Russian’s career is on the downswing though and he’s been stopped in two of his three defeats. He possesses a 72.5-inch reach and stands 6-feet tall.
Kovalev’s basically a KO artist with a 78 per cent knockout ratio and has enough power in his fists to drop opponents with both body and head shots. He’s a good offensive boxer who used to have a pretty good defence and a solid chin. However, he didn’t press the action like he usually does when he fought Ward and showed his opponent too much respect. Kovalev likes to establish his snapping jab and usually punches in flurries rather than depending on one big shot.
He’s beaten the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal (twice), Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Gabriel Campillo, Darnell Boone and Nathan Cleverly. Kovalev’s a good boxer/puncher, but can get frustrated in the ring by an elite boxer, which is what happened to some extent when he faced Ward. As for Alvarez, he’s 34 years old and fights out of Quebec, Canada. Like Kovalev, he had an excellent amateur career and fought for his homeland at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Alvarez turned pro in 2009 and has 161 rounds of experience under his belt. He’ll enter the ring with a perfect record of 24-0 along with 12 Kos. He’s also captured the WBO NABO, WBA NABA, and WBC Silver Light Heavyweight Titles along the way. Alvarez has victories over Pascal, Lucian Bute, Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, Andrew Gardner, Edison Miranda, Alexander Johnson, Anatoliy Dudchenko and Isidro Ranon Prieto.
He also stands 6-feet tall and has a reach of 75.5 inches so he’s the same height as Kovalev, but has a three-inch edge in reach. He isn’t really known as a one-punch KO artist and his current knockout ratio is 50 per cent. He’s a solid pro with a good chin and is somewhat underrated. Well, he may have been underrated until stopping Kovalev the last time out that is.
Kovalev seemed to be in control in the first fight, but his chin simply gave out on him. That’s going to be going through his head in this fight while Alvarez will obviously be supremely confident. Kovalev needs to focus intently in this fight, but he’s got some out-of-the-ring problems to occupy his mind as well. I have a feeling Alvarez is going to win again, but this is a must-win fight for the Russian as his career’s in the balance. It’s win or retire for Kovalev, so I’m going to give him a shot at redemption here and believe he’ll pull it out since there’s so much on the line. As long as Kovalev’s aggressive in the ring, doesn’t hold back on his punches, and shows no mercy then he should win this bout. He needs to press the action and force Alvarez onto his back foot as much as he can and go for a stoppage.
Kovalev’s career is on the line here.
Play: Kovalev +139 @ BetOnline.ag
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