Sergey Kovalev vs Eleider Alvarez Preview Aug. 4th
WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia will be taking on unbeaten Eleider Alvarez of Colombia in Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO. Kovalev is a former WBA and IBF champ who regained the vacant WBO title by stopping Vyacheslav Sharbranskyy in the second round last November and then stopped Igor Mikhalkin in the seventh round in his last outing in March. Alvarez last fought in June, 2017 and beat Jean Pascal by majority decision.
Kovalev vs Alvarez Betting Odds
- Eleider Alvarez +330
- Sergey Kovalev -400
The 35-year-old Kovalev 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 in June of last year. Kovalev still has an impressive impressive mark of 32-2-1 along with 28 Kos to his name and has fought 143 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.
Kovalev has a 72.5-inch reach and is 6-feet tall. He’s basically a KO artist with an 80 per cent knockout ratio and has enough power in his fists to drop opponents with both body and head shots. He’s an exceptional offensive boxer who also has 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 also 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 also get frustrated in the ring by an elite boxer, which is what happened to some extent when he faced Ward. Kovalev should have regained his confidence by now after stopping Sharbranskyy and Mikhalkin and taking the WBO Title as he didn’t appear to be gun shy and let his hands go in both of those fights.
Alvarez is 34 years old and fights out of Quebec, Canada. Like Kovalev, he had an excellent amateur career. However, he’s never won a world title, but has captured the WBO NABO, WBA NABA, and WBC Silver Light Heavyweight Titles. He turned pro in 2009 and has 154 rounds of experience under his belt. Alvarez will enter the ring with a perfect record of 23-0 along with 11 Kos. He’s a former Colombian Olympian who fought at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.
He has pro victories over Pascal, Lucian Bute, Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, Andrew Gardner, Edison Miranda, Alexander Johnson, Anatoliy Dudchenko and Isidro Ranon Prieto. Alvarez stands 6-feet tall with 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 knockout artist and his current knockout ratio is 48 per cent. He’s a solid pro with a good chin and is somewhat underrated.
Kovalev should have shown a killer instinct and gone after Ward when he decked him in their first fight and he was a bit too timid in the rematch. Hopefully he’s learned from that and the way he ended his last two fights it appears he has. 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 doesn’t have to go toe-to-toe from the opening bell, but needs to press the action and force Alvarez onto his back foot as much as he can. It’s easier said than done though since Alvarez has good boxing skills and a solid chin. This fight might even go the distance, but I’m expecting Kovalev to retain his title.
Kovalev appears to be refreshed following his losses to Ward.
Play: Kovalev -400 @ BetOnline.ag
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