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Fight Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev

Boxing on DAZN (TV: DAZN)

Saturday, November 2nd 9:00 PM ET MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas, Nevada)

WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2) vs. Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1)

Fight odds: Canelo Alvarez -400 Sergey Kovalev +300

Fanduel Boxing Pick Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev

The MGM Grand Garden Arena will host a most unique WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight. Canelo Alvarez will move up two weight divisions to challenge Sergey Kovalev, the current WBO champion. Alvarez is assuming most of the risk in moving from 160 lbs up to 175 lbs. Alvarez has already accomplished so much in boxing and one of the ways to truly leave a legacy is to become a champion in more than one weight division. Alvarez has held belts at light middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight and will fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight Title in his fourth weight division. This is a big fight for both men as Alvarez will be attempting to make his mark in a fourth weight division and Kovalev will be looking to prove he is still an elite light heavyweight. Alvarez is 29, 5’9 and 174.5 lbs with a 70.5 inch reach. Kovalev is 36, 6’0 and 175 lbs with a 72 inch reach.

Alvarez has never fought at 175 lbs and the highest weight he has fought is at 168 lbs. When Alvarez went up to 168 lbs and easily beat an overmatched opponent in Rocky Fielding by 3rd Round TKO he proved capable of beating a bigger man and will look to do the same against Kovalev. Kovalev is a much better opponent than Fielding and will need to be on his game to beat Alvarez. The style that Kovalev likes to employ involves stalking his opponent like a bully and working towards the knockout with strong combination punching. If Kovalev does this against Alvarez, then he will likely get picked apart with counterpunching.

Kovalev is coming off an impressive 11th Round TKO over the previously undefeated Anthony Yarde in August of 2019. Yarde is one of the best light heavyweight prospects in boxing and took a major step up in competition when he challenged Kovalev. It was a competitive fight, but Kovalev’s experience, stamina and power were the difference in the late stages of the fight as Yarde had never previously fought the full 12 Rounds. Yarde got caught with a straight left after an accumulation of punches that ended the fight. Kovalev remained active throughout the fight despite facing some adversity in previous rounds before ultimately outlasting Yarde. Kovalev will need to employ this same tactic against Alvarez as he can’t be a stationary target that isn’t throwing a lot of punches.

Fanduel Boxing Pick Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev

Alvarez is coming off a fight at middleweight (160 lbs) where he beat Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision in May of 2019. It was a close fight and Jacobs once again proved that he is an elite middleweight pushing Alvarez and making him fight the full 12 Rounds. Alvarez utilized great body and head movement to defend effectively and counterpunched to land his own offense. The fight was largely fought on the inside and Alvarez’s compact frame allowed him to maneuver in tight spaces to land punches to the head and body of Jacobs. Kovalev will not want to keep this fight on the inside and should look to use his reach and height advantage to keep Alvarez on the outside at a comfortable distance. Kovalev needs to use his physical advantages to wear on Alvarez and keep him uncomfortable.

Being the shorter man, Alvarez will be a smaller target for Kovalev making him more difficult to hit. For Kovalev the key will be to work behind his powerful jab to control the distance. Alvarez is great at fighting from all distances, but will likely want to get on the inside to attack the body of Kovalev who has shown he can be weakened by body shots in previous fights. Kovalev has the advantage in size and reach, while Alvarez has the advantage in speed and counterpunching. This should be a back and forth fight, but the quality and speed of Alvarez should garner a decision win against a bigger and slower opponent.

Canelo Alvarez by Decision