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Sergey Kovalev to exercise rematch clause against Eleider Alvarez

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The rematch must happen by February 2019.

Sergey Kovalev v Eleider Alvarez Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Following his upset knockout loss to Eleider Alvarez on August 4 in Atlantic City, one question was whether or not Sergey Kovalev would exercise the rematch clause in his contract, and it was expected that he would.

Now, ESPN reports that he will, according to manager Egis Klimas.

“Yes, he wants to have the rematch. There’s no other fight that he wants and there is no fight as big for him as the rematch.”

Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KO) hasn’t formally notified the Alvarez (24-0, 12 KO) camp yet, but has up to 60 days from the date of the fight to do so. And the rematch must take place by February.

Klimas is definitely right that there’s no other fight for Kovalev, 35, that will be as big as a rematch with the 34-year-old Alvarez. The loss earlier this month really damaged Kovalev’s reputation — this wasn’t losing to Andre Ward under controversial circumstances, this was being beaten down. And there are a lot of questions about Kovalev’s motivation and dedication levels at this point.

But, to be fair, Kovalev was winning the fight until he was stopped, leading on scores of 58-56, 59-55, and 59-55 on the official cards. So it’s not a bad rematch, either, and there’s reason enough to think Kovalev may be able to turn the tables this time.