After years and years of waiting for his world title opportunity, Eleider Alvarez is officially a world champion. Alvarez took on Sergey Kovalev tonight on HBO as the underdog while most have had their eyes pointed towards a future showdown between Kovalev and Dmirty Bivol (who won on the undercard).
Kovalev came into this fight strong, asserting his technique and punching power, but Alvarez had a good game plan, designed around ambushing Kovalev with sharp counter shots. However at one point things weren’t looking so good Alvarez, who suffered a cut under his eye from a headbutt, and Kovalev started coming on strong with an assault that looked to have Alvarez in distress.
Alvarez managed to weather that moment though, and landed a fight changing right hand that badly hurt Kovalev in the seventh round, flooring the champion. Kovalev would get up but Alvarez would jump right back on him, putting Kovalev down a second time. Kovalev jumped up again, perhaps too quickly, and still didn’t have his legs under him. At that point Alvarez went for the finish and rocked Kovalev with a right hook that ended the fight. Here are clips of the seventh round volley that ended Kovalev’s night.
With the win Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) takes the WBO light heavyweight world title while Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) is left to do some serious soul searching.