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Jim Lampley discusses Eleider Alvarez’s big win over Sergey Kovalev

The HBO commentator was impressed by Alvarez even before he took to the ring.

Sergey Kovalev v Eleider Alvarez Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Those of us who have been watching long enough know better, in theory. But often we forget. We forget that scripts get flipped, get rewritten on the fly, because fate demands it.

Fate sent a memo on Saturday night in Atlantic City, to remind us that boxing is the theatre of the unexpected.

I was curious, on Sunday morning: did HBO master of fistic ceremonies Jim Lampley have an inkling on Friday what might occur on Saturday? Did he think maybe Sergey Kovalev could get curb stomped by Father Time?

“One of the most impressive fighter meetings I can remember,” Lampley told me of the Colombian-Canadian Alvarez. “Bright, engaging, thrilled to finally have his chance, ready and confident but aware. Openly acknowledged that the right hand injury at the end of his amateur career had robbed him of power, and that had motivated going with Marc Ramsay to Montreal and learning, over a 10-year buildup, to win with varied boxing skills.

“I told several people before the fight I thought he had a viable chance to go the distance, threaten Sergey on scorecards, maybe even win. I urged a couple from Colombia to bet on him. Never could have anticipated what he did. Never based on his honest conversation.

“Such a revelation. If I were Kathy Duva I would focus on the rematch clause and resist putting Bivol in with Alvarez right away. I love Dmitry Bivol, but Eleider has game. Focus on seeing if he can beat Sergey twice, and get Bivol a few more experiences. There is a new Colombian sheriff in town, one who grew up speaking Spanish, speaks French in daily life now, and can handle some English. He is a man in full.”

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