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Kathy Duva encouraged by Sergey Kovalev’s performance, believes he can take Canelo Alvarez

Duva says Kovalev showed that his changes in preparation are paying dividends.

BOX-USA-Ward-Kovalev Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev successfully defend his world title this past weekend by stopping challenger Anthony Yarde, but it wasn’t without its dramatic moments. In fact Kovalev appeared to be on the verge of getting stopped himself in the eighth round when Yarde hurt him badly with a series of body shots.

At the end of that round it looked like Kovalev was just about ready to go and trainer Buddy McGirt threatened to throw in the towel if Kovalev didn’t immediately turn things around. To Kovalev’s credit, he managed to make a stand in the ninth, although largely in part to Yarde punching himself out in the previous round.

Thus in the aftermath of Kovalev’s win, there has been a lot of talk and criticism about the performance, although Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva takes encouragement from that fight, saying that Kovalev demonstrated an ability to catch a second wind when he’s previously collapsed under similar circumstances.

“Sergey survived with a much bigger puncher than Canelo and outboxed him pretty consistently throughout the fight.

“In the past, he has hit a wall around that point in the fights that he has lost. I think he proved tonight to himself and everyone else that the adjustments that he had made to his training regime are working.

“He found his second wind when he needed it. He can certainly take on Canelo!”

Many fans and pundits alike, however, are seriously questioning whether or not that’s actually the case, as Canelo is known to be a vicious and accurate body puncher and that’s obviously not Kovalev’s strong suit.