Coming off of this past weekend’s win over mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde, there was some question as to whether or not WBO light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev would be ready for a return by the end of 2019 for a potential fight with Canelo Alvarez, which had been explored for September but didn’t come together.
According to manager Egis Klimas, Kovalev will be ready to face Alvarez on Nov. 2, which is the date Alvarez is tentatively slated to fight next.
It’s a bold move in some ways, but it’s also such a big opportunity for the 36-year-old Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KO), who is in the back end of his career as a top fighter. A fight with Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO) is not only a big money fight, but Kovalev, even at an advanced age, would have a major height advantage and a couple inches of reach in his favor. He’s a natural light heavyweight, which Canelo definitely is not.
A win over Alvarez would be the biggest of Kovalev’s career, because it would be — by quite a bit — the biggest fight of Kovaelv’s career. With all due respect to Andre Ward, a pound-for-pound ruler Kovalev fought twice, Ward was never remotely the star attraction that Alvarez is.
Coming back so quickly could be tough on the aging Russian, or it could work to his advantage. Trainer Buddy McGirt tells ESPN that he’s fine with the idea, as Kovalev won’t have so much work to do simply getting into ring shape.
I do expect many will pick the younger Alvarez and his body attack to beat Kovalev if this comes together, but surely some of you think Alvarez might be picking the wrong fight here, right?