Middleweight titleholder Canelo Alvarez will move up to 175 pounds on Nov. 2, live on DAZN, to challenge Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On Thursday, the two officially announced the fight in Los Angeles.
“I’m very grateful to all the fans as always,” said the 29-year-old Alvarez. “I’m very motivated here, it’s an honor for me to share the ring with a fighter like Kovalev who I met in 2012. Now we’re about to make history. I know it’s going to be the most difficult fight of my professional career. I will give the best I have in the ring and that day we can yell ‘Viva Mexico.’”
Kovalev, 36, will have a natural size advantage, at least in terms of height and a couple inches of reach, but the veteran Russian is already listed as a solid underdog on various sportsbooks, in part because of his advancing age.
But Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KO) also has a chance to score the biggest win of his career in most respects, as this will also be the biggest fight he’s ever had in terms of the attention it will receive, with Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO) standing as one of boxing’s biggest stars.
“I think this is a big test for me in my boxing career because this is one of the best fighters in the world in boxing right now,” Kovalev said. “I’m happy and I am excited. Thank you very much for the support.”
Kovalev’s trainer Buddy McGirt, who has worked with the fighter for his last two bouts, both solid wins, is confident he and Sergey can come up with the right approach, and expressed his respect for Canelo and his team.
“Both these guys are true champions,” McGirt said. “Canelo, I’ve always admired you. Your trainers did a great job with you. I gotta admit that. I really take my hat off to you for having the balls for taking a step up and not having a catch weight and stepping up to the challenge. Sergey, I love you to death, I respect you for accepting the challenge. In all honestly, the only losers on Nov. 2 are the people who don’t want the fight or come to the fight.”
Eddy Reynoso, Canelo’s head trainer, shares the respect across the ring.
“Only the big fighters and those that leave a footprint become these type of fighters. We know Kovalev well and we know the challenge that we are facing,” he said. “He’s a great fighter that leaves everything in the ring and in one punch, he could end the fight. And we know it’s going to be a great challenge. We want Saul to be a champion in four weight classes.”
Also, as previously reported, lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia has ended his beef with his promoters at Golden Boy — and vice versa — by reaching a new deal with the company. He’ll be in the co-feature on this show, taking on hard-charging Filipino Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KO).
“II’m excited. The co-main event on the biggest card of the year,” said the 21-year-old Garcia. “I’m so honored. It’s a big night. I get to fight the guy I wanted to fight most, Romero Duno. They all said I was scared and I was worried about him and now I have the chance to get my respect and show everyone I’m a real fighter. Everybody stay tuned. It’s going to be a big fight.”