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Buddy McGirt: Sergey Kovalev is out to prove the critics wrong against Canelo Alvarez

The trainer says Kovalev will use his skill, not size, to beat Canelo.

Boxing show in Chelyabinsk, Russia Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

With the Sergey Kovalev vs Canelo Alvarez fight officially announced for November 2nd, Kovalev’s trainer Buddy McGirt tells Sky Sports that this is just the kind of fight that the sport of boxing needs.

“I think that boxing needs a fight like this,” McGirt told Sky Sports. “Kovalev needs a challenge, Canelo, he’s beat everybody. I respect Canelo for what he’s doing, jumping up to 175. I really respect that, it shows a true champion, and I just think that it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”

McGirt would continue by saying that after all the criticism Kovalev has received in the aftermath of his losses to Andre Ward and Eleider Alvarez, that Kovalev will be coming into this fight with a point to prove.

“He [Kovalev] is very anxious. After he lost to Ward and [Eleider] Alvarez there was a lot of negative stuff being said about him, so I think he’s out to prove the critics wrong.”

All of that said, McGirt also makes it a point to say that despite Canelo being the one who’s moving up two weight classes for this fight, he’s not looking at it as some sort of physical mismatch, saying he doesn’t think it’s that much of a physical risk for Canelo. Instead McGirt says that Kovalev will need to use his skills to simply be the better fighter on the night, and that Kovalev certainly has the underrated boxing IQ to pull it off.

So from the early sounds of it Kovalev is going to try out-technical Canelo once they meet in the ring. But considering that they’re both experienced, technical fighters, who really has the edge skill-wise if size won’t be much of a factor?

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