Tomorrow night on ESPN, Eleider Alvarez and Michael Seals meet in a light heavyweight main event that has some real potential for fireworks, as the hard-hitting Seals looks to break through against a former titleholder looking to bounce back from his first pro defeat.
Our staffers make their picks.
As I’ve said a few times now, I like the potential for action here. Seals is not a top-level fighter, and at 37 I don’t think he’s about to become elite, but he’s a hard puncher who comes to throw bombs, and with Alvarez, who isn’t young at 35, looking to come back from a lackluster performance in defeat to Sergey Kovalev about a year ago, I think the former titleholder from Canada could be ripe for the picking.
But I’m going to go with the favored, more proven fighter. I do think he’ll have to fend off a charging Seals early, but that he’s capable of that. I won’t be shocked if Seals gets him cold in the early rounds, but on the rare occasions Alvarez has actually turned it up and gotten aggressive, he’s been good at that. I think his superior craft catches Seals, but we might see both on the canvas here. Alvarez TKO-6
Hmmm, let’s see, an upper-echelon fighter that’s been regularly facing top competition going up against a not-so-highly rated club fighter? Eleider Alvarez is definitely no spring chicken at 35, but he’ll be facing an even older man in Seals, 37, who happens to have much less experience than him. Alvarez has proved he can at least fight and compete at the top level of the light heavyweight division, and Seals has fought only one guy I’ve even heard of, getting stopped by Edwin Rodriguez at the end of 2015. I’ll go out on a limb and take Alvarez by stoppage. Alvarez TKO-7
Patrick L. Stumberg
This matchup gave me occasion to rewatch Seals’ war with Edwin Rodriguez, so it’s already in my good graces. Unfortunately, it doesn’t figure to be as competitive or entertaining. Seals has lights-out power, but ostensibly lacks the craft to consistently land that nuclear right hand on a technician of Alvarez’s caliber. Unless “Storm” gets sloppy against the ropes, where Seals likes to lie in wait before coming back with a killshot counter, he should be able to piece Seals up behind his jab with little issue.
Seals’ knockout ability will add a nice little simmer of tension, but not one that’ll pay off. Alvarez spent well over half an hour trading shots with Sergey Kovalev and never faltered, and since Seals absolutely needs the knockout to win this, his prospects are slim. Alvarez wins comfortably from the outside, taking either a wide decision or late stoppage. Alvarez UD-10
This one could be real fun! Two sluggers looking to decapitate the other in a dangerous division with the prize a potential route to a world title fight this year. We’ve not seen Alvarez since his back-to-back dukes with “Krusher”, but at 35 I’m not sure too many tweaks will have been made to his artillery. Alvarez ate a lot of jabs and straight work in the Kovalev rematch but still looked a threat with that left hook. Seals isn’t going to be able to force “Storm” backwards with such ease and will be open to a big left hook. Alvarez KO-5