A fight that was expected — or at least hoped — to have fireworks didn’t, at least until the end. Eleider Alvarez scored a one-punch knockout of Michael Seals in tonight’s ESPN main event, and likely will now move on to a WBO title fight at light heavyweight.
Alvarez (25-1, 13 KO) hadn’t fought since Feb. 2019, when he was soundly defeated in a rematch against Sergey Kovalev. He also suffered an Achilles injury in the lead-up to that bout, so there was hope that he’d be in better form this evening.
He was, but part of that came from a dangerous but limited Seals (24-3, 18 KO) not showing much of anything that made him a threat on paper. Known as a puncher with a good right hand, Seals rarely got that thing out of its sheath, and really didn’t land many rights at all.
Alvarez, 35, caught Seals, 37, opening up for a right hand late in the seventh round, threw his own, and his got there first, cracking Seals and putting him on the canvas, where the underdog from Alabama was counted out.
The plan now appears to be to match Alvarez, a former titleholder, with Joe Smith Jr, who beat Jesse Hart last week, for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title. That belt was most recently held by Canelo Alvarez, who vacated six weeks after winning it from Sergey Kovalev. There is the issue of former WBO super middleweight titleholder Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez being the top-ranked contender, but last note on Ramirez is that he was trying to get out of his deal with Top Rank.
“I was out of the ring for 11 months,” Alvarez said after the bout. “I wanted to come back as the fighter who beat Kovalev, and that’s what we prepared for with this fight.”