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Canelo vs Kovalev predictions, preview and analysis

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Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev - Weigh-In Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez looks to become a four-weight champion TONIGHT (Sat., Nov. 2, 2019), returning to his traditional Las Vegas, Nevada, stomping grounds to challenge WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev. will deliver LIVE coverage of the main event right here this evening. The DAZN broadcast (watch it) begins with the undercard at 6:30 p.m. ET, continues on with the main card at 9 p.m., and culminates with Canelo and Kovalev making their ring walks around midnight.

Canelo established himself as the top dog at 160 pounds with his decision over Gennadiy Golovkin in their rematch, after which he claimed a minor 168-pound belt by thrashing Rocky Fielding in Dec. 2018. He returned to Middleweight to turn aside Daniel Jacobs in May and now has his sights set on a 175-pound title.

Kovalev once ruled the Light Heavyweight division with an iron fist, looking unstoppable as he racked up knockout after knockout. Things have been a bit shakier since his controversial draw with Andre Ward, including knockout losses to “S.O.G” and Eleider Alvarez, but he avenged the latter defeat and enters the ring on the heels of a knockout over unbeaten Anthony Yarde.

The card also features top prospect Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (18-0, 15 KO) against Filipino bruiser Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KO) in an intriguing clash of young lightweights. We all know what people are tuning in for, though.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

Age: 29
Record: 52-1-2, 35 KO
Last Five Fights: Daniel Jacobs (UD), Rocky Fielding (TKO-3), Gennadiy Golovkin (MD), Gennadiy Golovkin (Split Draw), Julio Cesar Chavez
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout


Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev

Age: 36
Record: 34-3-1, 29 KO
Last Five Fights: Anthony Yarde (TKO-11), Eleider Alvarez (UD), Eleider Alvarez (KO Loss), Igor Mikhalkin (TKO-7), Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (TKO-2)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Jean Pascal (x2), Bernard Hopkins, Nathan Cleverly, Gabriel Campillo


The Sergey Kovalev of 2015-2016 would beat the living daylights out of Canelo. Though known primarily for his unreasonable punching power, he also boasted a bazooka jab, remarkably high output for a heavy-hitter, and enough boxing craft to give a technical marvel like Andre Ward the toughest fight of his career. Everything that Gennadiy Golovkin used to trouble Canelo, Kovalev could replicate with an additional 15+ pounds of horsepower.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that Kovalev since Ward turned his midsection to mush in their rematch, though. After knockouts of busted prospect Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and fringe contender Igor Mikhalkin, “The Krusher” took on Eleider Alvarez, a skilled but notoriously feather-fisted standout who nonetheless put Kovalev to sleep in brutal fashion.

Kovalev has since beaten Alvarez in a rematch and untested prospect Anthony Yarde in a weirdly back-and-forth battle. In neither appearance did he look like the destroyer of worlds he once was.

The question, then, is how much of the former Light Heavyweight emperor remains. He’s still a violent puncher with a strong jab and seems to be doing well under new trainer Buddy McGirt. After the Ward loss, though, it’s hard to have faith in him against someone with as potent a body attack as Canelo’s, even with the size difference.

Every would-be analyst of this fight brings up the body shots, but there’s a reason for that.

On top of that, Canelo spent over an hour trading leather with Golovkin and never seemed hurt once, suggesting that the one-punch finish isn’t on the table for Kovalev; while the Russian can definitely keep up while fresh, he won’t stay fresh long with his midsection getting pulverized. After the fifth or sixth round, it’s going to get one-sided in a hurry.

Kovalev’s wear-and-tear are just too much to handle a young, durable bruiser like Canelo. A highly competitive fight turns into a beating around the middle rounds until the ref intervenes.

Prediction: Alvarez via tenth-round technical knockout

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