Canelo-Kovalev fever kicking in

By Miguel Maravilla

This Saturday night Mexican superstar three-division multi-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 34 KOs) will step into the ring in what will be his biggest challenge of his career when he moves up to light heavyweight and takes on WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) of Russia. The two will clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on DAZN. Just a few days away from the fight, Canelo and Kovalev have wrapped up their preparations as they look forward to Saturday night.

Canelokovalevlapc Hoganphotos2
Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

“I feel great about this fight. Kovalev is a great fighter. This is what motivates me taking a risk,” Canelo told®. “Anything that represents a challenge is great for me. We know what he has and what this challenge represents,” Canelo added.

“I’m really excited about my next fight with Canelo Alvarez. I must show the world that I deserve to be the best in light heavyweight division,” Sergey Kovalev told®. “Canelo is really talented and really famous. A very talented boxer and really experienced,” Kovalev added.

The Mexican superstar is coming off a unanimous decision over former world champion Daniel Jacobs in May, Alvarez was impressive in the decision win over Jacobs winning and unifying the IBF middleweight title.

“That was a great win. Following that fight, I began looking at Kovalev as a potential opponent,” Canelo said.

“I respect Canelo because he goes right now up two divisions, and this is a huge goal for him and also for myself. Canelo wants to try get title in light heavyweight division. He has nothing to lose,” Kovalev on Canelo

Kovalev is coming off a stoppage over Anthony Yarde last August in making the first defense of his title as he comes into this fight winning two straight fights. Following the fight, Kovalev briefly rested and went back into camp to prepare for Canelo.

“From the last fight I had just a small rest, like three weeks, three to four weeks, and I’m ready. I’m back again to training camp. Now it’s really, really good under control with Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz. Right now, I’m feeling good,” Kovalev on his camp.

“He has long arms, his jab is really strong, and he knows how to move, but we’ve trained for this. He’s my strongest opponent without a doubt and it’s a huge risk for me but we’re ready.” Canelo said about Kovalev. “We’re ready for this. We have the intelligence and skill to beat Kovalev and win the fight,”

Alvarez held his camp in San Diego, California with his longtime trainers Eddie and Jose
“Chepo” Reynoso.

“The preparation is done. It was a good camp. I feel good. This is the weight I’m usually at during my normal life so it’s natural for me,” Canelo on his camp.

The father/son trainer/manager duo gave us their take on the camp and Canelo’s opponent, Kovalev.

“We’re focused. We’ve been training for more than three months and have prepared very well,” Head Trainer Eddie Reynoso said. “Kovalev is a strong fighter and he has lots of good qualities. He’s made it this far in his career because of that. He has a good punch and has a lot of heart. We’ve seen some errors in his fighting style and we hope to capitalize on those mistakes the day of the fight,” Reynoso added.

“Everyone needs to understand that we’ve been working together for 15 years and have come this far to now fight for this fourth title, together. We’re optimistic, happy and confident that we can take this fourth title. Canelo is a man of many risks and he always likes to take risks,”Jose “Chepo” Reynoso said. “We know Kovalev’s style because we’ve seen him for years. We know he is strong and tall, but knowing this we accepted this fight because we know Saul can beat him,” Reynoso added.

For Kovalev he had his preparation in Oxnard, California at the Boxing Laboratory under the watchful eye of former world champion and respected trainer Buddy McGirt.

“I have a great team with great coaches – Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz – and right now I’m feeling really comfortable with my team,” Kovalev on Training Camp. “I’m really happy that I found this coach,” Kovalev added.

“Listen, I’m excited about the fight. We just took it day-by-day, nice and easy, nice and slow. We didn’t have to get in shape like we normally do. Didn’t have to lose weight like normal. I think it’s a blessing that it was a quick turnaround,” Buddy McGirt said. “This camp was great because everybody gets along. Everybody trusts everybody. We have a relaxed mood and we know what we have to do, so it makes for a good camp. I believe in my heart that Sergey is going to win,” McGirt added

Canelo looks to win his fourth world title in his fourth weight class and try to become one of four Mexican’s to win four world titles in four weight classes. If victorious, Canelo will join the list with Mexican legends Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Jorge Arce. Standing in his way is the much bigger Kovalev.

“It’s going to be one of the most important fights for me and my career. This title is very important, to be a four-time world champion in different divisions,” Canelo on potentially winning a fourth title in fourth weight class. “This is historic for my career. In boxing you have to take risks to make history and it’s a huge risk for my career but we’re ready,” Canelo added.

For Kovalev, if victorious this will be the fight that defines his career as Kovalev feels that a win over Canelo, will definitely serve his legacy.

“Canelo, he is trying to make his history but I’m here,” Kovalev said “This is an important fight for me and my legacy,” Kovalev added.

With the fight this weekend, Canelo comes into this fight as a 4 to 1 betting favorite over Kovalev. Expect those odds to drop later this week as some money will come in for the defending champ, Kovalev. Look for some wagers to be placed on the knockout for Canelo between rounds 6-9 as those are the lowest odds for a KO at 12 to 1. Canelo and Kovalev both guarantee victory and promise action.

“We feel that we have the necessary skills to win this fight! I’m going to utilize all my skills in the ring. A body punch is always necessary,” Canelo concluded.

“We will show to the boxing world that Krusher is here. Krusher is back,” Kovalev concluded.

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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    • Excellent comment Stonefree…. I agree with you. This fight would have the fever if Kovalev was younger, low mileage on the body, and killin’ the division like he was a few years back. I personally would like to see Kovalev win only to shake up the controversy, but I keep telling myself he was cherry-picked with defeatable variables…..

    • You called it Stonefree. I didn’t even read the article, I saw the headline and just stopped in to one again tell everyone that I am not convinced this fight is on-the-level and will not be watching. If someone had fever “fever” over this particular fight, a genuine diagnosis is suggested.

  • What bothers me is these two appeared to be over-friendly with each other on the second episode of the DAZN preview show “40 Days”. It’s almost like Kovalev knows he will be handing the title over to Canelo and Canelo is thankful to him for doing it. Or maybe they were just really good buds before they knew they would be fighting each other one day. Either way, I hope we get something similar to Ivan Robinson vs Arturo Gatti (good friends before the fight but hard competitors during the bout which made for a classic) instead of Winky Wright vs Felix Trinidad (friendly before AND during the fight which made for a dud).

    • I hope the last 2 years of Kovalev’s career have just been one big con to get someone like Canelo to give him a mega money fight. Then on Saturday Kov is as good as he ever was and obliterates Canelo. Unlikely, but would be fucking awesome!

  • There have been many fights where both contestants treat each other’s in a friendly and respectful way, so,I see nothing wrong with that.
    What really intrigues me is the preparation of both men. I believe Kovalev and his handlers made a mistake in taking the Yarde fight instead to respond Canelo’s call.
    I am sure there was a way to put Yarde aside and go with Canelo. If they have taken that decision, Kovalev’s chances could have been bigger with a better preparation and a lot less beat up body. Yarde took a lot from him in that fight.
    Regarding to Canelo, it’s easier to say it than doing it. As the smaller man, a body punch attack is more complicated when the opponent has great punching power and jab. I believe the game plan will be to make Kovalev work and get him tired. Canelo might finish him around the 10th iguess

    • There is a big difference between fighters who are respectful and this specific case: neither of these two mega-ego fighters has ever been respectful or friendly toward anyone. That’s why its indeed suspicious that they are both extremely friendly with each other. They have never been buddies in the past; in fact, they have practically no history of personal exchanges before the current fight came along.

  • It seems like it should be a dangerous fight for Canelo…but I think he is going to win fairly easily. Canelo stood in front of Golovkin in their second fight without any problems and counterpunched effectively. Kovalev isn’t going to be able to hit Canelo and will taste sharp body punching that will stymie his offense, slowing the pace of the fight. I think this goes the distance and Canelo will win by decision. Timing is everything in boxing. Kovalev vs. Canelo 5 years ago, just like Golovkin vs. Canelo 5 years ago would be different fights. Both Golovkin and Kovalev are now old fighters…still good, but without the momentum and legs they once had. Canelo on the other hand keeps improving.


  • Canelo is a great fighter, however, He lost both fights to GGG and was awarded winner by unscrupulous judges. Kovalev is on the downhill side and this fight is just a big payday for him.

  • It saddens me that a talent like Canelo has been so badly tainted by bad Decisions. It also saddens me that he won’t clean out a Division, but seems to prefer to chase paper titles. If Canelo can’t make Middleweight or Super Middleweight, then I would love this fight. Why not start with Kovalev and then move to either Beterbiev or Bivol? However, there’s little doubt in my mind he won’t be clearing the Light Heavyweight Division out either.

    I’m done paying for this and find myself hoping he loses. Truly sad, because he is a great talent.

  • Canelo is coming up in weight and comes into this fight as a 4 to 1 favorite. That doesn’t sound like ‘taking risks’. He was stripped of his title and ‘elevated’ to Franchise champion so that he wouldnt have to take risks. Canelo is obviously bad for the sport. I’ll be tuning in hoping that this plan backfires on the Canelo team. GGG and Canelo conveniently switched their goal to be undisputed Mid champion once Andrade and Charlo became champion. Those are the obvious guys to beat.

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