Kovalev: Canelo is a great fighter

By Miguel Maravilla

Three-time world champion and current WBO light heavyweight champion, Russia’s Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 28 KOs) will look to put a stop to the reign of Mexican superstar WBC, WBA middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) as pound for pound king on Saturday, November 2nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on DAZN. Fightnews.com® caught up with the Krusher as he talked about his upcoming showdown with Canelo.

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Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

“This is the biggest fight of my life. This is a huge fight and huge test for me November 2. Canelo is a great fighter,” Sergey Kovalev said. “I respect Canelo, one hundred percent. He is taking a risk. My name is the biggest name at light heavyweight.”

Since being stopped by Eleider Alvarez last summer. The Krusher has since bounced back, avenging his KO loss in winning a unanimous decision over Eleider Alvarez and regaining the WBO light heavyweight title. The champ is coming off a stoppage over mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde last month. Now he looks to add another Alvarez to his list of defeated opponents.

“Big breaks killed me in between fights. Now I rest and get back to the gym and get ready to fight. I rested 3 weeks after my last fight,” Kovalev said. “Over-training also hurt me for those fights that I lost.”

The Krusher will be in his second fight with respected trainer and former world champion Buddy McGirt to his corner. McGirt was very instrumental in guiding Kovalev to avenge his defeat and polishing up his boxing style.

“I have a real professional in Buddy McGirt. He is a real pro trainer. What I had before was someone just holding a towel. After my last loss, I was looking for a trainer. After one workout, I liked him and he is the right one.”

Kovalev and McGirt have been grinding it out in training camp as they prepare for Canelo.

“I feel confident with Buddy. He has taught me to be more patient, to box, and to look for the knockout,” Kovalev said. “We will be working on what Canelo brings.”

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Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

The Mexican superstar has won three world titles in three weight classes as he looks to dethrone Kovalev. Winning titles at super welterweight (154), middleweight (160) and most recently added the WBA super middleweight world title with a stoppage over Rocky Fielding last December.

“I have known Canelo since 2012. Him and I, we have the same mentality. He is young and dangerous with lots of skills,” Kovalev said. “He saw my comeback fight and decided to challenge me. He is the best boxer and has decided to challenge me.”

Since suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Andre Ward, a controversial decision and a stoppage in the rematch. Kovalev has definitely moved on from Ward as the champ feels that a win over Canelo, will definitely serve his legacy.

“Canelo is a better fighter than Ward. 100 percent,” Kovalev responded when asked by a reporter.

“A victory over Canelo will be a glory for my legacy.”

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla

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  • Don’t see what is so significant about being champion in multiple divisions-usually just means you can’t squeeze into a smaller division any more. The best heavyweight could only be a one division champion. Canelo is good, but has already been a natural lightheavyweight or more trying to fight smaller guys.

  • Kovalev say Canelo is his biggest fight ever. Who give him two
    of the losses on his record? And in his knockout loss to Andre, he just quit. De La Hoya and Canelo see a wounded animal and they pounced on this opportunity. Big money fight
    with low risk. This fight can’t go the distance. Canelo will stop
    Kovalev inside of the tenth round. Also be mindful Buddy
    McGirt is a very protective trainer. He don’t like seeing his
    fighter punished and Canelo is going to punished Kovalev.

    • Do you really think he’s going to give Andre Wards credit for apparent reasons? I hope Canelo startches this fool.

  • I have no idea why oddsmaker have canelo as a heavy favourite going into this fight,those oddsmakers need to explain too themselves that canelo has never fought at 175 pds and they need to ask themselves about canelo performance will be at 175 pds which is totally unknown? Kovalev should be the heavy favourite not canelo!!

    • The only way Kovalev wins is by stoppage. This fight stinks off going the distance and at best ending in controversial Draw and worst Canelo winning a very controversial Decision.

      I’ll be in Vegas and I’m seriously thinking about dropping a bet on the fight going the distance.

      • Thats Kovalev’s problem. He’s 175lbs and if he can’t starch a man who started out at 147 pounds he doesn’t need to be boxing anymore and needs to get screwed. Knock the smaller man out. That is the simple solution.

  • Canelo 100% better than Andrew Ward? That is a laughable, idiot statement from Kovalev that only confirm once again, how sore loser he is. The Ward that fought in the Super Six tournament could have toyed with Canelo for about 7 rounds, before making him quit. That is when Ward was around the same age as Canelo is today.

    • Although the fight doesn’t interest me AT ALL, it was hard to overlook Kovalev’s ego statement about Canelo/Ward. If there’s one fighter who has almost as much ego as Canelo, its Kovalev. A mega ego vs. a huge ego should be an additional spice in the – at least for me – meaningless fight.

      I also agree that Ward would have easily taken out Canelo at that time. Even the Krusher would have beaten Canelo by KO at that time. But that was relatively long ago….and the Krusher is just mere Kovalev now.

    • Ward did more talking in his career than fighting, then he retires early? Maybe he should consider fighting the winner

  • How is Kovalev going to stop that little Mexican tank from ripping his midsection? This is exactly what Canelo will do starting in round 2 and ending in round 10 when Kovalev will probably get knocked out.

  • I see a competitive fight but see Kovalev pulling it off. He’s the natural L. Heavy fighter, and no one knows how effective he’d be fighting at 175. He may punch harder with additional weight, but what about his elusiveness in avoiding punches? Would that diminish as he ups his weight and muscle mass? Just seems like he is avoiding a third fight with GGG. Once he goes to 175 and bulks up, it will only be harder to get back down to 160.

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