It wasn’t quite the bombshell that the Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) vs. Amir Khan announcement was back in 2016, but the recent revelation that Canelo will be moving up to Light Heavyweight to face Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) was pretty shocking.
And while industry folks had been dropping hints of Canelo-Kovalev for quite a few weeks prior to the official announcement, we didn’t know just how it would happen.
Perhaps, the most surprising tidbit in all of this is that Canelo immediately shut down all of his naysayers by committing to a full move to 175 pounds–not imposing and weight-draining clauses on the Russian “Krusher.”
As the A-side boxer you usually have the say to manipulate any fight, and we’ve seen Canelo flex his muscles on the contractual side of things before.
But against Kovalev, he’s truly looking to beat a big man in his own domain in notch a career-defining victory.
The weight has been on every boxing fans mind since the fight was announced, with many fans even dismissing the fight all together because they figured Canelo would throw down some crazy stipulations.
Even knowing that the fight will be contested at 175 pounds, we were all still left wondering if Canelo would come in at that weight for the fight. That is until the man himself cleared it up late last week.
“I will weigh 175 pounds,” said Canelo on a recent media conference call to promote the fight. “God willing, I will come in at 175 pounds. That’s what we’re working on.”
With Canelo’s assertion that he will indeed strive to come in at a full 175, questions moved to the method of how he is intelligently gaining all that weight.
“I’m lifting more weights, before I didn’t lift weights,” said Canelo. “I’m also eating more carbs and protein and working hard.”
Although Kovalev has looked vulnerable lately–especially to the body–it is still quite impressive that a guy like Canelo, who is at the top of his game, would even consider taking the risk and agree to this fight.
Canelo doesn’t need this fight, so how the hell did the Mexican superstar and his team even get here?
“We decided on this after the last fight against Daniel Jacobs,” said Canelo. “But, we thought about this before the Jacobs fight when someone from the media asked about moving up to Light Heavyweight. First, we had to take care of business against Jacobs, but from there we started to really think about it. After that [victory] we decided to go for this next title.”
It remains to be seen if Canelo will in fact come in at a full 175, but if he does it’ll be interesting to see how and if the weight hinders his speed–a clear advantage he has over Kovalev.
Canelo’s recent move north in weight—which was at 168 pounds against Rocky Fielding—ended in a knockout victory thanks to quick and strong combinations, primarily to the body. Fielding is obviously no Kovalev, but Canelo has long been one of the most vicious body punchers in all of boxing.
Kovalev, on the other hand, has reinvented himself in the final act of his career alongside trainer Buddy McGirt.
Instead of strictly relying on his power-punching ability, which has been his calling card for many years, Kovalev has made it a point to flash his boxing skills early on in recent fights and has begun to control his opponents with his jab.
Kovalev was able to control the young gun Anthony Yarde in his last fight with his boxing skills, eventually knocking the exhausted British fighter out with a jab–something that is rarely seen.
Will Kovalev be too big and strong for Canelo, or will the Middleweight champion show that he should be considered an all-time great?
Canelo vs. Kovalev will air live on DAZN and take place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand.