Sergey ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) won back his WBO light heavyweight world championship in a rematch against Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
The Russian power puncher showed he is more than just a one trick pony by boxing the socks off the Colombian handing him his first professional boxing defeat.
The first fight Alvarez clearly won because he knocked out the Krusher in a shocking upset. I have to give him credit for that no excuses, he won fair and square.
Kovalev, however, wasn’t his true self that night. He got tired and gassed out in the first match. He also failed to follow the proper game plan, but with new trainer Buddy McGirt in his corner he was able to stick to the plan and get a dominant decision victory and his WBO belt back.
The official judges scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 120-108 all in favor of Kovalev.
Before this fight Kovalev was considered washed up and people felt Alvarez had his number.
He proved all the doubters wrong when he stuck to the plan and didn’t waste any shots.
The jab was the key and the story of the night.
The jab was a tool that McGirt implored Kovalev to use and he used it at will and was popping it all night long, making it difficult for the Colombian to get on the inside and work his combos.
What I liked about Kovalev in this fight is his composure. He got hurt with an over hand right but kept his wits about him. He had Alvarez hurt a few times but instead of blowing all his energy with follow-up loaded punches he calmly picked his openings and didn’t over commit to power shots.
He kept his cool the entire night and at 35-years-old he has proven he still has a lot of fight left in him.
If he fights the way he did on Saturday night, Kovalev will be hard to beat at 175-pounds, he proved that you can turn a puncher into a patient boxer, all it takes is discipline.
I can see him having another run in the light heavyweight division, I won’t say he will be a dominant figure again because you have killers like Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, but he is still a force and not to be overlooked.