Sergey Kovalev knocked out by Eleider Alvarez in surprising loss

Ruben Hill
August 8, 2018

Kovalev was the more aggressive of the two boxers and was winning the majority of the rounds heading into the seventh.

After suffering three knockdowns and a seventh-round knockout defeat, New Jersey's State Athletic Control Board will place Russia's Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) on medical suspension for at least 90 days.

Kovalev got up quickly, but it only got worse from there as Alvarez (24-0, 12 KO's) rocked him with an uppercut and a hard jab that almost sent Kovalev's mouthpiece flying. This is my biggest fight, Alvarez said.

Alvarez started to show some true power in the third, forcing Kovalev to feel his full force. Alvarez, a 2008 Olympian, nailed him with another left-right combination nearly immediately, and Fields jumped in to stop the fight. Kovalev was taken to a hospital.

"We slowed him a bit and I felt his punches weren't as hard as they were at the beginning of the fight", Alvarez said.

With his confidence soaring again, and with him having adjusted to Tursunpulatov, the time has come for Kovalev to face a far more highly regarded opponent in the second defense of his second title reign.

Kovalev bounced back from back-to-back losses to Andre Ward by stopping Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin, recapturing the WBO light heavyweight title in process.

Said Michel: "We are convinced that Eleider has all the tools and everything it takes to come back to Montreal with the WBO world title in his luggage". He's only fought once since then and really isn't ready for someone of Collazo's class with just 16 fights into his career.

Kovalev, who now thanks God for his two losses to Ward for the ability to change trainers, has rebounded nicely with consecutive knockout wins as he heads into this latest challenge. "I assumed he got exhausted".

It was another test for young Dmitry Bivol, the light heavyweight division's top young star at the moment, but he passed the test that was Isaac Chilemba with flying colors.

But Kovalev had a strong fourth round, buzzing Alvarez with a pair of combinations and hard jabs.

Alvarez cracked Kovalev with the big right hand in the seventh round, which all but sealed the deal. He had been a mandatory challenger for world champion Adonis Stevenson since outpointing Isaac Chilemba in 2015. Once again, Kovalev got back up to continue the fight, but he probably would have been better off staying down.

This writer didn't catch the whole Bivol-Chilemba fight, but that matchmaking was worse, despite being defensible on a competitive level, because there was no way a spoiler like Chilemba was going to build any interest in Bivol's next fight, especially because Bivol is a conservative technician first who scores knockouts second. Kovalev was virtually defenseless as Alvarez closed in and finished him with another combination that put Kovalev down for the final time.

But Kovalev collected himself and started throwing mean punches, seemingly taking over in the middle rounds with volume.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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