Canelo Alvarez continued his legacy Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena Las Vegas with an 11th round knockout over Sergey Kovalev and added the WBO light heavyweight title to his resume. It was a historic win by becoming a four-division champion and only the second Mexican fighter to gain the light heavyweight title.
Though a prevailing opinion had Kovalev ahead on the scorecards prior to the knockout the judges at ringside had a different opinion. Canelo was ahead 96-94, 96-94, and one judge had it 95-95. This observer had Kovalev ahead by six rounds prior to the explosive conclusion.
Regardless of the outcome, Canelo Alvarez, hold titles at 168 and at 175 and has many options going into the new year. There are possibilities he defends his new title or he could move down in weight again and force a possible third fight at 160 against Gennady Golovkin.
He defeated Golovkin for the middleweight title in their second fight two years ago. He decided to move up in weight under his assumption that Golovkin was not in position to fight him again though that could be an eventual fight again in the new year.
This was the third of a 12-fight $365 million deal for Alvarez under his contract with DAZN the streaming network Matchroom Boxing in association with his promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy. He defeated Daniel Jacobs earlier this year to secure the middleweight titles.
Last December, Alvarez stopped Rocky Fielding in the third round and gained the WBA Super Middleweight title.
“I’m very thankful,” Alvarez said. “This is just a step in my career, in my history, and all I ask of you, is to be patient because Canelo will make history. That’s a guarantee.”
A left hook in the 11th round was the clincher in a fight that saw Alvarez land a fight high 19 power shots in round 11. Kovalev threw a career high 577 jabs but landed just 11 percent (STATS COURTESY COMPUBOX)
“The plan overall was patience, that was basically it – to have patience.,” Alvarez said. “We knew it was going to be five, six rounds and it was going to take some time for me to get him. But honestly he’s a great fighter. I’m new at this weight, new in this division. Much credit to him, he’s a great fighter, but we stuck to our game plan.”
He added, “It was a very close fight because he was defensive, he was closing up his guard. All he was doing was try to establish points, but we knew what was coming. Inevitably it would come, and everything came out the way we had planned.”
Alvarez discussed the future and said the plan was to drop down again to 160 or 165 or maybe stay at 175. Both fighters were contracted at the 175 pound weight and Saturday morning they weighed in again with an agreement to not exceed a weight over 185.
“We have to see what happens,” Alvarez said. “We have to do what’s best for us. We have to look for the best fights, the big fights, but obviously give the victories to Mexico.”
And regarding a third fight with Gennandy Golovkin: “It’s really not a challenge to me. We’ve fought 24 rounds and I beat him. It’s really not a challenge for me, but if it represents business, why not?”
And business it was with this latest addition to his titles. Like him or not, and this was not one of his best, but Canelo Alvarez probably had the most explosive win of his career.
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