By Sean Jones: The Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight match will be taking place at the light heavyweight limit of 175 pounds on November 2. There will NOT be a catch-handicap for Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) as many boxing fans expected he and/or his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions would insist on.
Without the aid of a catchweight or rehydration clause, Canelo will need to bulk up a little to carry the same amount of weight that WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) will be bringing to the ring on November 2. We’re probably not talking about that much of a weight gain for Canelo, because he’s already quite big for a middleweight. Some boxing fans believe Canelo can’t win this fight against Kovalev without a weight restriction on the Russian fighter.
Canelo fighting at home in Las Vegas
We’ll have to see if that’s the case. Canelo will have the home city advantage against Kovalev, and that could count big time if the fight goes to the scorecards. While Canelo isn’t from Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s become his second home for when he fights. In that city, Canelo has been involved in three highly controversial fights against Gennady Golovkin and Erislandy Lara.
Given the history of Canelo winning questionable decisions in Las Vegas, Kovalev might need a knockout for him to get the nod. The good news for Kovalev is he brings his own judges with him each time he fights. His punching power is so great that he doesn’t allow the judges to taint his fights with their own spin on who deserved the win. Kovalev has had bad luck in fighting in Vegas. This is the city where Kovalev lost twice to Andre Ward by controversy.
Kovalev’s height, reach and boxing skills will give Canelo problems
Canelo, 5’8″, isn’t big in terms of his height. He’s heavy as far as his weight goes. It won’t be difficult for Canelo to go up to 175. The toughest thing that Canelo will need to deal with against the 6’0 Kovalev is his height and reach. Kovalev is a little taller than the former IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. But he has a better jab, movement and boxing skills. Canelo barely beat Jacobs by a close 12 round unanimous decision on May 4.
Canelo: Kovalev is a dangerous puncher
“We are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing,” said Canelo. “That’s why I’ve decided to jump two weight classes against one of the most feared champions of recent years. Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face.”
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) September 13, 2019
Kovalev has lost three times in the last three years, but two of the defeats were ones that arguably should have never happened. In Kovalev’s first fight against Andre Ward, he lost a controversial 12 round decision in Las Vegas. In their rematch in 2017, Ward appeared to win the fight in stopping Kovalev with three consecutive low blows. The referee Tony Weeks ruled that the punches were on the beltline, but in looking at the replay, it appeared that Kovalev was hit low each time.