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Abel Sanchez predicts Canelo stops Kovalev with body shot

Image: Abel Sanchez predicts Canelo stops Kovalev with body shot

By Dan Ambrose: Gennady Golovkin’s former trainer Abel Sanchez is picking Saul Canelo Alvarez to beat Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev by a knockout between rounds 7 and 9 on November 2. Abel says the body attack from Canelo will weaken Kovalev, and have him ready to be knocked out by the 7th. Abel admits that he didn’t watch Kovalev’s last fight against Anthony Yarde on August 24, but he still thinks Canelo wins.

Sanchez is basing prediction of the Canelo-Kovalev fight on what he’s seen from Kovalev in the past, and what he’s read about his last contest against Yarde.

Sanchez views WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) as a fighter that is no longer in the prime of his career, and ready to be beaten by the better skilled Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs).

Canelo seeks his 4th division world title

The Golden Boy promoted star Canelo Alvarez meets the Russian knockout artist Kovalev on November 2 on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two met for a news conference last week to announce their fight.

Canelo will be moving up two weight classes seeking to win his fourth division world title against WBO 175-lb champion Kovalev, and many believe that he’ll accomplish that goal. The 36-year-old Kovalev has never fought a body puncher as good as Canelo. Kovalev was stopped by Andre Ward with body shots in 2017. Canelo is at another level with his ability to go to the body .

“Canelo stops him within the 7th and 9th rounds with a good body shot,” said Sanchez to Fighthype about Canelo vs. Kovalev fight. “He’s going to work the body until he gets the perfect one. I didn’t see it. I read that he won, but it didn’t interest me,” said Sanchez when asked if he saw Kovalev’s fight against Anthony Yarde.

Canelo taking big risk facing Kovalev in first fight at 175

It’s admirable for the 29-year-old Canelo Alvarez to be moving up to light heavyweight looking to win a world title in that weight class. However, this could be a major error on Canelo’s part in selecting one of the best fighters in the 175-pound division. It wasn’t a big deal for Canelo to move up one weight class to take on former WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding last December, because he was arguably a paper champion. Fielding isn’t rated highly among the top super middleweights in the division. Yeah, he held the WBA ‘regular’ 168-lb title but only because he won it off of a weak champion in Tyron Zeuge in 2018.

Canelo says his natural weight is between 175 and 180 pounds. That’s not going to be enough weight for him to be heavier than Kovalev on the night of the fight. Kovalev will likely be close to 190, and that’s a weight that he’s accustomed to carrying in his fights. Canelo obviously won’t be cutting weight for this fight, and this means that he’s going to be carrying around mass that he’s not used to. The natural size advantage that Kovalev will have is going to be a real problem for Canelo. The Mexican start is used to being the bigger guy in his fights. Even against Golovkin, Canelo looked to be the heavier of the two.

Kovalev may be too big for Canelo

Bulking up to fight at 175 isn’t going to make Canelo a natural light heavyweight. Whatever short term muscle mass that Canelo packs on in a hurry isn’t going to transform him into a light heavyweight. History has shown us that when a fighter bulks up quickly, they often struggle and fall apart. If Canelo suddenly adds 10 to 15 pounds of muscle mass in the next two months, it’ll be like tying a rocket to a skateboard. Something has to give when a fighter bulks up in a short period of time. Adding a tremendous amount of muscle mass in a 10-week period, it could be a disaster for Canelo.

You have to remember that Canelo is only 5’8″, and he’s about the same height as the average 147-lb fighter. If this was the NFL, Canelo adding a lot of bulk would help if he played on the offensive line. Boxing is different though. It’s a cardio sport that involves constant movement. It’s not like football where the average play lasts three or four seconds, and then the player gets 30 to 40 second rest break. Kovalev is the natural light heavyweight, and he won’t have the stamina problems that Canelo will if he adds bulk to his small, tank-like frame.

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Kovalev’s jabs will be a problem for Canelo

Canelo hasn’t faced a fighter with the height, reach and power jab that Kovalev possesses. Although Canelo won his last fight against the 5’11” Danny Jacobs, who has good size, he didn’t have the same power jab that Kovalev possesses. Moreover, Jacobs fought in a timid manner for most of the fight. He didn’t start fighting with a purpose until the championship rounds, and by that time it was too late to come back.

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