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Canelo picked Kovalev because his body’s weak says John David Jackson

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev Canelo vs. Kovalev DAZN

By Sean Jones: Sergey Kovalev’s former trainer John David Jackson says Saul Canelo Alvarez and his team picked Sergey to fight because they see weakness with his inability to take body shots. Jackson states that Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) has no inside game, and cannot take body punches.


Jackson sees Canelo as the cash cow in boxing, and he says he wouldn’t have picked Kovalev if he didn’t think he could beat him. Jackson feels that the 36-year-old WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev is the weakest link among the 4 world champions at 175. The other champions in the weight class are as follows: Artur Beterbiev [IBF], Dmitry Bivol [WBA] and Oleksandr Gvozdyk [WBC].

Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) will be moving up two divisions to challenge Kovalev for his WBO title on November 2 on DAZN at a still to be determined venue. The fight is expected to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Canelo wouldn’t have taken Kovalev fight unless he knew he could win

“I thought if Yarde would keep the distance close, he could land the body shots and hurt Kovalev, which he did well,” said John David Jackson to Fighthype in discussing the Kovalev vs. Yarde fight. “His [Yarde] experience wasn’t there. He was kind of rushed to the [title] shot. He earned the title shot, but he was kind of rushed to it. A little more experience is needed. He’ll be a good fighter. He should learn from the fight, and get a few more fights before he comes and fights for a world title again.

Kovalev, on the other hand, is a veteran. He was able to weather mostly because the young kid didn’t know what he was doing. So he weathered the storm, and he’s getting a big payday. I favor Canelo for a lot of reasons. #1, he wouldn’t have taken that fight unless he knew he was going to win. Listen, he’s the cash cow in boxing. Why would he take that fight? He saw some things in the Kovalev fight that made him know he can win that fight. The one thing is that he needs to keep that distance close,” said Jackson.

Kovalev almost lost his last fight to WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs) on August 24 in Russia. Despite Yarde fighting a poor fight in the first six rounds by staying on the outside, he finally went in close and began hurting Kovalev to the body in the 7th. In the 8th, Yarde wobbled Kovalev with big shots, and had him close to being stopped. Yarde gassed out after the 8th, and that let Kovalev retake control over the match. Three rounds later, Kovalev stopped an exhausted Yarde with a jab in the 11th.


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Jackson: Kovalev is the most vulnerable of the 4 light heavyweight champions

“Sergey needs distance to punch. He’s a hell of a puncher,” said Jackson. “You’ve got to close that distance. I think Canelo is smart. They’ve got to close that distance, and go to the body. The blueprint was created when [Andre] Ward did it, and then this kid Anthony Yarde did it. It’s the body. The body attack is going to hurt him, because he has no inside game, and his body is weak.

It’s weak for a lot of reasons, but that’s not my problem. That’s his problem. Another thing is, Canelo is the cash cow. He’s not going to fight somebody he can’t beat. Of the four light heavyweights [champions], Sergey is now the most vulnerable of the four. So why not fight him?” said Jackson.

It’s common knowledge that Kovalev is the weakest link of the four light heavyweight champions. You’d like to give Canelo credit for being brave in going up to 175, but it’s hard to give him a massive amount of praise because he selected Kovalev instead of the dangerous champions. If Canelo wanted to impress the knowledgeable hardcore boxing fans, he would have picked one of these three: Beterbiev, Bivol or Gvozdyk.

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Canelo would be the underdog against all of those champions. That’s not a knock on Canelo. It’s more an indication of how good those guys are right now. Beterbiev is perhaps the most dangerous of the three, because he’s a lethal inside fighter. Canelo would be asking for trouble if he took a fight with Beterbiev, because the Russian is capable of generating so much power on his shots on the inside.

Kovalev is still dangerous; can Canelo withstand his power?

“He just had a hard fight [against Yarde]. He’s not going to be able to recoup from it the way he wants to,” said Jackson. “So why not fight him? He’s shown that. Although he’s a good puncher, he’s showing vulnerability now. That’s what they’re looking for. If they can get that win, and go back down, why not take it? The fans got to realize that Kovalev is still dangerous.

The last thing that leaves a puncher is his punch. So he’s still dangerous. Can Canelo withstand the power at 175? He’s got to remember this. He’s not going to be 175 on the night of the fight. He’ll be around 185 or 190,” said Jackson.

Canelo must take the fight to the inside and keep it there for him to beat Kovalev. There’s no way Canelo can beat the 6’0″ Kovalev if he lets him fight on the outside. The jab, power and the movement of Kovalev is too good for Canelo.

John says Canelo should force rehydration clause on Kovalev

“If your smart, you’ll go put in the contract right now a 12:00 weigh-in on the day of the fight,” said Jackson. “It won’t hurt Canelo, because he’s coming up. It’ll kill Sergey. He’s the cash cow. He calls all the shots. What they’re paying Sergey is only because they’re paying it to him. I say have a weigh-in on the day of the fight at 12 noon. If he doesn’t want that, then you don’t get the fight. What are they going to say? What are they going to cry? They’ll go fight somebody new. I’d put that in my clause, but that’s me. That’s him. He does what he wants to do,” said Jackson.

It’s too late for Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to change the contract for the Kovalev fight. It’s already been signed. Kovalev’s promoters at Top Rank and Main Events aren’t going to let Canelo insert a weight clause in the contract now that the fight has already been signed. If Canelo felt like he needed a handicap, he should have made sure Golden Boy insisted on that during negotiations. Canelo is already getting a handicap in fighting Kovalev instead of the other light heavyweight champions.

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Kovalev has punchers’ chance against Canelo

“It’s an interesting fight. The way the cards are set, it plays into Canelo’s hands more than Sergey,” said Jackson. “But, Sergey can still win the fight. I’m not saying he’s done. He’s got a puncher’s chance, but they picked him because they see something. I understand what they see. I’m not going to say it, but they see the weakness that Sergey has this point in his career. Why not pick him?” said Jackson.

Kovalev doesn’t necessarily need to knockout Canelo to win. He’s got such a great outside game that he can out-box him, and win a decision. If Kovalev boxes Canelo like he did in his recent win over Eleider Alvarez, the judges won’t take the win away from him.

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