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Algieri analyzes Canelo vs. Kovalev: “size doesn’t matter”

Image: Algieri analyzes Canelo vs. Kovalev: "size doesn't matter"

By Sean Jones: Saul Canelo Alvarez will move up a couple of weight divisions from middleweight to face Russian KO artist Sergey Kovalev for his WBO light heavyweight title on November 2 on DAZN. Former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri believes Canelo will have no problems beating Kovalev with his hand speed advantage. Algieri says that the 6’0″ Kovalev’s size advantage over the 5’8″ doesn’t matter. He believes that Canelo’s speed will make up for his lack of size and power.

Algieri could be very wrong with his view that size doesn’t matter in boxing. It does matter, and it’s even more of a factor for this fight. Canelo is moving up two weight classes to face a guy with a better jab than Gennady Golovkin. Canelo had problems with GGG’s jab in their two fights.

Even though Canelo often dodged them, he still ate a massive amount of Golovkin’s jabs in both fights. Golovkin is a good puncher, but his boxing ability pales in comparison to Kovalev’s. Canelo gave Golovkin problems with the slow circling of the ring he did. Kovalev won’t have any issues with Canelo if he tries the same tactics with him because he moves better than him.

The fight was made official last Friday. The venue for the bout still hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s likely to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Canelo stepping up two divisions to 175

This will be the first time the Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) has fought in the 175 pound weight class, and it’s going to be interesting to see how he performs. Although Canelo did win a world title at the division just below 175 at 168, he won the belt against arguably the weakest of the champions in Rocky Fielding last December. Given how flawed Fielding is, you can’t count him as a true fight for Canelo at 168. There are much better fighters that Canelo could have fought at super middleweight.

Canelo stopped Fielding in the 4th round to capture his WBA ‘regular super middleweight title. Fielding had been knocked out in the 1st round by Callum Smith in 2015. Smith is considered the real World Boxing Association champion, as he holds the Super World belt. The title that Canelo won from Fielding was the lesser version.

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Algieri says Kovalev’s size won’t matter against Canelo

“I don’t think it matters,” said Chris Algieri to Fighthub about the size difference between Kovalev and Canelo. “Canelo’s defense is good enough to where he’s good enough to stay away from. This new Kovalev, I love him. He jabs nonstop; he’s got an awesome jab, power jab. He used to be a one-handed puncher. He’s a right-hand guy. That guy wouldn’t touch Canelo ever. Now he’s got a jab. It’s a little bit different fight, but I think Canelo is tricky enough to where to provide movement. Just because you’re moving up, and you’re the smaller man, isn’t always a disadvantage. He’s going to have the speed advantage. Kovalev’s not used to fighting guys that quick.

He’s [Canelo] essentially a blown up welterweight fighting at super middleweight and light heavyweight at this, Canelo is. He’s got that kind of athleticism and quickness as a welterweight, and he’s up there with these bigger guys. Also, we saw Kovalev get hurt to the body in his last fight [against Anthony Yarde]. That was an amazing and great performance from Kovalev, and Anthony Yarde fought his a– off too. He got hurt to the body. You don’t think Canelo’s people didn’t see that and say, ‘Let’s make this fight happen.’ Kovalev is a bigger guy, and a killer puncher with both hands. You’ve got that factor too,” said Algieri.

Kovalev’s showing a lot of toughness in facing Canelo after his grueling fight against Anthony Yarde on August 24. The Russian “Krusher” took a lot of heavy shots from Yarde in rounds 7 and 8, and was almost knocked out. Getting back into the ring to face Canelo just 2 months later shows courage on Kovalv’s part.

Canelo shouldn’t bulk up says Algieri

“The Canelo people are probably banking on the speed advantage, and don’t get hit,” said Algieri. “Control the jabs, and you see it coming. Speed kills. I don’t think that’s a good idea,” said Algieri when asked if Canelo should bulk up for the Kovalev fight. “If your asset is speed, use your speed. Canelo’s a physically strong guy anyway. I don’t think strength is going to be an issue.

He [Canelo] looked great against Rocky Fielding. He’s a real super middleweight, and he out-fought him. It wasn’t as if he’s out-sized or outclassed in terms of physical strength. So I don’t think that’s so much of an issue. But if speed is your thing, be speed. Speed is power. So a lot of his power punching aren’t thudding shots as much as they are quick and explosive,” said Algieri.

What Algieri isn’t saying is Canelo’s speed disappears after six rounds or so, and he’s slower in the second half of his fights. Canelo gasses every time he fights, and that’s why his opponents do well against him. Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs both got the better of Canelo in the second half of their fights.

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