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Canelo’s trainer discusses plans to beat Kovalev

Image: Canelo's trainer discusses plans to beat Kovalev

By Sean Jones: This shouldn’t come as a surprise, Saul Canelo Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso says they plan on beating WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev with a body attack on November 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That’s not all though. Reynoso reveals that Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) will be looking to back the 36-year-old Kovalev up, throwing combinations and counter-punching. It looks like the King of boxing Canelo plans on using the same blueprint that Andre Ward created three years ago in how to beat Sergey.

With all great plans there’s a chance for failure. Canelo isn’t batting 1000 as a pro. He failed against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and clearly failed against Gennady Golovkin in their first fight – although the judges gave Canelo a draw. Reynoso’s game plans don’t always work. Canelo struggles against talented fighters, and Kovalev might be a step too far for the Golden Boy star.

Canelo following in the footsteps of Henry Armstrong

“I think Kovalev has been one of the best in the division,” said Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso to Fino Boxing. “He has many achievements, and was recognized as one of the best pound-for-pound. So we know it’s a tough fight, but we also know the abilities of our fighter, and we believe we can win. That’s why we took the fight. It’s very important to win a title in a new division, and become a four time world champion in 4 different weight classes. To win a world title, and hold titles in three different titles simultaneously in three different weight classes.

It’s something that Henry Armstrong did in 1938, and no one has done since then. I think it’s something important not only for boxing in general, but for Mexican boxing as well,” said Reynsoso.

If Canelo does beat Kovalev to hold three division world titles at the same time, it’s not going to be the same as when Henry Armstrong (151-21-9, 101 KOs) did in the late 1930s. Armstrong beat the best champions in each division to hold world titles in three weight classes. Canelo hasn’t done that. His win over middleweight champion Golovkin last year was controversial, but it still counted.

In winning a world title super middleweight, Canelo beat WBA champion Rocky Fielding. There were better champion at 168 than Fielding last year. If Canelo beats Kovalev for his WBO light heavyweight title, it would be another weak champion Canelo has beaten. The best title holders at 175 is Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Kovalev used to be one of the best at light heavyweight, but that was years ago.

Reynoso: Canelo will work the body, counter-punch and make Kovalev miss

“Yes, of course. Working the body is always important in a fight,” said Reynoso in talking about the strategies Canelo will be using against Kovalev. “So is defense and counter-punching. We’re going to work all aspects, and see what works best for us in this particular fight to use it in training camp. It’s very important, but we also have to walk him back, continue counter-punching, and continue to have him miss.

“So we have to work on defense, counter-punching, and combinations to the body. He has a very good strong jab,” said Reynoso about Kovalev. “He also has a very strong right hand. More than anything, he’s a fighter with lots of heart that always wants to be in a fight. He also has good movement, and relieves on his power. It’s an interesting fight between two fighters that like to be aggressive, and the fans will be the winner that night,” said Reynoso.

It’s going to be a lot harder for Canelo to make Kovalev miss with his shots compared to his recent opponents Golovkin, Fielding and Daniel Jacobs. Kovalev’s power jab is like a punch, and he can throw it over and over again. It’s a punch that is impossible to encounter unless you’ve got long arms, and Canelo doesn’t have that going for him, does he? Using head movement works against single power shots, but it’s less effective against a fighter throws a steady jab, because they can afford to miss. It’s no big deal, because they’ll be throwing another one right away.

There’s a chance that Canelo will lose to Kovalev. However, if it goes to the scorecards, then it’s pretty certain that Canelo will have his hand raised. He hasn’t lost a decision in Las Vegas since the Mayweather fight many moons ago.

Reynoso preparing Ryan Garcia for Romero Duno

“He’s a very intelligent fighter that learns very fast and is very disciplined,” said Reynoso about lightweight contender Ryan Garcia. “He has a lot of great physical abilities, so we hope he keeps up his discipline and he’ll go very far.  It’s a tough, difficult fight, but we’re going to work very hard so Ryan can continue winning and moving up,” said Reynoso about Garcia’s fight against Romero Duno on November 2.

“Well, they [Canelo and Ryan Garcia] share the same gym and trainer, and when that’s the case, things catch on. That’s very good because Saul is a very disciplined fighter that has gotten very far, and that helps all prospects that are advancing,” said Reynoso.

Reynoso is going to have a harder time making lightweight contender Ryan Garcia a success. He’s fighting in a weight class with a number of better fighters than himself, and he’s not equipped to fight at the same level as those guys right now. Ryan is a long term project that Reynoso will need to work on for many years before he finds some level of success. Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) is fighting Romero Duno in the co-feature bout on the Canelo-Kovalev card on DAZN on November 2. There are better fighters than Duno (21-1, 16 KOs), but he’s still a decent test for the 21-year-old Garcia.

Duno is the type of guy who can spoil it for any fighter no matter how well-trained they are. He’s someone that walks his opponents down, and grinds them to pieces with his pressure. Ryan has been lucky so far in not having fought any wars, but Duno might force him into that kind of a fight. When that happens, we’ll learn a lot about Ryan.

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