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Julian Williams: Canelo might be over his head against Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Sean Jones: IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams believes that Saul Canelo Alvarez might be in over his head in moving up to light heavyweight to take on WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev on November 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Williams (27-1-1, 16 KOs) notes that Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) has been getting hit by bigger guys than Canelo during his career, and he feels that the Mexican star might not ready for this big jump up in weight. The World Boxing Organization has given Canelo, 29, a #1 ranking at 175 without him having fought in that weight class.

Canelo has fought just twice at super middleweight during his career in his contests against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Rocky Fielding, but those aren’t the talented guys at 168. So Canelo is moving up to 175 to take on one of the best fighters in the division in 36-year-old Kovalev.

J-Rock gives Canelo credit for taking on Kovalev

“Canelo has got to do a lot of things. A lot of people think he’s just going to walk in and walk though Kovalev like he’s some chump,” said Julian Williams to KO Artist Sports. “Perception is bad. People are like, ‘Kovalev can’t take it to the body. So he’s going to get knocked out in the 8th round.’ Are you crazy? Kovalev has been getting hit by bigger men his whole career. Canelo started out at 147 pounds. That’s why I think Canelo has got huge nuts going up this high,” said Williams.

Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy might be assuming that because Kovalev looked bad in his two losses to Andre Ward, and in his stoppage defeat to Eleider Alvarez, that they’s beatable now. They could be right, but Kovalev is beatable to light heavyweights, and Canelo does NOT fight in that weight class. This is going to be a new experience entirely for Canelo.

You can’t count Canelo’s two fights at 168 against Rocky Fielding and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., because those guys weren’t elite level fighters. So basically has done nothing at 168, and he’s going straight up to 175 to take on what could be the fourth or fifth best fighter in the weight class than Kovalev. There are arguably better fighters than Kovalev at 175. You can argue that these guys are better:

  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  • Dmitry Bivol
  • Gilberto Ramirez

Canelo Alvarez isn’t a spring chicken says Williams

“He might be biting off more than he can chew just like Mikey Garcia. It might be the same thing. Hats off to both guys,” said Williams about Canelo. “Yeah, Kovalev is a little bit old, but Canelo ain’t no spring chicken, because he’s 29, but he’s really like 35. He’s got like 50 fights. Kovalev has only half the fights. Kovalev has only like half the fights. What is it like 30-something and 3. So you got to factor a lot of things in, man. A lot of things in,” said Williams.

What Canelo is doing in moving up to 175 and taking on Kovalev is a move done in part from the way the Russian fighter has looked recently in his losses to Andre Ward and Eleider Alvarez. Although Kovalev avenged the loss to Alvarez, he didn’t look especially shape in his last fight against Anthony Yarde on August 24. Kovalev won by an 11th round knockout, but he was close to being stopped earlier in the fight.

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🗣@BobArum weighs in on Friday’s highly-anticipated Main Event. #BeterbievNail | FRIDAY | ESPN

— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 16, 2019

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