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Boxing Results: Canelo knocks out Kovalev in 11th round

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Jeff Aronow: Things looked bleak for Canelo Alvarez after 10 rounds against Sergey Kovalev, but the Mexican superstar pulled out an 11th round knockout victory to win the WBO light heavyweight title last Saturday night. Two of the judges had Canelo up 96-94, but he didn’t look like he was winning.

Kovalev had a 34-22 edge in punches landed in rounds 9 and 10, and he had controlled the fight from the 8th. In the 11th, Canelo changed everything by catching Kovalev with a beautiful left hook to the head that staggered him, turning both legs to jelly.

Canelo followed with a perfectly placed right hand to the chin that finished the job. Kovalev collapsed in a heap on the canvas, and the referee didn’t bother to give him count. It was the type of knockout where there’s no point in counting. The win made Canelo the NEW World Boxing Organization 175-lb champion. However, he was unwilling to commit to staying in the division to defend his newly won title. Canelo was asked after the fight by the commentators from DAZN if he would be interested in staying at light heavyweight to make other fights, but he couldn’t say if he would or not.

In the post-fight interview, Canelo said it was the plan all along to be patient, and to go after Kovalev lately. Canelo was running out of time, and might not have been able to knock Kovalev out if the Russian fighter hadn’t strayed too close to the ropes. When Kovalev in the center of the ring, the 5’8″ Canelo was helpless due to his lack of height and reach. he couldn’t get to the 6’0″ Kovalev with his power shots or his jabs. Kovalev was forcing Canelo to eat jab after jab.

The DAZN commentators were giving Canelo a lot of rounds in which he appeared to have lost. The fight didn’t look like it was going well for Canelo in the real sense. He was too small to land his shots consistently. In the end, it was fortunate that Canelo was fighting an old guy in 36-year-old Kovalev rather than one of the younger light heavyweight. But then again, Canelo probably wouldn’t ever agreed to fight anyone but Kovalev at 175. That’s the guy that Canelo and his eagle-eyed trainer Eddy Reynoso wanted all along.

It was unusual to see Kovalev throwing jabs rather than his power shots, but he said after the fight that this was his trainer Buddy McGirt’s game plan. Kovalev’s stamina problems in the past made it crucial that he focus on throwing jabs rather than power shots. Had he thrown power shots from the 1st round, it’s hard to know if Canelo would have been able to take them.

The one round where Kovalev opened up full bore with his power game in round 8, he had Canelo looking in bad shape. That round was a glimpse of what could have been. It certainly gave some insight of how Canelo would fare against the other light heavyweight champions Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev




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