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Kovalev blaming loss to Canelo on short recovery from last fight

Image: Kovalev blaming loss to Canelo on short recovery from last fight

By Robert Addams: Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) wasn’t in the mood to give Saul Canelo Alvarez much credit after his 11th round loss to him last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kovalev lost his WBO light heavyweight title to Canelo in the defeat. Kovalev looked frail and fossilized.

Some fans booed Kovalev as he gave an excuse for his loss after the fight, but the boos had already started well before that. The fans didn’t like the lack of action in the contest.

According to Kovalev, he was still fatigued from his previous fight against Anthony Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs) on August 24. Kovalev was hurt in that fight from head-shots that the heavy-handed Yarde landed in rounds 7 and 8. Just 3 weeks after that fight, Kovalev started training camp for his defense against Canelo on November 2. Unfortunately for Kovalev, he wasn’t in the position to bargain for more time. Had rejected the November 2 date for the Canelo fight, he likely wouldn’t have gotten it.

Kovalev got $12 million purse

There’s always a silver lining in everything. For Kovalev, he received a huge $12.5 million payday for the Canelo fight last Saturday. Yeah, he lost the fight as well as his World Boxing Organization title to the Golden Boy star, but the money he received was a tremendous amount. With the money Kovalev got for the fight, he can retire, and not have to worry about trying to win back his lost WBO light heavyweight title.

“I was tired after round six, because I had my last fight very close to this one, but it’s okay, it’s a new experience for me,” said Kovalev moments after being knocked out in the 11th round by Canelo Alvarez. “Canelo is really a great champion. A little bit right now, I didn’t recover from my last fight. But it’s okay. Thanks for the fight Canelo, I have big respect for him. He made history.”

What boxing fans want to know is why Kovalev’s punches were so weak. Chris Eubank Jr. wondered the same thing.

Kovalev wanted to keep Canelo from hitting him to the body

Being a little tired from fighting on August 24 shouldn’t have resulted in Kovalev having so little power on his shots. It looked like Kovalev was purposefully taking it easy on Canelo. Why that is hard to know. Was it because Canelo gave him the big payday?

“To open my body less, I had to use more jabs, more safe,” said Kovalev in giving his rationale for not throwing his shots with power. It sounds like a reasonable excuse, but how you not sit down on at least a few shots in the fight? Was Kovalev that worried about getting hit to the body that he wasn’t willing to throw anything with power for the entire fight?

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Krusher Kovalev WON’T be retiring

“I’ll be back,” said Kovalev. “I’ll be back much stronger. I know that I can be a unified champion, let’s make a unification fight. But nobody wants to fight me in my division. This guy is more fresh, he came into my division more fresh. He has more stamina, but it’s okay, it’s a good experience for me.”

There’s no reason for Kovalev to retire, because he’ll soon be able to go after the WBO title once Canelo vacates it. Canelo isn’t expected to hold onto the WBO belt, as it’ll be like a hot potato. The top contenders will want a title shot against him, and there will be a tremendous amount of pressure from boxing fans for him to face IBF/WBC champ Artur Beterbiev or WBA champion Dmitry Bivol. It goes without saying that Canelo has no interest in fighting either of them.

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