ESPN Weights & Photos: Alvarez 174 lbs vs. Seals 173.5 lbs
Turning Stone Resort Casino Verona, N.Y. at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT LIVE on ESPN – Undercard Streaming on ESPN+ at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
ESPN (10 p.m. ET) Eleider Alvarez 174 lbs vs. Michael Seals 173.5 lbs
(vacant WBC Continental Americas and WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight titles — 10 Rounds)
Judges/Referee: Don Ackerman, Glenn Feldman and John McKaie/Danny Schiavone
Felix Verdejo 136.75 lbs vs. Manuel-Rey Rojas 135.75 lbs
(Lightweight— 10 Rounds)
Judges/Referee: Don Ackerman, Tom Schreck and Don Trella/Charlie Fitch
ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET)
Victor Bisbal 272 lbs vs. Devin Vargas 223 lbs
(Heavyweight — 8 Rounds
Abraham Nova 132 lbs vs. Pedro Navarrete 133 lbs
(Lightweight — 8 Rounds
Jonathan Guzman 122 lbs vs. Rodolfo Hernandez 122.25 lbs
(Super Bantamweight — 8 Rounds)
Christopher Diaz 126.5 lbs vs. Adeilson Dos Santos 126.25 lbs
(Featherweight — 8 Rounds)
Two of the light heavyweight’s division’s most explosive fighters are set for a fistic shootout Saturday, Jan. 18, as former world champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez will face Michael “Cannon Handz” Seals at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
The 10-round showdown will be contested for the vacant WBC Continental Americas title, and the winner is expected to challenge for a world title in 2020.
Alvarez-Seals and a co-feature will stream live and exclusively on ESPN, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Arum excited about Alvarez-Seals match
“This is a fantastic fight, a true 50-50 matchup featuring two of the division’s best punchers,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The light heavyweight division is on fire right now, and the winner will be in a tremendous position.”
“I am very happy to get back in the ring after this long layoff,” Alvarez said. “I am looking at Jan. 18 to reboot my career against a strong puncher, Michael Seals, and begin my campaign to once again be on top of the boxing world. I have a lot of respect for my opponent, but in 2020, nothing will stop me from becoming a world champion again.”
“First, I would like to thank Top Rank and ESPN for giving Eleider this opportunity, as well as a plan to be very active in 2020,” said Yvon Michel, Alvarez’s co-promoter. “Eleider had a great run before his last fight, beating three former or current world champions in a row: Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal and Sergey Kovalev. The defeat in his rematch with Kovalev was very painful, but also a great learning lesson. Eleider Alvarez belongs with the elite of the light heavyweight division, and he will prove it starting Jan. 18 in Verona.”
Seals says Alvarez making HUGE mistake in facing him
“Uncle Bob and Brad Goodman are giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am going to put on a show for them,” Seals said. “Everyone knows that going the distance is against my religion. I’m going to bring the heat, and that’s no secret. Alvarez made a huge mistake in accepting me for his ‘comeback fight.’
“When you sign a contract with me, I’m trying to force-feed you some ZzzQuil. This is a tune-up for him but everything for me. I’m not an opponent for the top fighters. I am a top fighter. I want a world title shot, and I won’t let this guy get in the way. He had his time. It’s my time.”
Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs), the Colombian-born, Montreal-based boxer-puncher has not fought since Feb. 2, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sergey Kovalev six months after knocking him out to win the WBO light heavyweight world title. Alvarez’s long layoff is due to a torn foot ligament he suffered in training earlier this year. He hopes a win over Seals will earn him another crack at world championship glory.
Michael Seals has fierce reputation
Seals (24-2, 18 KOs), a Mobile, Alabama, native who played collegiate football at Alabama A&M, is still one of the division’s heaviest hitters at 37 years of age. An 11-year pro, Seals has been involved in many memorable brawls, including a 2015 Fight of the Year contender versus Edwin Rodriguez that included five knockdowns in three rounds.
Despite falling short versus Rodriguez, Seals’ reputation as a fan-friendly fighter was solidified. He has won four in a row, including three by knockout in either the first or second round. He is coming off a one-punch, first-round knockout Oct. 18 in Philadelphia against Elio Trosch.
Abraham Nova Makes Top Rank Debut Against Pedro Navarrete in Verona, New York
Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, world-ranked junior lightweight contender Abraham “Super” Nova will make his Top Rank debut when he takes on the grizzled veteran Pedro Navarrete in a bout scheduled for eight-rounds.
Nova, who is managed by Split-T Management, is currently ranked number-seven by both the WBA and WBO, and has a record of 17-0 with 13 knockouts. He has gained the rankings on the strength of wins over Weusi Johnson (1-0), Martin Nicolas Matamala (9-2), Andres Zapata (7-1), Hassan Nourdine (9-2), Sulaiman Segawa (11-1), Brian Pelaez (8-2), Mario Lozano (18-2-1), Luis Castillo (20-3) and in his last bout, Nova stopped Sandro Hernandez in four rounds on October 19th in Belgium.
“Camp went pretty good. I had left camp with Teofimo Lopez and was already in shape when I started training for my fight,” said Nova.
Navarrete is a 19-year pro who has a record of 30-24-3 with 19 knockouts, and has wins over three undefeated foes.
My opponent is a tough veteran with a lot of experience. He went the distance with Mikey Garcia. He is game.”
“The mission is always the same and that is to win. Now that I am on a bigger platform, and being viewed all over the world, it does put a little bit more of a chip on my shoulder.”
“This fight will not go the distance. I will give my self a late birthday gift which was on January 14th.”
Nova was 132 lbs. at Friday’s weigh in. Navarrete was 133 lbs.
The bout will be streamed live on ESPN+ beginning at 7 PM ET.