Sergey Kovalev vs. Sullivan Barrera targeted for Jan.30th on DAZN
By Matt Lieberman: Sergey Kovalev will be returning from a 14-month layoff on January 30th to take on #11 WBC light-heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera on DAZN, according to Mike Coppinger.
The match against 38-year-old Barera (22-3, 14 KOs) is the first two comeback fights owed to former IBF/WBA/WBO 175-lb champion Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) by DAZN, as part of the contract that the Russian fighter had for his last fight against Canelo Alvarez on November 2 in 2019.
Interestingly, DAZN will be paying Kovalev $2.5 million for both of his two comeback fights on their network platform.
Kovalev has 2 fights left on the DAZN contract
If Kovalev is knocked out by Barrera on January 30th, DAZN will be stuck another fight for the Russian fighter at the same price.
Unless the casual boxing fans aren’t keeping up with what’s happened to Kovalev’s once excellent career, they’ll likely not show interest in seeing him fight with him coming off consecutive losses.
That’s good money for Kovalev to be getting to face the Cuban fighter Barrera, who has lost two out of his last three fights to Jesse Hart and Dimitry Bivol.
Kovalev looked completely shot against Canelo last year on November 2, 2019, in his 11th round knockout loss to the Mexican star on DAZN. Sadly, Kovalev looked like he was going through the motions the entire fight, coasting and appearing to put in very little effort from start to finish.
Apart from a brief spurt from Kovalev in the 8th round, Kovalev fought like he was purposefully stuck in first gear against Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) in the other rounds.
With nothing to fear from the timid-looking Kovalev, the much shorter 5’8″ Canelo finally walked the 6’0″ Sergey down and knocked him out in the eighth round.
The sight of the smaller Canelo taking the fight to Kovalev was truly an odd one, and many boxing fans complained afterward that they felt the contest was fixed.
“Sources: The rescheduled bout between Sergey Kovalev and Sullivan Barrera is being targeted for Jan. 30 on DAZN. DAZN owes Kovalev two comeback fights at $2.5 million apiece, part of the Canelo Alvarez bout agreement,” said @MikeCoppinger.
Sullivan Barrera coming off a loss to Jesse Hart
Barrera and Kovalev haven’t fought yet in 2020, so it should be mildly interesting to see which of them emerges as the winner.
Given how poor Barrera looked in losing a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision to Jesse Hart in his last fight in June 2019, you have to say that his match against Kovalev is a toss-up affair.
Barrera can still punch, though, and that’ll make him dangerous to Kovalev, who’s punch resistance and stamina have seemingly abandoned him since he hit his mid-30s. If Kovalev runs out of gas against Barrera, he’ll get knocked out.
In Kovalev’s last two fights against Canelo and Anthony Yarde, he’s been badly hurt and looked really old. Additionally, Kovalev has had problems outside of the ring, and that could play a role in his ability to focus against Barrera.
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