Alvarez And How He Changed a Title Picture • Latino Sports

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Alvarez And How He Changed a Title Picture

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Atlantic City-  Eleider Alvarez of Columbia and now a Canadian resident  was the unknown light heavyweight who entered the ring at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Saturday night in Atlantic City and left with a portion of the light heavyweight title. A right to Sergey Kovalev in the seventh round also changed the complexion of a division that was almost set to unify the titles.

Except Kovalev was sent to the hospital for observation and will not be in the mix to get all the belts unless a rematch that reportedly was in the contract is set in stone. This was for the WBO title and his worst defeat, considering that Kovalev could not recover from the first knockdown and went down again twice in the round before the fight was stopped.

Alvarez delivers the first blow: Credit: Yeng Luciano

And on a night that saw a major boxing card return to the boardwalk, the first since Kovalev took the light heavyweight title from Bernard Hopkins in 2014, this was a stunning defeat and could be considered knockout of the year.

At the time of the stoppage, Kovalev was ahead on all three judges scorecards ar ringside by a thin margin.

But for the 34- year old Alvarez,  an undefeated and relatively unknown Olympian from Columbia, this stunning win does propel him for more opportunity and a chance at the process of putting the puzzle together towards unification of the titles.  

Prior to Kovalev dropping his title, Dmitry Bivol of Russia did his part at possibly facing Kovalev in December to unify the titles. Bovol easily won a 12-round unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba and retained the WBA title.

But all of that changed with one punch on a historic boxing night in Atlantic City.

So the complexion of a competitive boxing division changed, and the right of Alvarez is something to be reckoned with.  Alvarez said he plans to have a role with unifying the titles even with Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack in the picture.

“As the fight went on I wanted to show that I could stay strong and do good things,”Alvarez said.  “His punches were not as hard as they were in the beginning of the fight.

He said about the final knockdown, “It was a two-punch combination that I have been throwing my whole career, and we worked on it in camp. I have always practiced that in camp, and we thought it would work in this camp.”

And it showed because the left and then the right to the head of Kovalev came unexpected and so were the other two that led to knockdowns.  The ramifications to this ending now belong to Kathy Duva the promoter for Kovalev and Bivol with Main Events.

Duva was disappointed  in the outcome and was more concerned with the well being of Kovalev. Her emphasis is seeking a rematch for the former champion and will have to deal with the promotional dealings and management of a new champion.

“Disappointed, yes,” she said. “Sergey may have tired but I been in boxing 40 years and I have come to expect anything. You can’t stun me.”  And there was reference to 11 knockouts on the Alvarez record.

Anything but this disappointing outcome that certainly changed the complexion of the light heavyweight division and now Alvarez is in control and said he will take on any of the other champions in the division. Though Duva said, “Bivol at 26-years of age is the future of the division.

If not Kovalev again, who provided a statement that he was okay, then perhaps Bivol will get the opportunity that was unexpected.

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About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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