WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev defends his title Saturday night in Atlantic City against undefeated challenger Eleider Alvarez.
With the exception of his two losses to former pound-for-pound king Andre Ward in November of 2016 and June of 2017, Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) has dominated the light heavyweight division.
He dominated future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins via a lopsided unanimous decision in November of 2014 and has two knockout victories over former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.
Following his second loss to Ward, Kovalev parted ways with his trainer John David Jackson and decided to go with Abror Tursunpulatov as his new trainer.
Since Tursunpulatov became his trainer, the 35-year-old Kovalev has scored two easy knockout victories over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin. His win over Shabransky won him the vacated WBO title that he lost to Ward.
Now on Saturday night in the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, he’ll face his toughest opponent since regaining his title in undefeated Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs).
TONIGHT: The world’s top light heavyweights collide when Sergey Kovalev takes on Eleider Alvarez, and Dmitry Bivol battles Isaac Chilemba. ?
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) August 4, 2018
Alvarez maybe not be well known amongst casual boxing fans since his fight will Kovalev will be just the second time he’s fought in the United States, but he is a skillful fighter that has wins over Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal.
Despite Alvarez not being a big puncher, Kovalev knows that he’s in for a tough fight. Kovalev told Dan Rafael of ESPN:
“It’s a big test for me. He is very motivated. He’s hungry for this fight and for a victory,” Kovalev said of Alvarez. “He’s undefeated. It’s not an easy fight, and I must be ready for what he will bring. He’s dangerous. I cannot say whether I can knock him out or get a victory by points. It’s a good fight for the boxing fans”.
Kovalev is 100 percent correct when he says Alvarez is hungry as this will be the first time he’ll fight for a major title. Kovalev would go on to say:
“I waited for three years and a half for my chance. This is my biggest fight, Alvarez said. I never let the past decide me. I’m gonna be ready for this. When I fought Isaac Chilemba, it was a do-or-die fight. When I fought Lucian Bute, it was the same thing. I had the same pressure when I fought Jean Pascal, so I am used to have the kind of fight that it’s a do-or-die”.
On Saturday night, we’ll either see Kovalev continue his dominance over the light heavyweight division, or we’ll see the 34-year-old Alvarez reach the pinnacle of his boxing career and become a world champion.
The fight will be televised live on HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT.