But Alvarez said he was ready to go on the unification of the championship belts, calling themselves the most likely to rival other Russian Dmitry Bivol, who on the same day in the battle for the title of world champion under version WBA won on points Isaac Chilemba from South Africa.
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It seems like nearly yesterday when a Sergey Kovalev fight was a big deal and there'd be no containing the bonerfest from the HBO commentators, but two subpar showings after his KO loss to Andre Ward have been enough to convince people to jump off the bus. Didja? He started in a way that suggested trouble for Kovalev, firing body punches the way the first man to truly vanquish Kovalev - Andre Ward - did.
Kovalev's promoter Kathy Duva confirmed there is a rematch clause, but said it's too early to say when or if the return fight would take place. "When I came to America, I came with all my amateur baggage". "I lost my mind (after the Ward defeats). It was a great accomplishment [for Alvarez], so I don't want to make those kinds of judgments". He now holds the WBC silver light heavyweight title, but most view the "silver" belts as somewhat of a sham. I don't want to take anything away from what Alvarez accomplished. Plus, it's not exactly Alvarez's fault that he hasn't had a title shot yet.
He was the mandatory challenger for WBC titleholder Adonis Stevenson for more than two years. I will try to do my best for boxing fans, for people who watch our fight. Though, even that didn't come until the original opponent, Marcus Browne, was arrested for domestic violence. "This is my biggest fight", Alvarez said. While Kovalev is surely the more widely-known of the two fighters, and now the best in the division, Alvarez is no slouch.
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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. Ashkeyev, who trains in the same camp with fighters such as Kovalev and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko, dominated Flores, who continually lost his mouthpiece.
Kovalev didn't attend the press conference, but posted a message on Instagram from the back of an ambulance. Regardless, Kovalev continued to show off his power and remained in control. If there's anyone in boxing you can call a knockout specialist, it's Kovalev, who has picked up 28 of his 32 wins by (T) KO.
He'll have to work to put another knockout victory to his name, however, as Alvarez is pretty technically sound and will be willing to try and slow this fight down. Eleider Alvarez is a much tougher opponent than Mikhalkin, capable of solving Kovalev's rhythmic in and out power attack.
Nonetheless, promotional turf wars (ah, it's so nice we never have to worry about THOSE) might make Alvarez-Bivol about as good as it gets for either man.