Story by: Wendell White
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev will defend his WBO World light heavyweight title against Eleider “Storm” Alvarez at the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4, 2018.
This boxing card, brought to you by Kathy Duva’s Main Events Boxing, will be the first at the new venue.
In the co-feature, two other highly rated light heavyweights face each other as Dmitry Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA World light heavyweight title against Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2, 10 KOs).
Let’s check out the tale of the tape:
|Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev||Eleider Alvarez|
|Record||32-2-1 (28 KOs)||23-0 (11 KOs)|
|Reach||72 ½”||75 ½”|
Sergey Kovalev has big time power in both hands. It is one-punch knockout power. He also has a Top 5 (in all of boxing) jab that has knocked out past opponents. Sergey cuts off the ring very well and is a great finisher when he gets an opponent hurt. Sergey is very experienced, as he’s faced many styles in the ring. He also had about 10 overall title defenses. Sergey also has great patience and timing in the ring, which lead to his high KO rate.
Eleider Alvarez is a very strong fighter. He has a very log reach, in this case 3 and ½ inches over Kovalev. He Became boxing’s latest millionaire with the step-aside money he’s been paid not to fight Adonis Stevenson. He likes that feeling and is hungry to obtain bigger paydays. Until 2018, he’s been active fighting at least twice per year (four times in 2012, and three times apiece in 2014 and 2015). He’s a decent boxer and I’m not sure his lack of KOs are a gauge of how hard he hits.
It is possible Kovalev can’t handle body shots. I’m not sure as many of Ward’s shots landed south of the border. Sergey in some fights seems to have a stamina issue, however he’s gone the distance with world class fighters multiple times. Sergey is 35 years old, so time is not on his side
Alvarez doesn’t have the one-punch power that many of his countrymen (Columbia) typically possess. He also has stretches where he seems to channel his focus somewhere other than on his opponent. He’s been active throughout his career, but hasn’t fought in over a year coming into this matchup.
I think this will be a close, competitive fight. Kovalev is going to have a difficult time with Alvarez’s fast hands, his reach, and his punch output and combinations.
I do believe somewhere in the mid-to-late rounds Kovalev will move Alvarez where he wants to and drop him.
Alvarez will get up and this fight will go to the wire.
I get the feeling that Kovalev will escape with a majority or split decision and many will think it was deserved. Many others will feel it should be gone the other way. I wouldn’t rule out a draw.
I have a feeling we’ll get something so close that they’ll; call for a rematch and we’ll be back at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in a few months for Kovalev vs. Alvarez II.