It wasn’t so much “Krusher” last night, more a case of Sergey Kovalev being so much the smarter boxer. With new trainer Buddy McGirt guiding him, the 35 year old showed in outboxing, out-jabbing mostly, Eleider Alvarez for a revenge win that he has a good deal left to offer the sport. A champion once again, the Russian put his out of the ring troubles behind him and, at veteran stage, put on a crisp, most impressive performance.
Whether you agree with the shut-out 120-108 score, or are more inclined to think the two 116-112 cards were more on the money, it doesn’t really matter – the right man won, and he rejuvenated his career in a big way in the process. Now 33-3-1(28) Kovalev regained the WBO belt with his revenge win and he said after the fight (and before it, come to that) how he wants big unification fights next.
“We worked a lot on my jab,” a victorious Kovalev said. “Right now, I am working with Buddy the way I was when I was an amateur. After this, I want unification fights.”
And Kovalev may well get them, and maybe win one or more of them. There really is no need for a third, “deciding” fight with Alvarez, now 24-1(12), so decisive was Kovalev’s win last night. Instead, we fans would get very excited about seeing big fights between Kovalev and his rival 175 pound champions: Dmitry Bivol, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Marcus Browne and Artur Beterbiev.
How would these men, fine fighters all, deal with the “new” (or the “old,” back to his boxing, forget the KO) Kovalev? Hopefully we will find out sooner rather than later. It could be argued how Kovalev scored the most impressive win of his pro career last night; certainly he scored the most important win of his career. Had he lost, as many fans and experts felt would be the case (it’s hold your hands up time!) Kovalev would have had nowhere to go.
Now, the Russian star is back on top. Or close to it.