Sergey Kovalev and Bektemir Melikuziev are being moved to Indio, California, on January 30th on DAZN. The fight had been previously scheduled to take place in Moscow, Russia.
The change of location works well for DAZN so the U.S boxing fans see the fight at a decent hour. One risk factor in moving the fight to Southern California is the treated COVID 19, which is hammering that area of California.
You can argue this is coming out party for the unbeaten 24-year-old ‘Bully’ Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs), as he’s going to be looking to score a highlight-reel knockout of the aging 37-year-old Kovalev, who is coming off a brutal eleventh round knockout against Canelo Alvarez in November 2019.
The combination of age, inactivity, and a bad knockout could be too much for Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs). He’ll be turning 38 in April, and he’s clearly finishing up his career.
Kovalev got a massive payday in his fight with Canelo Alvarez, which begs the question, will the motivation be there for this fight? He made millions from the fight with Alvarez, and he’s obviously living the high life for the last 14 months with that money.
It’s going to be a shock for Kovalev when he gets in there with the hard-hitting southpaw Melikuziev. If Kovalev is to have any shot at winning this fight, he probably needs to match Melikuziev’s power for power and bring back his old fighting style.
It’s not going to work for Kovalev to tiptoe around the ring, fighting like he’s walking on eggshells like he was doing against Canelo. If Kovalev fights like that against Melikuziev, he’s going to get blasted out in short order.
The only round that Kovalev looked like his old self against Alvarez was in the eighth, and he dominated. That approach is the only one that has any chance of success against Melikuziev.
Kovalev, 6’0,” will have a three-inch height and two-inch reach advantage over the 5’9″ Melikuziev. He’s going to have to try and use his size for him to win.
Melikuziev is moving up from the super middleweight division, but that likely won’t matter. Kovalev has looked terrible in his last two fights, and his ability to take a shot has badly deteriorated.
It’ll be sad to see Kovalev get knocked cold again, but there’s a perfect chance that’s going to happen. He’s not getting a mediocre opponent. DAZN is getting a quality fight, and I’m not sure that Kovalev is up at this point in his career.
“Sources: The Jan. 30 fight between Sergey Kovalev and Bektemir Melikuziev is moving to Indio, Calif. The DAZN event was set for Moscow (Kovalev is from Russia) but now heads to Southern California. Shane Mosley Jr.-Jason Quigley on the undercard,” said @MikeCoppinger.