Sergey Kovalev Looking for Revenge Against Eleider Alvarez After Loss in First Fight

Boxers Sergey Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez will meet this weekend in a rematch of their shocking bout in August.

Updated: Feb. 1, 2019 • 1:42 PM ET


Sergey Kovalev (left) hopes to get back on the winning track this weekend.

Frisco, Texas will host a WBO light heavyweight title rematch this Saturday, as champion Eleider Alvarez will defend his belt against former champion Sergey Kovalev. The rematch is a follow-up to their first fight from August, in which Alvarez shockingly won by seventh-round knockout.

The win for Alvarez over Kovalev gave the undefeated 34-year-old his first major title since turning pro in 2009. He entered the fight a +375 underdog, and Kovalev dominated him for the first six and a half rounds. In a quick turn of events, though, Alvarez dropped Kovalev with an overhand right that completely changed the direction of the fight. He then dropped Kovalev two more times before the referee ended the fight, leaving everyone in attendance stunned.

Alvarez didn’t enter the fight known as a power puncher, having only 11 knockouts in 23 wins. But as Kovalev tired, Alvarez completely took advantage, moving inside and throwing punches at a higher volume. This time, Alvarez is a modest favorite (-175, Bovada) with a line that continues to change as Saturday’s fight gets closer.

Including Kovalev, the Colombian fighter has notable victories over Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute and Isaac Chilemba. Another victory over Kovalev, who was once considered one of the most dangerous power punchers in the division, would announce Alvarez’s presence as a pound-for-pound great at light heavyweight.

Kovalev is 2-3 in his last five fights, including knockout losses to Andre Ward and Alvarez. He entered his first fight with Ward in 2016 as one of the most feared fighters with tremendous knockout power, but the 35-year-old has shown signs of slowing down since that loss.

Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) is the former undisputed WBA, IBF and two-time WBO light heavyweight champion, securing key victories over Chilemba, Pascal (twice) Bernard Hopkins Cedric Agnew and Nathan Cleverly. On Saturday, he has the chance to prove he’s still one of the best light heavyweights in the world with a redemption win over Alvarez.

The Russian fighter will enter Saturday’s fight with plenty of distractions after being accused of punching a woman in the face in June. The incident happened two months before his first fight with Alvarez, and he’ll enter the second fight with a looming preliminary hearing scheduled for March 14. Have the out of the ring distractions deterred his training, or will Kovalev enter one of the most important fights of his career totally focused?

Saturday’s card will also feature a WBO featherweight title fight between undefeated champion Oscar Valdez and undefeated challenger Carmine Tommasone.

The 28-year-old Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Scott Quigg in March, and the Mexican fighter will attempt to defend the belt for the fifth time after fighting only once in 2018.

The 34-year-old Tommasone (19-0, 5 KOs) will face the biggest test of his career on Saturday. He’s coming off three straight victories over fighters with sub-par records and will enter Saturday’s fight as a heavy underdog.

There will be a third title fight on the card between Ghana native Richard Commey and Russian Isa Chaniev for the vacant IBF lightweight title.

Looking for his first major title, the 31-year-old Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) will ride three straight victories into the fight after losing two straight split-decisions in 2016.

The 26-year-old Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) is also riding three straight victories after losing for the first time in 2017, and he’ll face the toughest test of his young career on Saturday.

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