Sergey Krusher Kovalev has bravely claimed his rematch clause against his victor, Eleider Storm Alvarez, to be held at The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas this Saturday, February 2nd. That’s in the Dallas Cowboys headquarters compound and training facility for the uninitiated. The WBO Lightheavy title is the bauble at stake, but the pride of avenging a catastrophic loss against Alvarez may steal the show with another knock down, drag out fight like the first ended.
In that fight, Kovalev was mauling the game but hapless Alvarez until the worm turned. It was and is the only legit KO on Kovalev’s record, and Alvarez deserves all his accolades as he became dynamically explosive and concussively conclusive, the best kind of win to have with no shaky judges involved. In any rematch, especially an immediate one after such a devastating loss, the whole world changes for the fighters. The loser has to rebuild both his strategy and psychology as the winner navigates all the backslappers and new “friends” wanting to hang with his new eminence.
The tough Colombian Alvarez now resides in much cushier digs in Montreal than he grew up in. He’s 24-0 with 12 KOs, so he not a big puncher and thus cannot count on a return bout KO. Can he change his strategy to actually outbox Kovalev?
There have also been a plethora of rich and famous lifestyle changes for Kovalev that include a serious felony assault charge of causing a grievous injury to a woman that we found out belatedly was the unknown backdrop going into the first Alvarez fight. As to boxing adjustments, he had already ditched his long time trainer John David Jackson before the Andre Ward rematch. That left him without any gravitas in his corner when Ward commenced a comprehensive low blow body attack in one of the most shameless refereeing efforts seen in the sorry Vegas venue by Tony Weeks. The cards were split at the stoppage 67-66 x2 for Ward and 68-65 for Kovalev, so we can clearly see the illicit strategy was needed to quell Kovalev who was the “People’s” consensus winner in the first fight in spite of being saddled by the boxing suits with his first loss.
Kovalev didn’t need to take the pauper’s purse of those two Ward fights, and certainly didn’t need an immediate rematch of a hard knockout loss against Alvarez, but apparently the fighter in him left him with no other choices. Alvarez couldn’t just abandon his hard fought title and newly found respect without a fight, so here we go again.
For this fight Kovalev is under the tutelage of the respected former fighter now trainer, Buddy McGirt, so he’s got the corner gravitas back. The fighters only need to make weight today before resting up, and then on to Saturday and (((BooM))) as fists start flying. Who ya got?