Canelo Survives Kovalev’s Plan, Gets KO

It wasn’t easy, but Canelo Alvarez has made history by winning a championship in a fourth weight class, defeating Sergey Kovalev to become the new WBO light heavyweight champion.

With the win, Alvarez also makes history by joining Erik Morales as the only Mexican boxers to win championships in four different weight classes. He also joins Sugar Ray Leonard, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. as boxers who won championships at both middleweight and light heavyweight.

This win was not as easy as when he defeated Rocky Fielding for the WBA (Regular) super middleweight title, however. It was a close fight through 10 rounds, with some even feeling Kovalev was winning on the scorecards.

Kovalev elected to use his jab to keep the distance and just touch up Alvarez, and that strategy seemed to be working from the moment the fight started. Alvarez, meanwhile, looked to get a feel on his bigger-than-normal opponent and wanted to pick his spots, waiting to deliver counters.

Alvarez nearly closed the distance in the fourth round, but Kovalev answered in the next round by stepping things up with the jab and landing hard body shots. While Kovalev was just touching up the middleweight and super middleweight champ up through this point, he appeared to be the busier fighter and better lander.

The pace of the fight slowed in the seventh and eighth rounds, and again, while Alvarez attempted to close the distance in the earlier round, he didn’t follow up in the next. Things turned back up in the ninth and 10th, when Alvarez landed some hard body punches, while Kovalev worked combinations in with his jab.

But just as things looked to be troubling for Alvarez, he suddenly shut things down in the 11th by landing a right hand that dropped Kovalev out cold.

Following the fight, Alvarez would not commit to a weight class or opponent, instead electing to wait for the right fight come 2020. He did mention that while he considers Gennadiy Golovkin not a challenge anymore, he might consider the trilogy bout if it made sense business-wise.

WBO light heavyweight championship: (WBA (Super) middleweight champion and (Regular) super middleweight champion) Canelo Alvarez def. (c.) Sergey Kovalev via KO (Rd. 11, 2:15)

Ryan Garcia def. Romero Duno via first-round KO

For the interim WBA female flyweight championship: Seniesa Estrada def. Marlen Esparza via unanimous technical decision (90-81, 89-82, 88-83)

Blair Cobbs def. Carlos Ortiz via sixth-round TKO

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