Sergey Kovalev attempts to keep his career alive when he challenges Eleider ‘Storm’ Alvarez for his old WBO World Light-Heavyweight Championship in a rematch on Saturday 2nd February, live on BoxNation.
‘Krusher’ Kovalev, 35, was ahead on all three judges’ cards when the Montreal based Colombian rallied and knocked him out in the seventh round.
He is promising revenge when they meet in Frisco, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility.
Russian Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs), who has made nine title defences across two reigns, bids to become a three-time World Champion.
Kovalev said. “I will look to take back my title and put on a great show for the fans. Together with my new trainer, Buddy McGirt, I will be ready for Alvarez.”
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) is desperate to prove his shock win in August was no fluke and that Kovalev’s team have made a blunder by exercising their rematch clause.
“The fact that Kovalev said it was a mistake and that I was lucky is motivation for me,” Alvarez said. “He is a sore loser, and I will make sure there will be a second ‘accident’.
“I expect Kovalev to be stronger in that second fight. I expect the best Kovalev because he won't underestimate me this time, but I am fully aware of this. I am able to be even better than in the last fight.”
Alvarez turned pro in 2009 and started getting noticed five years later when he stopped unbeaten Ryno Liebenberg in Monte Carlo to establish himself on the world scene.
A majority points wins against Issac Chilemba and former Lineal Champ Jean Pascal, plus a stoppage of ex-IBF Champion Lucian Bute, all led to his triumphant night against Kovalev on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Kovalev won the WBO crown in August 2013, travelling to Cardiff and knocking out champion Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round.
He became the unified king in November 2014 with a dominating 12-round decision against future Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins and further enhanced his résumé with a pair of knockout wins against Pascal.
He lost his World Titles in November 2016 via controversial decision to pound-for-pound great Andre Ward. Nearly seven months later, Kovalev was stopped in the eighth round by Ward, a bout remembered for the multiple and questionable low shots that immediately preceded the stoppage.
Kovalev rebounded, regaining the vacant WBO Light-Heavyweight Title with a second-round TKO against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in his next bout. He defended the title once, a seventh-round stoppage of Igor Mikhalkin in March, before running into Alvarez.
Can Alvarez strike again or will Kovalev roll back the years? Watch it live on Channel of Champions to find out.