CANELO VS. KOVALEV
Wow, I’m very impressed with Canelo Alvarez in taking this fight with Sergey Kovalev. This is obviously a huge risk (as I’ve said before) as Kovalev is not a shot fighter as a lot of people think. If Canelo wins this fight, damn, he’s getting closer to that top 10 Mexican boxers ever, he’s probably already cracked the list, or just scratching it, but I think this win will catapult him to the top of the p4p list and get him in that coveted list.
Seeing them together for the first time kinda reminds us that Kovalev is two divisions higher than him, something people seem to forget. Sergey has only been hurt by far bigger fighters. I think people are (again), overrating Canelo’s power because he almost decapitated Kirkland, Khan and Fielding. His fights against elite Middleweights showed us that he doesn’t have the power to KO the best at that weight class, so I still don’t understand how people think he can move up 15 pounds and KO a far bigger tougher guy. I just don’t see it.
Now, I do consider Canelo to be an elite master boxer with great defensive skills, I think he’s better than Andre Ward in those two things (yes butcher me people). The thing is, I don’t consider Canelo to be an overall better fighter than Ward. Andre is more savvy and cagey, he also knows how to take advantage of the rules and bully a bully. He’s also bigger and stronger so he’s able to deal with the raw strength of a guy like Kovalev.
So, from my point of view, if Canelo doesn’t bring any sort of power and strength to this fight, he’s basically doomed. Kovalev has underrated technical skills plus he does have very good punching power and speed, I don’t think Canelo expects that. He’s also very accurate and throws lots of punches.
Now, I do see why people favor Canelo though, he is a very good fighter and has the intangibles going. We’ve also seen Kovalev KO’d twice in his last 5 fights and lose 3 of those fights, so it’s easy to see how people see that as a more likely scenario. Canelo also has improved a lot recently and his mastery of Daniel Jacobs might give us a good hint in how he may be able to dominate a bigger man like Sergey.
So even though it seems I’m heavily favoring Kovalev, I’m not. I think Canelo’s team see this fight in the same way Cotto saw “Maravilla” Martinez before facing him, as a shot fighter ready to be taken. I see this fight more in the likes of BHop vs De La Hoya, a bigger guy with very good boxing skills just using his advantages and a smaller guy biting a little bit too much to be able to deal with.
What do you think? Here some MM (I’m usually not that big with these, but I thought of a few that might be interesting):
Canelo vs James Toney
Kovalev vs Michael Spinks
Julian Jackson vs GGG
Michael Moorer vs Dmitri Bivol
Tyson Fury vs Evander Holyfield
Welcome Ncita vs Naoya Inoue
Thanks Doug! – Juan Valverde, San Diego
The Martinez-Cotto clash didn’t go well for the bigger defending champion.
Toney by decision in a competitive chess match, Spinks by late KO, Golovkin by careful mid-rounds stoppage, Moorer by late TKO, Holyfield by decision (perhaps controversial), Inoue by late KO in a very competitive fight (maybe come-from-behind).
Interesting comparison with Canelo-Kovalev and Cotto-Martinez. You might be right about Team Canelo’s assumptions about
Kovalev. Team Cotto (which included the astute eye of Freddie Roach, who trained Julio Cesar Chavez for the Mexican slacker’s showdown with Martinez) turned out to be correct in their assumption. However, here’s the big difference: Maravilla (who I had the utmost respect for and even favored in that matchup) was a total question mark going into the Cotto fight. He fell apart late vs. Junior in 2012 and struggled like hell against Martin Murray in his only bout of 2013 (and many, myself included, thought he needed a hometown gift decision to retain his Ring/WBC titles). Martinez had been out of the ring for more than a year going into the Cotto fight. That’s not the case with Kovalev, who has fought twice this year. We know more about Kovalev going into his fight with a naturally smaller elite boxer than we did of Martinez. We know Kovalev still has his legs, his world-class jab, his wits and fighting spirit.
I don’t know about your Hopkins-De La Hoya comparison. I just hope it’s a better fight than that 2004 undisputed middleweight championship.
I’m very impressed with Canelo Alvarez in taking this fight with Sergey Kovalev. You’re not alone, but you still might be in the minority, at least out in the twisted Twitterverse. Canelo’s sure has his haters and critics.
This is obviously a huge risk (as I’ve said before) as Kovalev is not a shot fighter as a lot of people think. The same goobers that claim Kovalev is “shot” said he would implode the first time Eleider Alvarez even grazed him with a right hand in their rematch. Those fools couldn’t give Kovalev any credit for outpointing (and outclassing) Alvarez, and we already know they won’t give Canelo any credit if he beats Kovalev.
If Canelo wins this fight, damn, he’s getting closer to that top 10 Mexican boxers ever, he’s probably already cracked the list, or just scratching it, but I think this win will catapult him to the top of the p4p list and get him in that coveted list. I think the argument could be made for Canelo deserving that top spot in the mythical rankings (if he beat Kovalev clearly and without controversy), but I doubt the various ratings panels of The Ring, ESPN.com, the TBRB, etc., will push him ahead of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Terence Crawford. Regarding his place among the 10 best Mexican boxers ever, that’s a tough one. There are so many amazing boxers from your country. We all know about the popular legends, such as Chavez, Sanchez, Olivares, Zarate, and The Three Muskateers of the ‘90s/2000s (Barrera, Marquez and Morales), but there are also underrated hall of famers (including Miguel Canto and Vicente Saldivar), as well as standout pioneers of the 1930s and ‘40s (such as Kid Azteca, Baby Arizmendi, Juan Zurita and Enrique Bolanos) to be considered.
Seeing them together for the first time kinda reminds us that Kovalev is two divisions higher than him, something people seem to forget. There are certain fighters that make hardcore fans crazy. Canelo and Kovalev are two such fighters, so we can expect a segment of boxing fandom to forget a lot of things going into this matchup.
Sergey has only been hurt by far bigger fighters. True.
I think people are (again), overrating Canelo’s power because he almost decapitated Kirkland, Khan and Fielding. Not exactly Murderer’s Row from 154 to 168 pounds, and they didn’t have reputations for taking a good shot.
His fights against elite Middleweights showed us that he doesn’t have the power to KO the best at that weight class, so I still don’t understand how people think he can move up 15 pounds and KO a far bigger tougher guy. They’ve either been brainwashed by Andre Ward (who, I admit, can do no wrong) and believe Kovalev is a mental pygmy with jello pudding for guts, or they’re Canelo Critics who refuse to give the Mexican star credit for anything, so they want to say that he SHOULD KO Kovalev so that if he doesn’t, they can say he sucks.
I just don’t see it. I can see it, but damn, it won’t come easy. If he gets the stoppage, he will have had to walk through fire and EARN it.
Now, I do consider Canelo to be an elite master boxer with great defensive skills, I think he’s better than Andre Ward in those two things (yes butcher me people). BLASPHEMY!
The thing is, I don’t consider Canelo to be an overall better fighter than Ward. OK, you saved yourself there. Just as long as you realize that he can do no wrong, we’re good.
Andre is more savvy and cagey, he also knows how to take advantage of the rules and bully a bully. Oh, just come out and say it, damn it! He’s an all-time great and we’re not worthy of his presence on this earthly plane.
He’s also bigger and stronger so he’s able to deal with the raw strength of a guy like Kovalev. True. He’s more athletic than Canelo, too. (He also speaks better English.)
So, from my point of view, if Canelo doesn’t bring any sort of power and strength to this fight, he’s basically doomed. He brings considerable physical strength and decent power, but more importantly, a quick mind, fast hands and accurate counterpunching. He can handle himself against a bigger man, even one as good as Kovalev.
Kovalev has underrated technical skills plus he does have very good punching power and speed, I don’t think Canelo expects that. If Canelo isn’t expecting any of that, he’s a damn fool, but I think he knows exactly what he’s getting into.
Kovalev was able to “touch” and trouble Andre Ward with his jab. Can he do the same vs. Canelo?
He’s also very accurate and throws lots of punches. That’s what Buddy McGirt says is Kovalev’s key to victory, being busy (but smart and accurate) and setting a pace that takes Canelo out of his comfort zone.
Now, I do see why people favor Canelo though, he is a very good fighter and has the intangibles going. He deserves his place among the pound-for-pound best.
We’ve also seen Kovalev KO’d twice in his last 5 fights and lose 3 of those fights, so it’s easy to see how people see that as a more likely scenario. These people need to put those losses in context. The first loss to Ward was controversial and the rematch wasn’t without controversy because of the unpenalized low blows the American was allowed. I don’t think either fight with Ward was on a level playing field in terms of the officiating. And against Eleider, who happens to be a cruiserweight sized light heavyweight, he was doing just fine before he got clipped.
Canelo also has improved a lot recently and his mastery of Daniel Jacobs might give us a good hint in how he may be able to dominate a bigger man like Sergey. Maybe, but against Kovalev he’ll be sharing the ring with a bigger man who commits to his jab and power punches.
100% HEALED BY FEBRUARY?
All the best to you and yours. Hope you enjoyed the summer and you’re ready for the packed schedule from here on out.
Quick one on Tyson Fury’s cut – how long do you think it will keep him out for? With a gash like that how long does it typically take to fully heal and do different fighters tend to heal more quickly than others?
Cheers. – Alex, NYC
Hey, Alex. I’m ready for a very busy Fall/Winter boxing season, kicking off with the Spence-Porter showdown and culminating with the Ruiz-Joshua rematch.
Ben Davison and Fury. Photo by Mikey Williams
Regarding Fury’s cut, yes, some people heal from cuts (facial lacerations in particular) faster than others. I don’t know if Fury is one of those fast healers. It typically takes two months for a deep facial cut to heal completely, so Fury’s going to have to avoid contact at least until mid-November. And, while I’m no doctor or plastic surgeon, it looks like Fury’s cuts are gonna need more than eight weeks to fully heal.
Regardless of how long it takes, I think he’s going to have to be very careful once he begins the sparring portion of his camp for the proposed Deontay Wilder rematch in February. Fury’s going to need special protective headgear to ensure those cuts (especially the long one above his right eye) don’t reopen.
MORE MYTHICAL MATCHUPS
I wrote in about a year ago to your Ring Dougie Bag for the first time and got published, 20-year Maxboxing vet, followed you over when you disappeared suddenly (!), but never engaged until recently. You dropped knowledge and when you were there that site was the place to be. Still waiting for my T-shirt, by the way. How is your boy Steve Kim?
I’ve seen from afar you grow from the ponytaied nerd to interviewing Hopkins to getting on TV to now, becoming a hugely important figure in the fight world, got a lot of respect for your diligence and determination man, you know your s__t, even if it’s not what people want to hear, you say it and some people respect that, Doug.
Seems mythical matchups are popular, so allow me to try some, apologies if you’ve already covered them:
Mike Tyson V Tyson Fury
Joe Calzaghe V James Toney (168)
Nigel Benn V Canelo (160)
James Toney V Deontay Wilder
Probably guess I’m a big fan of James, and I know you have talked to him many times, be interested in your thoughts how he’d fare against today’s heavyweights in general.
Final question, do you think Joe Calzaghe was the greatest Super Middleweight of all time?
Love from Cardiff Bay to you Brother. – Johnny, Wales
Hey, Johnny, thanks for the very kind words and for following for all these years. For the record, I’m still a ponytailed nerd and Kim’s doing great over at ESPN.com. (Oh, and if I can find an old MaxBoxing T-shirt still in its plastic wrap, I’ll mail it to ya.)
Is Calzaghe the greatest super middleweight of all time? I think an argument can be made for the Welsh Wizard being No. 1. He’s the longest-reigning 168-pound champ (10 years) in the relatively short history of the division and he tied the title-defense record for the weight class (21). He also unified major titles.
Roy Jones was in his prime during the mid-90s, when he ruled super middleweight.
However, my choice is Roy Jones Jr. I think he was at his best at 168 pounds – late 1994 to late ’96 – explosive, deadly accurate and nearly untouchable. Even before he beat Toney for the IBF 168-pound title, he was impressive in super middleweight bouts against Sugar Boy Malinga and Percy Harris.
Toney against this era’s heavyweights? Well, he believes that if he were in his mid-30s again, he’s wipe his ass with them, especially Wilder, who he views as the “easiest” of the beltholders. I’m not so sure about that. Apart from Ruiz, they might be too damn big. I can envision him outpointing Andy (who he’s sparred with), but I have a hard time picking him against the others.
On to your Mythical Matchups:
Mike Tyson V Tyson Fury – Prime Iron Mike would have an early window to get inside and chop Fury down with body shots before clipping him for the count (and he certainly had that ability), but if the Gypsy King (who is much bigger than anyone Tyson ever had to deal with) could play keep-away and jab-and-grab for five or six rounds I think he could work his magic and frustrate the hell out of the Brooklyn legend. I’m gonna go with Fury on points.
Joe Calzaghe V James Toney (168) – I think Toney is a better fighter overall and I believe the American has the better resume/legacy, but styles make fights and Calzaghe is all wrong for him. It would still be a competitive fight, and I can see Toney catching and hurting Calzaghe, maybe dropping him, but I also believe the gutsy, mobile and frenetic southpaw could survive such moments and come on strong – without pressuring the Michigan native and playing to his counterpunching strengths – over the second half of the fight. I think Calzaghe’s footwork and lateral movement could be the difference in this one. Don’t tell James I wrote this but I gotta go with Calzaghe on points in a hotly contested boxing match.
Nigel Benn V Canelo (160) – Dangerous fight for Alvarez, but I think the crafty ginger would avoid Benn’s bombs for four or five rounds (while counterpunching the s__t out of the Dark Destroyer) and wear the Londoner down to a late stoppage.
James Toney V Deontay Wilder – Toney doesn’t think much of Wilder (and he thinks even less of fans and media that believe the Bronze Bomber is good). However, while Toney has forgotten more about boxing than Deontay will ever learn, and he’s one of the toughest boxers I’ve ever seen/covered (maybe THE toughest), I can still envision one of Wilder’s crazy head shots knocking him for a loop. I’ll never hear the end of it if this gets back to Toney, but I gotta go with Wilder by mid-rounds stoppage. Toney’s been hit hard by some big punchers, from middleweight to heavyweight, but Wilder cracks harder than all of them, and the Alabama native’s wild technique that James criticizes would probably help him land the perfect bomb.
Email Fischer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.
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