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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Boxing

With key knockout punches, Canelo Alvarez survives bout against Sergey Kovalev

Expect the unexpected, especially when Canelo Alvarez is in the ring. Moving up in weight to face Sergey Kovalev, there was a feeling that this would not be an easy fight for Canelo. For those watching that disagreed with the judges, you believed you were right. The middleweight king did not need to care about scorecards, however, and took matters into his own hands.

Canelo (53-1-2) knocked out Kovalev in the 11th round of a grueling bout to win the WBO Light Heavyweight Title. Inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Canelo faced one of the biggest (literally and figurately) challenges of his career and chopped “The Krusher” down. How he got there was an interesting story.

Based on activity alone, Kovalev won round one. From there, activity was the word of the night. Kovalev (34-4-1) utilized his jabs throughout the fight, stopping Canelo from gaining any momentum. The only issue was he didn’t have any “pop” to his punches and Canelo did. According to CompuBox, Kovalev landed 115 of 745 punches, while Canelo landed 133 of 345.

https://twitter.com/DAZN_USA/status/1190871133702242305

After the sixth, it appeared that Canelo was finally gaining momentum. Kovalev’s shots, however, would not let Canelo land any inside shots of his own. Regardless, Canelo was able to fight his way at certain points, putting Kovalev up against the ropes and landing calculating blows. It was at a certain point that Canelo (to some) needed a miracle blow to win the fight.

Ask and you shall receive.

In the eleventh round, a right hand to the face stunned Kovalev, and a left hook took him down to the mat. The referee had no choice but to call the contest off.

https://twitter.com/DAZN_USA/status/1190872442056708096

Prior to the knockout, all three judges of the contest scored the bout in favor of Canelo, 96-94, 96-94, 95-95. Double G Sports scored the bout 97-93 in favor of Kovalev heading into the 11th.

When being interviewed, Canelo was asked what was next for him. Gennady Golovkin’s name was brought up, and Canelo dismissed the bout, unless it was good for business, of course. He could either fight in the light heavyweight division for a few more fights or he could continue his quest for gold at middleweight. One fighter looking to face him is Demetrius Andrade. As for the light heavyweight division, it is unknown who would be next for Canelo.

It was indeed a crazy night of boxing, as many fans had to wait a long time for the main event to begin. DAZN decided to halt the bout until after the UFC 244 main event was over. That meant fans had to wait for an hour+, and they even got to watch the UFC fight on the big screen. When the waiting was finally over, a show was put on that at one point would have been debated if not for the knockout.

In the end, as seems to be the case many times over the years, Canelo reigned supreme.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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