Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev - 11/2/19 Boxing Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 11:00 pm (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
The Line: Alvarez -370 / Kovalev +325 -- Over/Under:
Canelo Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev fight Saturday for the WBO light heavyweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Canelo Alvarez enters this fight with a 52-1-2 record that includes 35 knockouts. Alvarez has won 10 of his last 11 fights, and he’s coming off a May victory over Daniel Jacobs. Alvarez is coming off a highly competitive fight where the scorecards were close, and it’s the fourth time in his last five fights that ended in a decision. Alvarez lands 188 punches throughout the bout and 58 of those landed were to the body. While a win is a win, I’m sure some now see Alvarez is a little more beatable than before. Alvarez is 29 years old, stands at 5’8”, has a 70.5-inch reach and an orthodox stance. There’s really not much that can be said about Alvarez that hasn’t been said already, as he’s arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and has a resume that stacks up against anybody. Alvarez is a pressure style fighter who is always looking to be the aggressor, cuts the ring off well and lives off combinations and shots to the body. Alvarez has good technique and has more than proven his toughness in two fights against Gennady Golovkin where he spent majority of the rounds walking GGG down and welcoming a trade of bombs. Alvarez is simply a tank who does everything well and can fight just about any style. However, past recent tight bouts where you can make a case for either side does have competition feeling like they have a chance. This will be Alvarez’s 13th career fight in Nevada.
Sergey Kovalev enters this fight with a 34-3-1 record that includes 29 knockouts. Kovalev has won four of his last five fights, and he’s coming off an August win over Anthony Yarde. Kovalev avoided a near upset in the eighth round and eventually ended things in the 11th round, his sixth stoppage in his last eight victories. Kovalev now looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2015-16, and easily the biggest win of his lengthy career. Kovalev is a 36-year-old Russian who stands at 6’0”, has a 72.5-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Kovalev has a very high boxing IQ who picks his spots well and starts to let his hands go more as he starts to settle into the fight. Kovalev is one of the better power punchers in the division and only three of his victories since 2011 have seen the distance. Four of Kovalev’s last six victories have ended in the seventh round or earlier, and despite some recent hiccups, that one-punch knockout potential can’t be ignored. However, conditioning has been an issue with Kovalev at this stage of his career and he’s shown to fade later in fights, and it should be noted he could have easily lost his last fight. Kovalev is dangerous, but also more than beatable to top competition at this point in his career. This will be Kovalev’s fifth career fight in Nevada.
This is a very dangerous fight for Canelo, as he’s moving up 15 pounds in weight in about six months, fighting somebody who has been a light heavyweight his entire career. That alone gives Kovalev a chance to get the job done, and he should use that size advantage to ware him down, leaning on him and closing off the ring where he can box him from the inside. I wouldn’t talk you off the ledge if you were interested in backing the Russian. However, even knowing that, it’s important to note that Kovalev isn’t the same guy he was a few years ago, as he’s lost some of that pop in his hands and continues to show a small gas tank. Kovalev is not effective in the later rounds, and he could easily have been on the wrong side in four of his last seven fights. Canelo does have the moving up two weight classes at his disadvantage, but he’s still the fresher, younger and stronger boxer at this stage. Canelo also loves to work the body, something that many would consider a weakness of Kovalev. This is a must-watch fight and one that’s going to change legacies no matter the outcome, but Canelo should get the job done against a Kovalev who is past his prime.
Canelo wins and then schedules a GGG III later next year.