Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) regained his WBO Light Heavyweight crown on Saturday night with a disciplined twelve round decision over Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Scores were 116-112, 116-112 and 120-108.
Overturning a stoppage loss to Alvarez in 2017, Kovalev this time stuck to the game plan handed to him by new trainer Buddy McGirt, using primarily a jab to win rounds.
There were however times especially throughout the middle rounds that gave cause for concern as Alvarez must had thought that lightening had stuck twice in the seventh as he again found a hard right hand but unlike their first encounter, Kovalev took the shot well.
Kovalev looked composed this time around, the bounce most evidently in his step as he took control from the tenth round, landing a solid left-right combination that rocked the Colombian as the now former champion looked out of answers.
Kovalev remained in control of the championship rounds landing some telling shots, one of which was a punishing left hand to puncuate the final round.
“They stopped me from overtraining,” Kovalev said afterwards. “I saved my energy and I’m happy. We worked on the jab. Always my jab and my right hand.”
“I’m very happy,” McGirt said. “He adjusted well. He stuck to the game plan more than I anticipated he would, but I kept reminding him to keep it basic, keep it basic. I thought it was close, but I felt he won.”
Alvarez said: “I have no excuses. I knew he would be the favourite if it went to a decision. I don’t see myself as a loser tonight, but he won the fight.”