After Canelo Álvarez’s defeat this past Saturday against Dmitry Bivol, Russian boxer Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) praised the work of his compatriot, World Boxing Association light heavyweight champion. Kovalev had been the only 175-pound fighter Canelo had faced prior to the championship matchup with Bivol, however, the two matchups were under different circumstances. Kovalev was 36 years old in 2019 when he faced him, had less than two months to prepare and was coming off a tough fight against Anthony Yarde. ‘The Krusher’ ended up knocked out in 11 rounds by the Mexican.
“It was two different situations, I had no energy when I faced him,” said Kovalev, who moved up to cruiserweight after the fight against Canelo, arguing that he could not make 175 pounds.
However, Kovalev spoke to the press on Wednesday and stated that the Canelo he faced in 2019 looked different than the Saul Alvarez who stepped into the ring on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It was a great victory (for Bivol),” Kovalev declared. “I said it before the fight, that nothing was impossible. Bivol had a clever plan. He used his legs very well.”
“Canelo looked tired after the third round. He looked very relaxed before the fight,” said Kovalev, who went on to hold five titles at 175 pounds in a period from 2013 to 2019.
Kovalev added that in the event of one more fight between Bivol and Canelo, the rematch would have the same result.
“I think it would be the same. Bivol now believes in himself, Canelo may be a little better, but Bivol will also be fine, because he will have more confidence in himself, ”said the 39-year-old fighter.
Kovalev will face Tervel Pulev (16-0, 13 KOs) on Saturday in his return to the ring since that loss to Canelo. The 10-round cruiserweight matchup will be the main event of the evening at The Kia Forum in Inglewood, which will be broadcast on Triller on Pay Per View.
“I am motivated,” Kovalev declared of his comeback after two and a half years off.
FERNANDO VARGAS SAYS CANELO HAS BEEN THE BEST
For his part, Fernando Vargas, who will have his three children on Saturday evening at the Forum, limited himself to commenting on the Mexican’s defeat in Las Vegas and made it clear that Álvarez deserves the respect of many.
“I take my hat off to Canelo. He has done what no other Mexican has done in the history of Mexican boxing. He wanted to become the greatest. If we are going to speak to Chile, as we Mexicans say, it has to be said that Canelo is the best fighter that Mexico has ever had. That’s how I’m going to leave them,” said Vargas, a former world champion in super welterweight.
Fernando Vargas Jr. (5-0, 5 KO), Amado Vargas (3-0, 2 KO) and Emiliano Vargas (pro debut) will fight Terrance Jarmon (3-0, 1 KO), Anel Dudo (1-3, 1 KO) and Mark Salgado (1-1, 1 KO), respectively.