ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A "Storm" came ashore and laid waste to Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night. Twenty-one of Alvarez's 24 professional fights have taken place either in Montreal or Quebec City.
This will be the toughest test for the Colombian born boxer, he will try and rely on his boxing skills to outbox the very powerful punching Russian champion. Alvarez rocked Kovalev with a huge right hand that sent the champ staggering backwards and down to the mat.
In Kovalev's first fight back after the Ward debacles, he knocked out Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in the second round in November to win one of the belts Ward had vacated upon his retirement.
"It was a two (punch) combo that I have been throwing my whole career and we worked on it in camp", Alvarez said.
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Dmitry Bivol unanimously outpointed Isaac Chilemba to retain the WBA version of the 175-pound title.
The victory was Bivol's second in a row against a well-known contender, as he impressively knocked out Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round on March 3 on another Kovalev-headlined show. Ashkeyev, who trains in the same camp with fighters such as Kovalev and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko, dominated Flores, who continually lost his mouthpiece. Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Alvarez has put together three straight impressive wins coming over Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal, and now Kovalev. "I wanted to show him that I am strong, I have a good chin and am ready for big things". If he tastes his punch it could be lights out so he has to fight the flawless fight to come home with the belt.
Bivol took it 116-112 on one scorecard, while two others had it 120-108, in convincing victory.
Bivol started the fight well, exploding with numerous hooks and overhand rights that stunned Chilemba at times. The jab set up the rest of Bivol's arsenal - hooks to the head and body, followed by a right cross to the temple. But he was never in a hurry to finish the fight and the restless crowd booed when the bout stagnated in the eighth round. There had been plans for Kovalev and Bivol to meet had they both won.
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Kovalev was taken to the hospital after the fight to receive medical treatment. I will try to do my best for boxing fans, for people who watch our fight. "It was a great accomplishment [for Alvarez], so I don't want to make those kinds of judgments".
Duva declined to answer when asked if this type of devastating defeat will permanently prevent the 35-year-old Kovalev from thriving at boxing's top level. Kovalev also headlined that November 8, 2014 card and beat Bernard Hopkins in a championship bout on the last major night of boxing in Atlantic City.
Kovalev had a bit of a following in New Jersey - he fought in three different AC venues in 2014 - and had rolled to a 30-0-1 record until his career as derailed by the losses to Ward. When I lost twice, I lost because of that amateur baggage and because of my coach.
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