THIS Saturday is September 14, Mexican Independence weekend, and Canelo Alvarez is not fighting. It has been a long time since the superstar from Jalisco did not fight on the date which he has made his own. A potential third fight with Gennady Golovkin was left for another year, the IBF middleweight title, which he only won in May, was stripped from him but Canelo was still obliged to wait. The Mexican, who is a middleweight, had been targeting Sergey Kovalev and on November 2, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas he will jump up two divisions to challenge the Russian for the WBO light-heavyweight title.
It is a meaningful fight. Kovalev is a three time world champion with an intimidating track record. “Kovalev is a dangerous puncher, and he’s naturally the bigger man, but that’s the kind of challenges and risks that I like to face,” Alvarez said. “The second phase of my career is continuing just as we had planned, and that’s why we are continuing to make great fights to enter into the history books of boxing.”
The last time Alvarez ventured out of his weight class came in December of last year, when he beat Rocky Fielding in three straight forward rounds at Madison Square Garden. This fight with Kovalev though is everything that one wasn’t. The WBA super-middleweight belt that Canelo won from Fielding was a secondary or ‘regular’ title, while Callum Smith was at the same time the WBA’s Super super-middleweight champion and widely regarded as the best in the division. Kovalev’s WBO crown however is one of the major titles at 175lbs and Kovalev is also a proven, long-term champion. He can count himself amongst the world elite. Even if he has passed the athletic peak of his career, he is still, as far as Boxing News is concerned, the number one ranked fighter in the light-heavyweight division. He’s bigger than Canelo, he’s skilled, experienced and has genuine punching power.