ONE fighter, a red-headed Mexican middleweight, tried to stay warm by swinging his arms. The other, a Russian with a coveted light-heavyweight title, laid down languidly on a sofa.
For shortsighted bureaucratic reasons out of their control, both men had to mill around in their locker rooms for an unusual amount of time before they could get on with their highly anticipated 175lb showdown.
When Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev finally squared off in the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, they brought with them the tetchy restlessness built up during an interminable delay. For 10 rounds, Alvarez, the smaller man who skipped two weight classes for this occasion, doggedly pursued Kovalev, who answered by jabbing relentlessly off the back foot. The result produced one monotonous sequence after another, a standstill by aesthetic standards. Then, as if by the crack of a whip, it all changed in the 11th round.