Sports

Alvarez stops Kovalev in Atlantic City

Alvarez stops Kovalev in Atlantic City

"I never let the past decide me".

Eleider Alvarez had spent years chasing the top light heavyweights in the world but was unable to land the fight he desired.

Kovalev was the more aggressive of the two boxers and was winning the majority of the rounds heading into the seventh.

Eleider Alvarez, center, of Colombia, celebrates after he knocked out Sergey Kovalev, of Russian Federation, in the seventh round of their boxing bout at 175 pounds, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Atlantic City, N.J. Twenty-one of Alvarez's 24 professional fights have taken place either in Montreal or Quebec City.

The 2008 Colombian Olympian had to go through plenty of adversity to finally become a boxing champion.

Kovalev led 58-56, 59-55 and 59-55 going into the seventh, but then Alvarez's right hand changed all that. "We practised that punch in training camp". Either way, Dmitry Bivol lurks on the undercard as the rising contender looks to secure his shot at the victor at the expense of Isaac Chilemba.

The end appeared to be near when Kovalev put it all together in the fourth round and landed 25 of 60 power shots, but Alvarez remained poised and refused to wilt under Kovalev's pressure. Plus, Alvarez enters the fight with a 3-inch reach advantage on the taller Kovalev.

Bivol at only 27 years old and 13 pro fights is a solid champion, he is coming off an impressive TKO victory of the very hard slick Cuban boxer Sullivan Barrera, that win made people realize he is the real deal.

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"I wanted to show that I could stay strong and do good things", Alvarez said. If he tastes his punch it could be lights out so he has to fight the ideal fight to come home with the belt.

Still, Bivol won by shutout scores of 120-108 on scorecards from judges Eugene Grant and Ron McNair, and George Hill scored it 116-112.

"Chilemba is a good fighter and he had champion spirit tonight", Bivol said. The jab set up the rest of Bivol's arsenal - hooks to the head and body, followed by a right cross to the temple.

Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, Kovalev's promoter, said he has the right to a rematch per his contract, but she was unsure if he would seek it right away. "Boxing fans will want this fight, then if course it will happen. I can't stop smiling right now because [on Saturday], the whole world will know who Eleider Alvarez is". 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.

Alvarez is 34 years old and in his first world title fight and really hasn't looked anything beyond the pedestrian level Kovalev can still beat on a bad night. I lost my mind when I started to get famous.

Eleider proved quite the super sub - and now, champion. As soon as the battered Kovalev crumbled onto the canvas, referee David Fields ended the mugging.

Sergey Kovalev, left, of Russian Federation, goes down for a second time after a punch by Eleider Alvarez, of Colombia, during the seventh round of their 175-pound boxing bout Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Atlantic City, N.J. Alvarez won by knockout in the seventh round. "That was a two-punch knockout".


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