By Ponciano “John” Melo Jr.
CALIFORNIA, USA — If you ask Sergey Kovalev, Canelo Alvarez might be his biggest, toughest opponent so far.
That’s despite the Mexican boxing star losing about a couple of inches in the vertical department — and jumping about two weight classes before their fight next month.
The two boxers are set to face each other on November 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the WBO light heavyweight championship belt.
And if you ask the 36-year-old Kovalev, he doesn’t see himself as the one Canelo took out for a date with destiny in the younger fighter’s quest for a fourth world title belt in four divisions.
“I understand that a lot of people are thinking that I’m the underdog, but the ring will show our skills,” Kovalev told BoxingScene.com.
The current light heavyweight champ doesn’t see this as a one-way fight. In fact, he is pouring his heart out to try and play the spoiler’s role in Canelo being a four-division champ.
“My job is to be in the best shape and bring the best fight. I understand this fight will be dangerous for me and my boxing career,” he added.
The fight on November 2 with the natural middleweight Canelo will be another title defense for the Russian, who is now enjoying a spike in his performance under new trainer Buddy McGirt.
Kovalev, turned the tables on Eleider Alvarez, beating the Colombian after a defeat in their initial fight, reclaiming his WBO championship belt in February this year before defending his title in style via a Round 11 KO over Anthony Yarde.
According to him, he’s the “biggest name in the light heavyweight division” but he respects Canelo even though they’ve had “great opinions of each other” since they met in Big Bear in 2012.
And if he’ll be particularly blunt, this matchup with Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) is a tougher one than versus Ward.
“Of course this will be a tougher fight for me than Andre Ward. Ward was a dirty fighter, he was not a real fighter … If boxing had a division between 175 and 200, I would move up, too. My goal is the same, to defend my titles until I retire,” he said.
“If someone challenges me to a fight, I cannot say no. I’m only training for victory. He’s the best in boxing, and this is my biggest test. I should be ready,” he added.
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