This Saturday night, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) will take on Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29KOs) for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title. Canelo will be stepping up two weight classes, going from middleweight (160 pounds) to light heavyweight (175 pounds) for the contest.
It is a highly anticipated fight, and one in which Canelo is receiving a lot of credit for taking. While Kovalev may not be in his absolute prime, he is still a supremely dangerous opponent. He is still a top three fighter in his weight class and naturally the bigger man compared to Canelo. On the other hand, Canelo Alvarez is considered the best middleweight in the world by most boxing pundits and is the best in the world, pound-for-pound. So what would a victory or loss on Saturday mean for him?
Should Canelo get the victory this Saturday, it would be hard to argue that he is not the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. Most boxing lists have him at least in the top five, with most placing him in the top three spots. He is currently #1 on our list. He has won titles at 154, 160 and even 168 pounds (albeit it was the “regular” WBA title) and has defeated some of the best fighters on the planet. That list includes Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin, Erislandy Lara, Daniel Jacobs, etc. Adding Kovalev to that list and capturing the WBO light heavyweight title (a legitimate belt) would place him at the top of most pound for pound lists.
And where would he go from there? Well it’s possible he stays at light heavyweight and unifies with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11KOs). After all, they both fight on DAZN which should make the fight easy to make. Personally, I don’t see that happening as there are more lucrative options out there. A return to 160 pounds for a trilogy fight with current IBF champion Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35KOs) is the most probable choice. Or perhaps Canelo decides to go to 168 pounds fights with undefeated WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders (28-0, 13KOs) or undefeated WBA champion Callum Smith (26-0, 19KOs). Both are fights that had been talked about in the past and would make sense if Canelo doesn’t fancy dropping all the way back down to middleweight right away. Regardless, Canelo has numerous options on the table.
But what if Sergey Kovalev pulls off the upset and beats Canelo. Where would the Mexican star go from there ? His stock would certainly take a hit, after all, he is the favorite going into this fight despite being naturally smaller. However, his smaller stature would certainly reduce the hit his stock would take. Many would argue that he simply went up a weight class too far and would still consider him one of the best. Should Canelo lose, a trilogy fight with Golovkin would almost certainly be the next option. He would want to bounce back right away with a high profile fight. Canelo has already stated he would be supremely confident if he were to fight Golovkin again (based on Golovkin’s recent performance against Derevyenchenko).
Regardless of the result, Saturday’s big fight will be a sight to behold. Either Kovalev surprises the odds makers and pulls off the upset, or Canelo proves once again that skills pay the bills and defeats the bigger man, earning the top spot on many pound-for-pound lists. Make sure you tune in!