Saul Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev, WBO WORLD LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE, Sky Sports – Canelo Alvarez(52-1-2) has been around forever it seems, and he’s still only 29. Making his debut in 2005 at welterweight, I would of loved to have seen odds on him challenging for the world light-heavyweight title 14 years later. He’s always been massive at the weight he’s fought at, but there is a limit for most fighters on how far they can move up. Usually welterweights step up to light-middleweight, but then aren’t too keen to move up to middleweight (Mayweather always said he was too small and he was a decent size). When it’s all said and done, Canelo could go down as the most decorated fighter in history. He’s been matched very clever in that regard on his quest to collect belts. He easily beat Rocky Fielding for the WBA Super-Middleweight title with no intention of ever defending it, then moved back down to middleweight to defend his title and win another against Daniel Jacobs in his next fight. With no pun intended, he really is the golden boy of boxing. Promoter Golden Boy (probably not for much longer if rumours are to be believed) and networks love him as he has just about the whole of Mexico behind him and is a great PPV seller because of that. Mind you, he is a phenomenal boxer. He can basically go about as he pleases, and this fight is no different. Canelo won’t fight again at light heavyweight if he wins a title his 4th different weight class in my opinion. Kovalev (34-3-1) has looked on the way out recently. Back to back defeats to the great Andre Ward and a loss to Eleider Alvarez raised questions about the decline of Kovalev, but he bounced back to soundly beat Alvarez, and beat Anthony Yarde last time out. In that Yarde fight however, he was in serious trouble and Buddy McGirt almost pulled him out. His punch resistance, especially to the body, has become a big concern. That doesn’t bode well when you’re going up against an outstanding body puncher in Canelo. Is Canelo big enough, and powerful enough to step up to this weight, or is it one too far? Kovalev isn’t the biggest light-heavyweight, he holds a 2” height advantage, and will naturally be the bigger man when they step into the ring, but hes 36 now. I think this is a calculated gamble for Canelo here, he wouldn’t be doing it if he hadn’t at all tested the waters in sparring (Kovalev and Canelo have sparred previously). I don’t think it will be as easy as people are thinking. The bookies have Canelo 1/4 with Kovalev 3/1. If Canelo has bitten off more than he chew here, Kovalev to win by KO is 5/1, but there’s more chance of Canelo stopping him at 15/8 I think. The body shots of Canelo are going to play a big part in his fight. Kovalev seems to have lost that killer instinct he once had, and 7 or 8 rounds of being hurt, especially to the body, could see him topple over and call it a day, and a career. As proved in the second fight against Eleider Alvarez, Kovalev can box smart when he needs to, so a points win for him at 7/1 is not totally out of the question if Canelo can’t hurt him as many expect him to. Canelo on points is my pick here at 10/11. Anything remotely close is going to the Mexican. Even if he can’t hurt Kovalev, he’s 10 times the better boxer here, and his head movement is second to none, so should avoid most of Kovalev’s power punches if hes smart. I expect a competitive first 6 or 7 rounds, than once Kovalev tires Canelo will pick him apart and force a late stoppage, or win a wide points decision. A full 12 rounds is a decent enough 4/6. This is one of the those fights that will look great on paper in 20 years when you look back at Canelo’s career and marvel at this achievements.
BNC Tip – Canelo to win on points @ 10/11, 12 rounds @ 4/6
Felix Cash v Jack Cullen, COMMONWEALTH MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE, Sky Sports – Good little fight here, with Cash (11-0) taking on Cullen (17-1) on what now should be the main event(?). Cash starts 4/11, with Cullen 2/1, so not really that much between them boxing odds wise. Cash should win here, hes the better boxer, and puncher, but im not fancying a stoppage win. Cash to win on points is a very good 15/8, but I think this will be close. Cash to win on points @ 15/8
Anthony Crolla v Frank Urquiaga VACANT WBA CONTINENTAL LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE, Sky Sports – The farewall fight for Crolla (34-7-3) who said this is his last fight. They’ve gave him a decent fighter to finish against in Urquiaga (13-1-1). The odds of 1/20 for Crolla don’t really reflect that. It should be a tough fight for Crolla. Urquiaga has went 12 with Edis Tatli and almost won so he’s no pudding. He’s had a better career than anyone ever thought Crolla, and deserves to go out on a high in his hometown. Crolla on points @ 8/15
Ryan Garcia v Romero Duno, 12 ROUNDS LIGHTWEIGHT, Sky Sports – Garcia (18-0) is Golden Boys hope to be their next Canelo. Duno (21-1) is on par with Garcia’s recent opponents, with the hope of him starring on the undercard of the Canelo fight to give him more exposure. This fight has been criticised in the US for the gap in class between the two, but this should be fun for as long as it lasts. Duno looks to be one those “never been stopped opponents” where Oscar De La Hoya will scream to the rooftops it’s a brilliant win for Garcia if he can become the first to stop him. I think he will, easily. I like Garcia. Garcia to win by stoppage @ 11/10