Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez moves up two weight divisions to try and win his eighth world title against light heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev in one of the biggest fights of 2019.
In perhaps the boldest move in boxing this year, WBA and WBC champion Alvarez will put his plans to unify the middleweight division on hold. Instead, he will put the power that has established him as one of the sport’s most devastating hitters to the ultimate test against Kovalev, fighting above the 160lbs weight limit for just the third time in his career.
Having already won multiple world titles at super-welterweight and middleweight, he goes for gold in a third weight class against the aging but dangerous Russian.
Three years ago, Kovalev was rated among the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. While his best days are admittedly behind him, he showed he is still capable of fending off young hopefuls seeking to dethrone him, ending Anthony Yarde’s brave challenge for a first world title in August.
Alvarez is an entirely different proposition, coming into this contest with a win against another elite middleweight name in Daniel Jacobs in May. With no interest in a trilogy fight with Gennady Golovkin, he pursues a challenge that will further cement his status as perhaps the best on the planet.
Date, UK start time and venue
Kovalev vs Alvarez takes takes place on Saturday 2 November at the famous MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The location means it will be an early start for UK viewers with the action getting underway in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Ringwalks for the main event are not expected until around 5am GMT.
TV channel and live stream
Kovalev vs Alvarez will be live on Sky Sports Box Office.
UK customers can purchase the fight for £19.95 (€24.95 for those in the Republic of Ireland) up until midnight on Friday July 19.
Those prices still apply to self-service bookings (remote control and online) made after that time, but telephone bookings are set at £24.95 (€29.95 ROI). Sky note that “an additional £2 booking fee if via an agent still applies”.
The size difference between the two was huge at a press conference in September but no doubt Canelo will have bulked up by fight night.
Canelo has cleverly pursued perhaps the light heavyweight champion most susceptible to a defeat at this moment time, wisely avoiding Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Kovalev’s once iron-clad chin is showing cracks as he approaches the latter stages of his career – Canelo’s lethal body work and vastly superior speed can slow the bigger man down if gets his approach right. Which he usually does.