Eleider Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev, 12 rounds in a rematch for Alvarez's WBO light heavyweight title.
It has been a long road back over 26 months, 48 rounds, 8 belts won or lost, 4 opponents, and 3 trainers ending up with 1 huge comeback. Who needs the “Krusher” when you've got something better?
You cannot reinvent the wheel, but you can refocus and reinvigorate a former champion who has clearly not forgotten how to box. Teddy Cruz took Kovalev's 35 year old body and tuned it up perfectly, while Buddy McGirt gave Sergey back his heart and his dignity. McGirt took Kovalev home to the comfort of boxing, reanimating his B-Hop beatdown form by showing him what a fine pugilist he has always been.
This was the maiden voyage of this boxing team. They all went to work and put together a masterclass in boxing that returned the champion to glory. We have witnessed something wonderful, the birth of “Special K”. He is no longer the bully, but he is still the BOSS.
The well planned and professionally implemented strategy was the anti-krusher approach. The boxer with heavy hands that touches, hurts and worries opponents so much that they hesitate to punch. “Special K” no longer wants to rely on his power alone, he'd rather take his time dismantling the poor guy. Accuracy in combinations, high activity and distance control, smart movement and excellent distribution of energy and initiative, what a wonderful job they did as a team.
What happened to Eleider Alvarez? “The Storm” started slowly and got slower. The winds were strangely quiet, he was passive and seemed unsure. It was not the gestalt of a champion that had stepped into that ring in the middle of Frisco stadium. Was he playing the sly fox, holding back to fulfill a strategic imperative? Alvarez looked pretty good in 3rd round, but it was one of the few he took. After a while, Jab started to wonder when Alvarez would finally attack and try to slow Kovalev down. But as Eleider gave up round after round, Sergey seemed to be growing larger right before our eyes. Perhaps he was recalling the soothing chants of the Greek Orthodox priests that helped him find his way back to his soul. Whatever it was, Kovalev was in the zone and as the fight wore on, he warmed up and Alvarez didn't have a prayer. He tried, but could not find an answer as the top tier light heavyweight knocked the temporary WBO Champ down a peg or two. It almost seemed like Eleider Alvarez was resigned to becoming the footnote in this comeback story. Kovalev was not to be denied, he snatched that belt and made it his own over 12 righteous rounds of revenge. In the immortal words of Ralph Kramden, “How sweet it is!”
So far in 2019, Kovalev's comeback takes the cake. We have witnessed the triumph of the spirit and the healing powers of the sweet science. So many were already counting Kovalev out. Jab Hook was so arrogant and unkind, saying Sergey was washed up, he picked him to lose and even doubted the man's sobriety. Check your own Hook! “Special K” put us all in our places. Jab has rarely been more happy to be wrong. Thanks for the lesson in boxing and humility, Mr Kovalev.
Congratulations to the Champ who proved that you cannot keep a good man down.
Please check NYFights.com later today for Jab Hook's Epilogue II for the Ford Center at the Star, Frisco, TX
“Jab Hook”, aka “Brooklyn” Joe Healy is a boxing expert commentator for DAZN.de, a professional cutman from the BOXWERK gym, and a licensed referee/judge in amateur boxing. A lifelong aficionado born in Brooklyn and living in Munich, “The Sweet Science” is his passion. Please feel free to contact him as Jab Hook on FaceBook, at [email protected], or on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoxAficionado