Sergey Kovalev beats Eleider Alvarez in rematch by unanimous decision
Last Updated: 03/02/19 10:40am
Sergey Kovalev won back his WBO light heavyweight title from Eleider Alvarez after winning the rematch by a unanimous decision in Texas on Sunday morning.
The 35-year-old controlled the pace throughout the fight, with two judges scoring Kovalev 116-112, and the third not giving Alvarez a single round, scoring the fight 120-108.
Kovalev was the aggressor right from the beginning landing 213 punches compared to just 111 by Alvarez, who suffered his first defeat.
The Russian fought through a couple of periods of fatigue similar to those that cost in the first loss to Alvarez in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last summer but finished the fight with a flourish.
Alvarez's best stretches came in the middle of the fight, and at one point he had Kovalev staggering around the canvas on what seemed to be weak legs.
One of Alvarez's best blows was a right hand in the seventh, but this time it was in the final seconds and Kovalev had no trouble getting to the bell and had time to regroup going into the eighth.
Kovalev took control for good in the 10th, landing a strong right-left combination that seemed to sap Alvarez of what energy he had left.
Alvarez's corner told him after the 10th round that he needed a knockout to keep the belt, but he never got close as Kovalev dominated the final rounds and landed a punishing right hand just before the final bell
After the fight Kovalev praised his team lead by by veteran trainer Buddy McGirt.
"They stopped me from overtraining," he said. "I saved my energy and I'm happy. We worked on the jab. Always my jab and my right hand."
Alvarez said: "I have no excuses. I knew he would be the favourite if it went to a decision. I don't see myself as a loser tonight, but he won the fight."
Earlier in the night, Oscar Valdez defended his WBO featherweight title with a seventh-round technical knockout of Carmine Tommasone.
The two-time Mexican Olympian caught Tommasone with a right uppercut to the jaw.
The blow dropped the Italian and the fight was called nine seconds into the seventh round in Valdez's first bout since sustaining a broken jaw in a successful title defence against Scott Quigg last March.
Valdez said after the fight: "I don't really think about the jaw except when people ask me about it."