Photo: Elsa, Getty Images / AFP
Eleider Alvarez (right) has sent Sergey Kovalev (left) on the mat three times in the seventh round last August 4.
Six months later, the clan Alvarez believes still hold an advantage over Sergey Kovalev on the eve of their rematch for the title of heavyweight of the World Boxing Organization.
The title of the WBO, Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12 K.-O.) has delighted dramatically Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 K.-O.), the August 4, sending the champion to the mat three times in the seventh round. Kovalev led yet 4-2 on the map of the judges.
“It is certain that we have the impression to have already begun to win the second fight with the result of the first, admitted the trainer Marc Ramsay, met at the Omni hotel in Frisco, headquarters of the gala, which will be presented Saturday evening at the Ford Center, training complex of the Dallas Cowboys. It gives us an advantage for the battle of Saturday, but nothing is gained.
“Each individual is given a way to recover from a knockout like that. I can’t rely on the fact that Kovalev is affected or not. I have to prepare Eleider for the best Kovalev as possible, with the best tactics possible. “
Unlike the Russian, who has changed his coach since, entrusting his fate to Buddy McGirt, the clan Alvarez has rather built in a view of this second battle with the seven rounds played in August last year.
“It is certain that we went to collect the additional information, explained Ramsay. I had the info in the first fight [Jean] Pascal, and videos that I’ve seen, but it is when you put two boxers together that we see the kind of chemistry that is between the two. It is with this information that we have redesigned our tactics. “
Above all, the clan Alvarez wants to swallow his words to the clan Kovalev, who never ceases to claim, since his defeat that Alavrez won by chance.
“Certainly we want to reset the clock to the hour, still more to the side of Alvarez that from my side, pointed out Ramsay. It has bitten it ! I would even say that Kovalev has helped me : it has been a part of my motivational work ! In each sprint, with each thrust of weight, with every punch that Eleider was given, I reminded him that his victory was an accident. I didn’t let it get on with it.
“What that tells me, however, is that Kovalev is unable to look itself in the mirror, continued Ramsay. His reaction to it was change of gloves, change of coach : it is the fault of everyone and everything around him, and it was an accident, but it is not him that is in question. […] A true reconstruction after a defeat, it starts with an introspection and analysis, not just stirring the cards. He does not understand the situation. It seeks to the wrong place. “
Earn the respect
No one is a prophet in his own country. The adage also applies to Alvarez, which does not seem to have convinced the fans of boxing quebec despite his record immaculate, and its recent victories against Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute, in particular.
“If Eleider won the world title, he still has to earn the respect of the fans, admits Ramsay. He has yet to convince many. It is about putting an exclamation point to what we did in the first fight. We do not want to believe anything Eleider no longer : he had to pay the price to win in August. It will still have to pay for it this time. We do not go in a picnic, this will be a struggle painful.
“It is a war that we cannot win : we get to see champions who are at the top for a very long time and there are always to say that they have a weakness,” he continued. You can even lower level : we have very good boxers in Quebec who are in the top 10 and people talk about it as if it was nothing. When you are the 10th in the world, it deserves respect. “
One thing is certain : in the eyes of the underwriters to the books, it is Alvarez who is the favorite this time.
“I don’t even know if Eleider is aware that he is the favorite for this fight. This is not something that is important to us. We know what kind of opponent is Kovalev and we want to apply the work we have done over the past eight weeks. This is not really a topic of conversation between us. “
Fans in Quebec will have to stay up late to see the fight, Alvarez (the tv card) : the semi-final is scheduled for 23 p.m. local time in Frisco, so midnight in Montreal. The shock Alvarez-Kovalev will follow the battle between the light Teofimo Lopez and Diego Magdaleno, who will fight for the three titles to minors.