Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) was successful in his move up to light heavyweight, winning the WBO title as he knocked out Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) in the eleventh round.
Straight away as both men began to exchange punches in the first round, the difference in size was clear as Kovalev was much the bigger man. The Russian had a good first few rounds in the fight, pumping out his jab with a very high output.
Come to the midpoint of the fight it was still very much even, with Canelo loading up on his power shots and landing some good hooks to the body of Kovalev, but Alvarez really struggled on fighting past the jab of Kovalev as the “Krusher” paced himself and tried to not over exert too much energy.
After a relatively slow start, Canelo did a much better job in the rounds six and seven, being the much more active fighter continuing to land hard shots to the body of Kovalev and countering off of the jab of Kovalev. However just as Canelo found his groove, the 36-year-old Russian proved he wasn’t out of the fight by outclassing Alvarez with his jab in the eighth and ninth.
Towards the end of the eleventh round, Canelo unleashed a big left hand that dropped the guard of Kovalev and sent him staggering on the backfoot, following up with a huge right hand to end the show, the referee didn’t even need to let Kovalev try to get back to his feet and the fight was over.
Scorecards had Canelo ahead 96-94, 96-94, and 95-95 at the time of the stoppage.
Official result: Canelo Alvarez def. Sergey Kovalev by KO at 2:15 of round 11