It's all or nothing for Sergey Kovalev in Sunday's rematch with unbeaten Eleider Alvarez. Boxing columnist Frankie Monkhouse is excited and believes there's a bet worth having...
"The Betfair Exchange has a Kovalev win priced at [2.62] and that’s good enough for us"
Eleider Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev
Live on BoxNation
Late night action
We have a late-night treat in store this weekend as BoxNation brings us a fascinating light heavyweight contest from Frisco as fans' favourite Sergey Kovalev takes on Eleider Alvarez in a rematch not to be missed. It may carry an advertised start time of Sunday 3.00am, but this is a bout worth setting your alarm for as Krusher looks to avenge a summer knockout defeat at the hands of the Colombian.
Betfair traders don't see it happening and moved quickly to price Alvarez as an odds-on favourite but there will be the usual flood of support for Kovalev, a man who can never be written off at this level. The WBO world title is on the line, but some bouts mean more than silverware.
Stunning knockout win
Alvarez made a name for himself when taking his professional record to 24 wins from as many starts, upsetting the odds to stop Kovalev in brutal fashion at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino back in August. Referee David Fields waved it off at 2.45 of the seventh round after the beaten man had been sent to the canvas three times. Somewhat of a shock result, especially to casual followers of the sport, but it came as no surprise to those up-to-date on the 34-year-old fighter from Apartado's career.
Storm's CV shows the scalps of many respected names, including Edison Miranda, Isaac Chilemba, Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal. He bashed 6ft 1inch southpaw Bute into submission inside five rounds when the pair met in Canada two years ago and followed that with an impressive majority decision points cheer over Jean Pascal. The margin of victory over Pascal was tight, but there was never any doubt over who deserved to have their hand raised at the conclusion, the scoring judges returning 116-112, 114-114, 117-111.
That win over Kovalev followed and punters fancy more of the same this weekend. Those eager to keep on the right side of the champion on the Betfair Exchange will find him priced for the win at [1.69]. Deserved, but the majority of those choosing to burn the midnight oil will be after something a bit bigger. They'll get it in the method of victory market where Alvarez is 10/11 jolly for another KO/TKO, 8/1 to win on points - both quotes taken from the Betfair Sportsbook.
Kovalev will be well supported
The 35-year-old Russian Kovalev enters the arena on fight night with a professional record reading 32 wins against three defeats and two draws. He has been matched hard since debuting with a first-round TKO win over American Daniel Chaves back in 2009 and has been involved in some memorable nights throughout his career. Rarely in a dull match, its little wonder fans love him and there will be no lack of support for the beaten man to level the score at 1-1 this weekend.
A tough career appears to be finally catching up with the Florida based fighter and, on paper, his recent form looks sketchy, showing three defeats and two wins from his last five. A closer look at the form makes that easy enough to forgive with two of those three losses coming against pound-for-pound great Andre Ward, beaten on points in 2016 and stopped after eight by SOG in 2017. Sergey bounced back with a couple of inside the distance wins over lesser-known opponents in Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (TKO2) and Igor Mikhalkin (TKO7).
The loss to Alvarez came next and another could spell the end of the road for much-loved Kovalev. It would be a shame to see him bow out with defeat, however, and a bet on the underdog getting even and possibly forcing a decider makes much more appeal. The Betfair Exchange has a Kovalev win priced at [2.62] and that's good enough for us. On the Sportsbook, you'll get 3/1 the points upset, 7/2 for revenge by KO/TKO.
Back Kovalev to win @ [2.62]