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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
Kovalev: "I Will Impress My Fans"
Alvarez: "Kovalev’s Fans Will Be Disappointed"

By Daniel Cloutier

ATLANTIC CITY — The Russian Sergey Kovalev and the Montrealer Colombian Eleider Alvarez have confidence in their artillery at few hours to be nose to nose in the ring of the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City.

Saturday evening, Kovalev will proceed to the defense of his WBO light heavyweight championship of the world against the Alvarez, an undefeated fighter who was ranked first contender by the WBC during the last two years and a half.

Both seems very optimistic to leave the ring in the winning’s corner. “I know exactly what to achieve to keep my world title, and I will achieve it,” said Kovalev, who will dispute his 14th world championship bouts. “I have a great respect for Alvarez, it’s certainly not by accident that he is undefeated, I know he is excellent technically, but I will control the action with my weapons. Me too I am excellent technically, offensively and defensively, and I am positive I am a more powerful puncher than him. I want to surprise him in each round with a power shot which should affect him. You will see, i will impress my fans with my performance.”

At this final press conference held Thursday afternoon at the Brighton Ballroom at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, Alvarez looked calm and confident at few hours of his first participation to a world championship bout in pro boxing.

“Kovalev believes he will impress his fans, but personally, I think his fans will be extremely disappointed after the fight,” said Alvarez, a Montrealer Colombian. “I know that Kovalev is a great fighter, efficient technically, strong physically, powerful puncher, but I know I can dominate the action with the perfect strategy… and Marc Ramsay (his trainer) and me have prepared the perfect strategy for this fight. And I really believe I am in the best shape of my career. I worked like hell in the gym for this fight, the most important one in my career.”

Alvarez doesn’t want to reveal his strategy, but Bernard Barré, the scout of the GYM Group, the man who recruited Alvarez for the organization, believes that Alvarez will find the way to make Kovalev uncomfortable in the ring, in using his powerful body shots, “I won’t reveal our strategy, but you know as me that I am always using power shots to the body against my opponents, and I know that the Californian Andre Ward (32-0-0) affected terribly Kovalev with his body shots in 2016 and 2017. I am really prepared mentally, physically, technically and strategically for this fight, the greatest moment of my life. I am dreaming since so many years to be in the shoes of a world champion. It’s my opportunity, and I won’t waist it. I will do the necessary to leave the ring with the WBO belt in my hands.”

Alvarez is undefeated in 23 pro bouts (23-0-0). Kovalev has a record of 31-2-1.

The promoter of the event, Kathy Duva, the promoter of Main Event, is more than happy to present this boxing show televise by HBO. “Our two world championships bouts will certainly generate great action, said Duva, HBO will appreciate this show, I am sure, like all the fans who will watch it life or on TV. It’s really exciting for us to come back in Atlantic City to present a so important boxing show.”

Just before the main event, the Russian Dmitry Bivol (13-0-0) will defend his WBA light heavyweight championship of the world against the South African Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2).

Bivol won 11 times by KO or TKO.

“I want absolutely to improve my situation on the international boxing scene, then, I got to stay undefeated Saturday, and look after for the unification of the 175 pounds world title,” said Bivol. “I am positive I have the power and the skills to become unify champion of the world.”

If Bivol stays undefeated Saturday, he will probably challenge publicly the winner of the fight Kovalev-Alvarez.

Chilemba knows he is not favorite in this fight, but he still confident to cause a huge surprise. “I have been obliged to stay inactive during a year, because a serious injury to my right hand, but I am back on the tract now, said Chilemba. I have all my weapons now. I am determinate to become WBA champion of the world. I like my chances to cause a big surprise Saturday evening.”

Chilemba is trained by the the former world champion, Roy Jones Jr., one of the greatest fighters of all time. “When Kathy Duva offered us a fight with Dmitry Bivol, I talked about it to Isaac, and he showed right away a great enthusiasm,” said Jones. “Isaac knows that Bivol is an excellent fighter, he knows he is a dangerous puncher, but my fighter is not afraid at all to face the biggest names of the light heavyweight division.”

Yvon Michel, the promoter of the GYM Group, the organization which detaining Eleider Alvarez, said: “We really appreciated the decision of Kathy Duva to organize this fight Kovalev-Alvarez. Eleider got a great boxing career so far, and he really believes he is ready to go to the top now. I like his enthusiast and his motivation. Eleider knows it’s the biggest challenge of his career, but each time he feels the challenge is big, each time he found the way to deliver a great performance. I am very confident to see Eleider become world champion is few hours.”


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