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  Cloutier’s Canada Corner
De La Hoya: "Canelo-Kovalev Is One Of The Greatest Fights This Year On The International Boxing Scene"

By Daniel Cloutier
Photos: Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy


LAS VEGAS — The promoter of Golden Boy Promotions, the former world champion Oscar De La Hoya, is clearly impatient to see what will happen in this boxing show that he organized for Saturday evening at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

The main event will oppose two world champions: the Mexican Saul Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2), the WBC and WBA middleweight (160 pounds) champion of the world, and the Russian Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1), the WBO light heavyweight (175 pounds) champion of the world.

Saturday, Alvarez will move up from the middleweight division to the light heavyweight division, because it’s the Kovalev’s world title which will be on the line.

“This match up Alvarez-Kovalev is certainly one of the greatest fights of the year on the international boxing scene,” said De La Hoya Wednesday afternoon at the K-2 Theater at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino. “It’s a fight between two great world champions. I know that Canelo got a perfect preparation for this challenge, and he is extremely determinate to win a world title in a fourth weight division. During my boxing career, I won world titles in several weight division (five), and Canelo has the same ambition. I know how much Kovalev has, but I really like the Canelo’s chances to become WBO light heavyweight champion of the world Saturday. He has the motivation, the determination and the talent to do it.”

Canelo obviously appreciated De La Hoya’s comments. “It’s true, I got a perfect preparation for this crucial bout, and I really believe I gonna win it with my determination, my technique and my power. It will be a historic moment in pro boxing. I promised to my fans to win a world title in a fourth weight division, and I will achieve it. I know it’s a big challenge, because Kovalev is the king of the light heavyweight division, and it will be my first experience at 175 pounds. But watch me when the fight will begin, I will fight with intensity from the beginning to the end, and you will see the result.”

Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s trainer, said: “My fighter is clearly ready to live this historic moment. He is prepared mentally, physically, technically and strategically. After his win, we will celebrate the event. We will buy a cake with four candles, to celebrate the fact that he won a world title in a fourth weight division.”

Obviously, Kovalev does not agree at all with the Canelo team. “If Alvarez is perfectly prepared for this challenge, trust me, I am too,” said Kovalev. “I got a great training camp and I am ready for this historic fight. Alvarez’s team believe that I am declining, they think I will have a lack of energies if the fight is long, but they will have a huge surprise Saturday evening. I won impressively my last two bouts, the rematch with the Montrealer Eleider Alvarez (Kovalev won by unanimous decision in 12 rounds) and the fight with the British Anthony Yarde (Kovalev won by TKO in the 11th round), and in both fights, I was very energetic. I feel strong physically, and I know I have the technique and the stamina to win this historic bout. My jab is excellent and I hit solidly. I am taking Alvarez very seriously, because we are both world champions actually. It’s the biggest challenge of my pro boxing career, but I really believe that this fight will make me more popular than ever. No doubt in my mind, I will stay the king of the light heavyweight division next week.”

Kovalev’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, said: “Alvarez will certainly try everything possible to win this bout, but my fighter has the experience, the determination and the talent technically to be in the winning’s corner. I am positive that Sergey will leave Las Vegas with the WBO light heavyweight belt in his luggage.”

Kathy Duva, Kovalev’s promoter with Main Event, is clearly confident to see his fighter in the winning’s circle. “Its true that it is a historic event, but my fighter is perfectly prepared for this challenge,” said Duva. “Sergey is a very special athlete. He is strong physically and he is a very talented fighter. I am positive that he will do what is necessary to win the fight and stay WBO light heavyweight champion of the world.”

Thursday afternoon at the MGM Grand, Oscar De la Hoya will organize another press conference, this time to talk about the undercard of this boxing show televises by DAZN.


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