Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, the world’s best-paid boxer, dispatched Sergey Kovalev with an 11th round knockout to take the Russian’s WBO light-heavyweight title in Las Vegas late Saturday evening.
The cagey encounter didn’t give fans much value for their money until a left hook-right hand combination from the 29-year-old Canelo dropped the leg-weary Russian seven years his senior to the canvas. The fight was stopped 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the round.
It was Canelo’s fourth belt in separate weight divisions and 55th victory in 56 fights. His only defeat was by Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
History of sorts made, the focus was back on money.
Broadcaster DAZN has both fighters under exclusive nine-figure contracts, ESPN reports. The pair fought to a disputed draw in 2017. Canelo got a majority decision in the rematch the following year.
Asked after the Kovalev fight about the prospects of a third middleweight match-up with Gennady Golovkin, Canelo said:
“We have to see what’s best for us and look for the best fights. We’ve fought 24 rounds and I beat him. It’s really not a challenge for me, but if it represents business, why not?”
Canelo may next choose money over history. With Golovkin a year older than Kovalev, taking on champions with aging bodies is starting to look like a business plan.