Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez brutally knocked out Sergey Kovalev in the eleventh round to win the WBO light-heavyweight world title on Saturday night.
The Mexican pound-for-pound star had been frustrated by his opponent’s height and reach advantages for the duration of the fight in Las Vegas, with many observers believing he was behind heading into the final two rounds.
However, Canelo then produced a sensational left hook, straight right combination to prevent any controversy.
Kovalev controlled the opening rounds with his jab as Canelo placed home a few good counters, but was outlanded by the Russian.
By the middle stages, the younger man warmed into the fight and began to pick up points, but it never truly caught fire at any point with both men looking tentative and wary of the other’s power.
The champion seemed to regain the initiative in the eighth and ninth, although it later emerged that he was behind on the judges’ scorecards regardless.
Kovalev ultimately needed a knockout to beat Canelo in Las Vegas, however it was the Mexican challenger who delivered by hurting his opponent with a left and then flattening him with a follow-up right.
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There was no need for referee Russell Mora to count and the fight was waved off straight away with Kovalev slumped to the canvas.
“This is just a step in my career, in my history,” four-weight belt-holder Canelo said post-fight.
“I ask you to be patient because Canelo will make history.
“He’s a great fighter, much credit to him, but we stuck to our game plan.
“It was a very close fight, he was defensive, it was tough, but everything came out the way we had planned.”
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